Actor Hugh Sheridan opens up about sexuality, says he has been with men and women
Australian actor Hugh Sheridan has spoken about his sexuality after years of public speculation, saying he has been with both men and women but does not like to label himself.
Writing in Stellar Magazine, 35-year-old Sheridan, best-known for his role in Packed to the Rafters, said he had a ‘duty’ to speak out in order to help others who were struggling to ‘figure themselves out’.
He revealed he was in a relationship with a man when he was younger but was told it would hurt his acting career if people thought he was gay or bisexual.
He spoke about being relentlessly bullied while at school in Adelaide, and being screamed at by an adult that he was ‘not normal’ to have a girl as a close friend during camp.
When his relationship with the man broke down he started seeing a woman, but was too embarrassed to tell anyone about his past.
“After moving to Sydney to attend NIDA, I finally met a guy who I connected with emotionally, mentally and physically,” he said.
“I was over the moon — I could finally be what people always wanted me to be, so I told everyone.
“In return, I was told that if I was anything but straight I’d never find work, and that I needed to hide my new-found love.
“To add to the confusion, the two mentors who told me this were openly gay themselves; they were earnestly trying to protect me and did indeed have my best interests at heart. That was just the reality.”
Sheridan was diagnosed with COVID-19 after returning from the United States earlier this year.
He told Stellar lockdown gave him a chance to reflect and he decided he wanted to stick up for people who ‘didn’t pick a label’ when it came to who they loved.
“I’ve never felt I really knew who I was and I didn’t like the sounds of the labels that people were giving me so I decided to say nothing. But lockdown gave me time to reflect and it occurred to me that no-one ever sticks up for people who don’t pick a label,” he said.
“Where’s the person who’s older than me who stepped out and said, ‘Some people are working things out slower than others’?
“I want to be that person and speak on behalf of people who feel like they’re in that grey area.
“As I get to know someone romantically, I’m not interested in their age, gender, sexuality, or religion. I’m interested in connecting on a human level. Sexuality has always been very secondary to me. In a way, I now feel very blessed.”