Out actor Keiynan Lonsdale: ‘I was really repressing any kind of genuine feeling I had for guys’
Hollywood’s first mainstream queer coming-of-age comedy Love, Simon features Keiynan Lonsdale who recently came out as being attracted to both males and females. He doesn’t like labels like bisexual as he tells Billboard: I actually don’t label myself, but… Some people call me queer, some people call me bisexual, whatever it is now, I’m happy with all of it ’cause it all sort of represents me, in a way. I spent a majority of my life in the closet. I knew I was attracted to both [genders], but I was really repressing any kind of genuine feeling I had for guys. It just became really painful. At some point, I came out to a lot of friends and some family, but then I went back in the closet when I started working as an actor in America.
Then I realized in order for me to fully embrace myself, if I really wanted to grow as a person, then I needed to just let go of any kind of shame that I had. And the best way to do that was just to be out publicly. Then it was done. It wasn’t something I’d ever have to hide again.
… Most days I wake up and I feel different than what I did the day before. I could wake up and I might have no attraction to guys that day or that week, for whatever reason, or then for three months, I may not be interested in a girl at all, or I may not be interested in anyone. For any kind of label, you then feel like if you do wake you and you do feel different, but you’ve boxed yourself in and everyone is saying you have to be this way. You’re also sort of in another kind of closet where you’re not able to fully explore that genuine freedom of that moment because you feel like you’re not supposed to because you said that you’re just one specific way. For me, personally, I think that’s what it is. It’s just allowing people to be people.
That said, I do definitely believe that labels are important. It’s incredible to have a community for people to identity with. It goes both ways.