“Sense8” star Brian J. Smith has come out as gay.
“I was terrified,” the Tony-nominated star, 38, told Attitude magazine in its latest cover story. “At school I really couldn’t fit in anywhere. I wasn’t a jock or a nerd. Forget about any [LGBTQ+] union or groups. There was absolutely nothing. I was completely alone. I heard all the names: p—y, f—-t.”
Smith, who grew up in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, said he never felt comfortable growing up in a small town.
“I could never be who I was,” he said. “I was constantly having to check myself and make sure I wasn’t looking at someone too long or making someone feel uncomfortable.”
Over time, Smith started to tell some people his truth, but it was his family who provided him with the most “wonderful” response when he came out to them at age 30.
“I was surprised. When I came out to my parents they were wonderful,” he told the magazine. “They said they were just waiting for me to say something. They were a lot more advanced than I gave them credit for.”
His parents’ acceptance helped him come to terms with his sexuality and inspired him to tell others, as he realized, “‘Oh that’s the world, it’s not as dangerous as I thought it was.’”
Looking back on his childhood, Smith said he wished there were more people who told him he was “perfect” the way he was.
“There weren’t enough people there to say to me: ‘You don’t need to be someone different, you don’t need to change who you are’. What that kid needed was somebody to pick him up and say, ‘You’re perfect as you are, it’s OK.’”