Brian Falduto was severely bullied after starring in School of Rock.
The actor is best known for his portrayal as the fashionista/costume designer Billy in the 2003 movie, but despite starring alongside the likes of Jack Black, Brian was subjected to series of homophobic abuse by school peers when the film was released.
While speaking to NowThis Entertainment, Brian said: “In the fifth grade, there was an ‘I Hate Brian’ club.
“In high school, someone sent a video around of me with the f-word. It was insulting. And I remember that was passed around, and then that kid got suspended, and then everyone was mad at me, because he got suspended.”
After suffering the abuse, Brian ended him resenting his sexuality and he says by the time he knew he was gay, he was already homophobic.
“All I knew at the time was that being gay was bad,” he added.
“It was meant to be insulting. If someone in your fifth grade class of boys called you gay, it was not cool.
“So I instantly shut it down. And so by the time that I realised that I was potentially gay, I was already homophobic.
“I replaced a lot of self-acceptance with self-repudiation and self-hatred. I wasn’t – I was the opposite of proud of who I was.
“Throughout my entire life, I never had anyone stop and tell me that it was ok to be me and even the people who supported me and loved me they just knew it was going to be difficult for me.
“I think that they wanted to change me because they knew they couldn’t change the world.
“What I’m learning now is that it’s actually the opposite. Like, we can’t change anything about the situation, but we can change how we react to the situation.”
Watch the full interview below: