Chris Colfer Recalls Moment He Knew He 'Had to Come Out' as Gay After He Was Told to Never Address His Sexuality

The actor portrayed Kurt Hummel in 'Glee' throughout its six-season run from 2009 to 2015

<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty </p> Chris Colfer in 2024

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Chris Colfer in 2024

Chris Colfer doesn't regret being true to himself.

During an appearance on The View on Tuesday, June 4, the Glee alum spoke about his coming out journey — and the moment that changed everything for him.

Colfer, 34, grew up in the very conservative town of Clovis, California — a place he said is “dangerous” to reside as an openly gay person. When he joined the cast of Glee to play Kurt Hummel, he was told his role was written for him.

“When I read the script for the first time is when I saw it was an openly gay character and I was terrified,” he shared on the daytime show.

Related: Jane Lynch Says She Would 'Absolutely' Revisit Glee’s Sue Sylvester: It 'Was a Big Deal' (Exclusive)

<p>Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images</p> Chris Colfer in 2024

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Chris Colfer in 2024

As Colfer started filming Glee, he was warned against coming out because he was told it would “ruin” his career. “And so I hid for a little bit but I also told them, ‘I can’t hide it, with my voice — I’m more effeminate than most people, I can’t hide it.’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry. As long as you never address it, you’ll be rewarded for it in the end,’” he recalled.

However, a brief but meaningful interaction with a fan while on a poster-signing tour changed his mind.

"I remember, we went on this big poster-signing tour right before the show came out and this little boy secretly slipped me an envelope when his parents weren’t looking," he recalled. "And I opened it up and there was a little note that said ‘Thank you.’ And there was a little paper clip chain that was the colors of the rainbow."

"In that moment, I knew I had to come out. That’s more important," he added. "At the time, I was thinking, 'If I'm an openly gay actor, I may never win a major award, I may never get to play a superhero, but I think being a beacon of positivity and providing that comfort for people is way more important than attention."

<p>FOX Image Collection via Getty</p> Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel in glee

FOX Image Collection via Getty

Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel in glee

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Colfer ultimately came out publicly in December 2009 during an appearance on Chelsea Lately. His character on Glee was important to LGBTQ representation at the time, as Kurt was one of the first openly gay characters on primetime television.

His character was involved in a plot point where he transferred to a private school after being bullied for his sexuality. Kurt ultimately falls for Darren Criss' Blaine Anderson, whom he married in the show's sixth and final season.

Related: Darren Criss Celebrates 10 Years Since His First Appearance on Glee

In addition to winning a Golden Globe, Colfer was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Grammy Award for his performance as Kurt. He recently made headlines in March when his cover of “Rose’s Turn” for the hit show was in the No. 3 position of Billboard’s TikTok chart as part of a new meme.

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Glee is streaming in full on Hulu.

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