Matt Bomer opened up about going to a rural Texas high school as a gay kid.

Matt Bomer wasn't always a confident leading man strutting down red carpets and snagging Emmy nominations.

In high school, the A-lister was like many of us: desperately trying to make it through in one piece.

Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for GLSEN.


For the actor — and millions of other LGBTQ people — that meant burying a big part of his identity early on.

Sitting down with Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live" to promote his new series, Amazon's "The Last Tycoon," Bomer opened up about compartmentalizing his life as a gay teenager.

"When you were in high school," Cohen asked. "Did you know that you were gay?"

“On some level, yeah," Bomer answered. "But I think to protect myself at a semi-rural public high school in Texas, I was sort of like, ‘well, I’ll put this off to the side right now.'"

"I was definitely operating from a place of just being able to survive,” Bomer said.

Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images.

Bomer came out later, in college, in large part thanks to seeing and being around other out and proud LGBTQ people.

"I was working at the Utah Shakespeare Festival [after graduating from high school]," Bomer noted. "I was inspired by all the artists I saw there who were just living their lives really openly.”

In 2011, Bomer married publicist Simon Halls, and the pair have three children together.

Being openly LGBTQ as a teen may be more common now than when Bomer was in school, but the actor's comments touch on a point about representation that's still relevant today.

Research suggests young LGBTQ people actively search out role models they can relate to in order to make up for a lack of social support their straight and cisgender (not transgender) peers benefit from. With fewer or less visible role models, closeted LGBTQ kids may struggle to see themselves — and their future selves — in the world around them.

And that's why Bomer — who admitted to signing up to play football in order to "cover [his] tracks" for taking part in the high school play — has continued using the spotlight to speak out about LGBTQ visibility in the media.

Photo by D. Dipasupil/Getty Images.

Shortly after publicly coming out in February 2012, Bomer was honored with the Inspiration Award from GLSEN, a nonprofit aimed at creating safe and affirming schools for all LGBTQ kids in the U.S.

"When you aren't allowed to speak about who you are, one of the most authentic parts of who you are — which is who you love or who you're attracted to — feels invisible," Bomer said while accepting his award. "GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country."

Now, under the threats of a new administration willing to take away the rights of transgender students, GLSEN's work is more crucial than ever.

Learn more about and get involved with GLSEN, and watch Bomer's interview on "Watch What Happens Live" below.

Cohen asked about Bomer's high school experience at about the 5:25 mark.

True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
True

When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

Keep Reading Show less

Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


Keep Reading Show less