Garrett Clayton, a 27-year-old former Disney star who once played real-life gay porn star Brent Corrigan in the 2016 film King Cobra and has since starred in other movies, came out today in an Instagram post. The post placed Clayton’s coming out in the context of his 2018 film REACH, about a drug-addicted gay teenager who stands up a suicidal kid bullied by his peers. News of Garrett Clayton coming out included the name of his boyfriend, Blake Knight, a screenwriting MFA student enrolled at California State University Northridge.
In this ‘Garrett Clayton coming out’ Instagram post, the actor wrote:
“With the release of my new movie REACH coming up, I thought it was important to explain why I took on this project in the first place. REACH deals with some very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally, and have likely influenced many of your lives as well. (I also prefer to share things that are particularly important for me here on my [Instagram]) instead of in some random magazine or online article — because you are the ones that have been rooting for me and following me on my professional and personal journey in life.
“When I read the script for REACH, I immediately knew it was a film I had to be a part of. I have personally dealt with suicide within my own family, intense bullying in high school, and — on top of it all — myself and the man I’ve been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events. These topics — not always easy to discuss — are all close to my heart, and, knowing how serious they are, I wanted to share this with you all. This film has come from the perspectives of people who care deeply about these issues, and if watching it helps even one person … then it was all worth it. ♥️
Clayton played Blake, a rebellious teen forced to live with his father after the death of his mother in the 2012 Lifetime movie Holiday Spin. He also played Tanner, a cool surfer, in the 2013 Disney Channel Original Movie Teen Beach Movie and reprised the role in its 2015 sequel, Teen Beach 2.
Clayton also starred as Chase, a high school senior who recruits another girl to join the theater department, in the first season of The Fosters (a series which has one of the few trans male characters ever to appear on TV). He also played Link Larkin, the love interest in the December 2016 NBC television broadcast of Hairspray Live!, a musical based on queer director John Waters‘ 1988 film Hairspray.
REACH will hit theaters on Oct. 19, 2018.