Model and Instagram star Derek Chadwick comes out
Model, actor and Instagram celebrity Derek Chadwick has publicly come out as gay for the first time in an interview with Gay Times.
The August cover star opened up about his sexuality to the magazine, explaining that his parents were “not very accepting” when he first told them he is gay – and that he hopes that his coming out will help other people.
“Coming out in this way allows me to use the privilege that I have to help other people who don’t have that,” the Scream Queens actor told Gay Times.
“The opportunities that I’ve been given to have a voice. I feel like that was the main reason why I wanted to do this cover. I want to be the person that’s at those rallies and events advocating for people and anybody. I never felt that I could do that unless I did this, and I think this is a major way for people to see visible queer people.”
The 23-year old, who was brought up in New York City, has 277,000 followers on Instagram. He’s also had acting roles in Blue Bloods (2010) and Experimenter (2015).
Chadwick continued: “If I can just inspire one person, whoever that is, to be their true self or do something they were scared to do or didn’t feel 100 percent confident in, that would be the most rewarding part of all this.
“Helping that one person, they can then go on and hopefully help someone else that’s in the same situation as them, and it’ll keep going on and on. Being honest and being who you are is always the best way to live.”
However, the star, who now lives in Los Angeles, admitted he first struggled to come to terms with his sexuality.
“I felt it (‘gay shame’) on the most personal level that you could feel it because my parents were, at first, not very accepting of it (being gay) at all. I came out to my mom and step-dad, and I remember my mom saying that she thought I was straight,” he said.
“I have a very private life, and because I haven’t been out, I’ve been nervous about people seeing my personality because I didn’t want them to jump to conclusions about me without knowing my whole story.”
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“That’s what has made me cautious on social media to begin with – to reveal the real me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chadwick discussed LGBT+ representation, saying: ““It’s important to showcase the diversity in our community now. It’s important for young people to see that not everybody is the same.”
yoooo this is so unreal!! so stoked to be on the august cover of @gaytimesmag so proud of this cover and so grateful for the support i’ve gotten over the last year. riding this wave has been filled with so many new experiences. thank you to everyone who supports and allows opportunities like this for me to grow. ♂️ gaytimes.co.uk/buy photography: @ryanpfluger stylist: @cryoungin words: @wjconnolly hair: @_sirsa_ grooming: @ginadaddona
“People feel that if they look a certain way or act a certain way they won’t be able to accomplish the goals they have. There should be a pre-setting that you can do whatever you want, but you can also be who you fully are, too – and still be successful.”
Posting about the Gay Times cover on Instagram, Chadwick wrote: “So proud of this cover and so grateful for the support i’ve gotten over the last year [sic].
“Riding this wave has been filled with so many new experiences. thank you to everyone who supports and allows opportunities like this for me to grow [sic].”