This post is also available in: Español
Joey Pollari — the former Disney star who plays the love interest of the closeted protagonist in the new film Love, Simon — came out to the world in a new interview with The Advocate on Tuesday.
“His experience was similar to mine,” claimed the 23-year-old.
Pollari first came out as gay at age 18 to friends and family, but stay closeted in the public eye. “I think all my friends and family knew on some level. I think maybe two people were shocked,” he revealed.
“The only part that was difficult was me coming out to myself. And I think that is the most difficult coming out,” he said. His mother had been “waiting for a very, very long time” to hear her son speak those words. “My mom knew. She laid hints for me everywhere,” he said.
“A lot of the trouble was self shame. I do believe a system of power, of patriarchy, of masculinity did impact me,” he reflected, adding, “The greatest difficulty I found was that it didn’t match my idea of myself. It seemed incongruent with the future I imagined for myself, the identity I had struck up with others. The interplay between me and women, me and men, now suddenly seemed entirely different. That just didn’t seem fair or right.”
Luckily, he came around and found out that his greatest fears were truly unfounded. “While it does have a big impact on [my] identity, it doesn’t in the ways that I thought it would,” he said. Now that he’s out, he realizes that for him at least, it’s not that big of a deal. “On the other side, it’s a lot plainer than I thought.”