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Dear White People star Griffin Matthews told vicious ‘lies’ about his sexuality by religion

Patrick Kelleher November 26, 2020
Griffin Matthews Dear White People

Griffin Matthews said religion had told him "lies" about his sexuality (Debra L Rothenberg/Getty)

Dear White People star Griffin Matthews has said that religion told him “lies” about his sexuality when he was growing up gay.

The actor, who plays D’Unte on the hit Netflix series, told The Advocate about his struggle to come to terms with his sexuality – and how religion impacted on his ability to accept himself.

Matthews, 38, opened up about how his mother was “shocked” when he came out as gay when he was 23-years-old.

His mother told Matthews that she brought him to a therapist when he was just two-years-old. After he came out, Matthews’ mother told him: “The therapist said to me, there’s nothing wrong with him, let him be himself.”

Speaking about his sexuality, Matthews said: “This is not something that I came up with in college because I went to drama school. I’ve always been like this. And so I think that was the start of me really… accepting that I’ve been told some lies about myself through religion”.

Matthews went on to speak about his close relationship with his family, saying they have spent hours talking over Zoom since the pandemic began.

“We are having some of the most intense family conversations we’ve ever had because of everything that’s going on in the world, including about my childhood and my sexuality and what I went through in school,” Matthews said.

“I don’t think my parents, they had not really understood what I went through in high school, being Black and gay.”

Dear White People star Griffin Matthews wants to eradicate the pressure on male actors to be ‘butch’.

Griffin Matthews said he and other people he went to school with spent years “trying to be butch” before coming out as LGBT+ after graduating.

He said many queer people carry the baggage of that experience into adulthood, where they end up “playing catch up” while trying to accept themselves and “get muscles”.

I think that was the start of me really… accepting that I’ve been told some lies about myself through religion.

The gay actor hopes that the pressure on men to be “butch” in Hollywood will soon be eradicated – and he insisted that progress has been made.

“Do I think that Hollywood has made progress? I do. I think there are many, many, many more steps forward. And I pray that I’m a part of those steps.

“I don’t want to be the only D’Unte. There better be many, many more behind,” he said.

More: Dear White People, Griffin Matthews

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