Sean Hayes thinks he ‘should’ve come out sooner’
Will & Grace star Sean Hayes was honoured as an LGBT ‘trailblazer’ this weekend, but has admitted that he still regrets not coming out while the show was still on the air.
Hayes was presented with an award at the Outfest Legacy Awards on Sunday October 23rd, and received a standing ovation for his emotional acceptance speech, during which he said that he is “consumed by what [he] didn’t do.”
“I was a young closeted actor having his first taste of a little success and unfortunately, in my mind, my lucky break was inextricably tied to me thinking that i had to stay in the closet in order to keep moving forward,” Hayes told the crowd.
“When it comes to night’s like tonight and honours like this, I’m consumed with what I didn’t do.”
Hayes has been popular among the LGBT community ever since his role as Jack McFarland in Will & Grace, which ran from 1998 to 2006.
While the character was very much out of the closet, Hayes himself didn’t publicly open up about his sexuality until 2010, when the show had finished airing.
“I know I should’ve come out sooner and I’m sorry for that. Especially when I think about the possibility that I might have made a difference in someone’s life.
“I would probably be able to sleep a lot better than I do if I had acted sooner, but such is life. We learn our lessons only when we are ready.”
He joined the rest of the Will & Grace cast for a special election-themed reunion episode that took on Donald Trump, and he’ll next be on screens alongside Kristin Chenoweth and Ariana Grande in NBC’s Hairspray Live.