Glee star Chris Colfer recalls being told not to come out as gay: ‘It will ruin your career’

Glee’s Chris Colfer has recalled he was told early on in filming the hit series not to come out as gay as “it will ruin your career”.

Colfer, who played openly gay high schooler Kurt Hummel in Glee – the hit comedy drama about a dysfunctional high school show choir also starring Lea Michele – announced to the world that he was gay in December 2009 during an appearance on Chelsea Lately – seven months after the pilot episode of Glee aired.

He has been in a relationship with actor and producer Will Sherrod since 2013.

On Tuesday (4 June), on The View, Colfer, who is 34, explained that despite playing a gay character he was advised to keep his own sexuality a secret while filming the show’s first season as it could “ruin” his career. 

‘I can’t hide my voice’

He said: “When I started filming the show I had a lot of people tell me, ‘Do not come out whatever you do because it will ruin your career.’ So I hid for a little bit, But I also told them, ‘I can’t hide it with my voice… I’m more effeminate than most people. 

“I can’t hide it.’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry. As long as you never address it, you’ll be rewarded for it in the end.’” 

Colfer stayed true to himself and said he came out following an encounter with a Glee fan who had thanked him in a note that included a rainbow paperclip chain.

Following the encounter he was open about his sexuality on Chelsea Lately, he said: “At the time, I was thinking, ‘Okay, yeah, if I’m an openly gay actor, yeah, I may never win a major award. I may never get to play a superhero.’”

Colfer has frequently spoken about being gay

He added: “But I think being a beacon of positivity and providing that comfort for people is way more important than attention.”

Colfer has previously said he was “honoured” to be a gay role model, but added that he felt “overwhelmed” by the responsibility of it. 

He has also said he has felt people “made a big deal” out of his sexuality, despite the fact he “ever made it a big deal”. 

In a 2012 interview, he recalled that he was bullied every day at school for being gay and called homophobic slurs. 

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