Colton Haynes has had his fair share of ups and downs. Despite finding incredible success thanks to roles on Teen Wolf and Arrow, Haynes has experienced some very dark times—in the spotlight and out of it.
Growing up in Kansas, Haynes tells OUT magazine that it was a place where "you couldn't be gay," which led the star to not only conceal his sexuality but also develop severe anxiety about his secret. When he was 14 he decided to come out, but it didn't go well. Students aggressively bullied him and his mom didn't accept it, so he rebelled. He ran away from home to stay with a friend, and it was there that he found out his father had committed suicide.
"I'm the last person in the world who would say, 'Oh, my dad—pity me,'" says Haynes, who was never close with his dad (He and his mom were divorced.). "But I was told that my dad killed himself because he found out I was gay. So, of course, I lost it and was like, 'How could you say something like that?' And no one will ever really know the truth. But my brother and my mom went to pick up my dad's stuff, and the only picture on his fridge was my eighth-grade graduation picture. So I was just like, F--k."
The Teen Wolf star eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he apparently faced pressure by his management to conceal his sexuality once again. "I feel really bad that I had to lie for so long. But I was told that was the only way I was going to be successful," he tells OUT. "When you're young in this industry, people take advantage of you, and they literally tell you that your dreams are going to come true. If you believe that, you'll do anything. And you do believe it, especially if you're from Kansas."
Haynes had previously come out in a photo shoot with XY magazine in 2006, posing with his then-boyfriend and loving it. But his management tried to get rid of it and pretended like it didn't exist. "I looked like I was f--king gay-bashing. Like I hated myself or I hated the gays, which was never the intention at all," he tells OUT. "I was just young and trying to make it in this town and doing what these people were telling me to do."
He officially came out during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, but even that faced backlash from other people because in the article Haynes doesn't definitively admit he's gay. "I said I was gay, like, 50 times during that interview," Haynes insists. "That's just not the way they chose to print it. I would never try to hold that back, especially for my first out interview."
Now that he's out and living a happier life—he credits therapy for helping him—Haynes can admit what he's looking for in a man: a combination of John Cena, Idris Elba and Ryan Reynolds. "Someone who just descended from a mountain and said, 'I don't have any friends. Would you like to come live with me?' I'd love that. I want to somehow have a happy ending. Or a happy beginning."