AceShowbiz - %cColton Haynes% has come out as gay. The actor made headlines earlier this year when writing, "Was it a secret? Let's all just enjoy life & have no regrets :)" in response to a fan who found out about his "secret gay past." Now in an interview with EW, the 27-year-old hunk explains why he didn't come forward about his sexuality at the time.
"It was a complete shock. I wasn't ready to be back in the headlines," he says. "I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn't ready. I didn't feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they're ready, and I wasn't yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said."
While he grew up in Kansas, a mostly conservative state, Haynes in fact has never kept it a secret from his family, friends, cast members and Hollywood bosses that he's gay. "People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don't realize what it's like to act 24 hours a day. I'd go home and I was still acting," he adds. "People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don't realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world."
The actor who has starred on "Teen Wolf" and "Arrow" also explains his decision to step away from those two hot TV gigs. "I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time," he reveals. "I've had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I'm 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back."
Haynes had opened up before about his anxiety issues, posting on Twitter in December, "For those of you who are suffering with intense anxiety ...ur not alone. It's been a constant struggle for me since 5th grade. It's a battle." He continued, "Whether it be fainting, hyperventilating, or seizures ... I've been through it. Just know ur not alone & it affects more ppl than you would ever know. We can overcome this. We can fight thru it & will."
He had checked into rehab for anxiety and would be frequently back in the hospital over the next three months. But now he's in a better place. He says, "It took me so long to get to this point, but I'm doing so good. I'm happier than I've ever been, and healthier than I've ever been, and that's what I care about."
Haynes recently guest starred on FOX's sitcom "The Grinder" as %cRob Lowe%'s son. He's also open to the possibility of returning to "Arrow". "Working for Greg [Berlanti] was the greatest experience of my life, and when he offered me 'Arrow', it was a new beginning for me. I would love to do more. They know I love them. I'd go back in a second," he says.