Matt Bomer is one of those names in Hollywood who seem to have it all. He’s talented, he’s handsome, and he’s extremely kind and personable. However, the road to happiness hasn’t always been easy – there were years where he was unable to live his truth, and there’s nothing that hinders one’s potential more than that.
For Matt, however, the journey to being able to live his truth gave him strength and allowed him time to build compassion. He started by coming out to himself, then to his loved ones, and then – for him – the hardest part was over. He had the people he loved beside him.
Andrew Rannell interviewed Matt recently for OUT Magazine and Matt talked about living in Texas, hiding his sexuality, and how he finally came out to his family and the people he cared about most.
While living in Texas, Matt had to keep secrets, and in doing so – and putting on a facade of sorts, he actually learned to act. Small town life in the bible belt wasn’t easy for him, in fact, it was incredibly hard, but he learned to protect himself and lived his life the best way that he could.
Matt: One of the ways I learned how to act, really, is by having secrets, and having to function as a kid in a public school in suburban Bible Belt Texas. Subsequently, I worked on a gas pipeline with my brother for a while — there were ex-cons with us. It was not an environment where it was safe to be gay.
Andrew: With that face, you worked on a pipeline? Did you put on an eyepatch or something? A goatee?
Matt: No, but I did learn how to protect myself — it was literally acting of the highest stakes. I had my brother to protect me, but as terrible as it may sound, it was a way I learned to select behavior and make choices, even if it was a ruse just to survive, you know?
On coming out to himself, Matt said it happened when he met someone working on the set of Romeo and Juliet and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He thought, if they could do it – he could do it too.
“I remember someone there who was a hair and makeup artist who I found really inspiring. I thought, ‘If this person can live their truth, what am I doing?‘”
On coming out to his loved ones, Matt said that for a while, his parents were ‘radio silent’ and didn’t give him any response to the letter he wrote to them. It wasn’t totally unexpected, but it was hard nonetheless.
Matt: I wrote a letter to my parents. I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person.
Andrew: How did they respond?
Matt: There was radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months.
Andrew: Oh, Jesus. That is a long time.
MB: And then I came home and we had the blow up that I’d always feared. But we got that out of the way, and we got down to the business of figuring out how to love each other. I would say within a matter of years we started to figure it out. It was a struggle. It’s a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and set of beliefs and understandings and completely flip the script. So I’m empathetic toward everyone. And my family is so loving. My mom just asked me, [my husband] Simon, and the boys to go down and speak to her women’s group in Houston so, you know, I’m here to tell people it can get better. Because I had so many people in my life saying, “You need to get rid of all expectations — you need to cut them out.” But I was like, “They’re my family.”
To read more of Matt’s story, check out his interview here in its entirety.
‘…but I knew him’