Keiynan Lonsdale Says ‘Love, Simon’ Encouraged Him To Come Out: ‘It Was A Huge Thing’

Love, Simon is a heartwarming coming-of-age story about a high schooler who hasn’t come out of the closet yet – and the movie’s themes of acceptance and bravery resonated with actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

Lonsdale plays one of Simon’s potential love interests in the film as protagonist Simon struggles to decide when and how to come out, and to whom.

“I wasn’t out during filming,” the actor revealed to Teen Vogue in an interview. “I’ve been out to my friends for a couple years, but I was still in the closet publicly. So when I came to the set I was really nervous sharing that with anyone; I didn’t share it until the wrap day.”

He realized that if he didn’t come out in such a positive environment, around people who understood his journey, that he might never be able to do it.

“I realized, wow, for some reason I haven’t even allowed myself to feel safe on a set,” he continued. “It’s a set with a gay director. That’s about a gay love story and everyone here is openly accepting and loving and I still am hiding. So, that was a big part of what made me question, like, ‘What’s it going to take for me to love myself?’ right? I can’t seem to do it even when all the right practices are put in place. So, it was huge thing. I’m so thankful for the film. One, for just being a part of it and two, it made me confront myself more and a lot quicker than I would’ve done without it.”

He also came out to the world on Instagram in May 2017 with a powerful post.

“I like to change my hair, I like to take risks with how I dress, I like girls, & I like guys (yes), I like growing, I like learning, I like who I am and I really like who I’m becoming,” he wrote. “Spent way too many years hating myself, thinking I was less valuable because I was different.. which is just untrue.”

It’s remarkable that Love, Simon had the power to make him realize that.


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