The Walking Dead actor Daniel Newman came out to an audience of millions earlier this year after posting a video on YouTube.
The post also generated international media coverage, which led some to call it a shrewd PR exercise. In truth, it was a spur of the moment act initiated by a visit to a homeless shelter for LGBT+ people.
In his first major interview since coming out, Daniel talks to Attitude about becoming aware of his sexuality, his public coming out, and being closeted in Hollywood.
While Daniel has always embraced the fact that sexually he is attracted to both men and women, his choice of career led him to initially hide part of his identity. “When I started to open up to the networks, agents and management about being bisexual they were like, ‘good God, never say that, that will kill your career instantly,’” he tells Attitude. “They said basically that the rule in Hollywood is if you are incredibly flamboyant then use that to your advantage, be super-gay, be the comedians, do comedy roles. But if you want to be a leading man, you can’t be open about your sexuality.”
He definitely didn’t want to become someone who waits to come out, and he doesn’t hold back when talking about those who do. “There are so many who wait until their fame dies down and they’re not successful any more and then they want to capitalise on the gay audience,” Daniel says.
“They’re like, ‘I don’t have any fans, maybe if I admit I’m gay then I’ll make some more money.’ And I just think that’s pathetic. I don’t want to judge anybody, but I was like, ‘My career is starting to take off right now and I’m so proud of my community and who we are and I’m so proud to be living in this day and age when so many people have fought and died for our rights and to change the world.'”
Growing up, it didn’t bother Daniel that his sexuality seemed to be different from everyone else’s. Rather than question himself, he wondered why everyone else was limiting themselves. “I never realised that because I feel as if my sexuality is the wider experience. Ever since I was a kid I was like, “why would anybody pick one or the other, that’s weird.” I read somewhere that James Dean
allegedly said, when asked about his sexuality, “Why would I want to live my life with one hand tied behind my back?” and I felt that sums it up perfectly,” he says.
“I mean, when you start to research humanity and culture and things, especially the Kinsey scale, everyone’s kind of somewhere on the sexuality spectrum. But obviously there are people who are 100 per cent one thing and don’t want anything but that. You like what you like.”
Interview by Cliff Joannou
Photography by Daniel Jaems
Fashion by Joseph Kocharian