Sean Hayes begins the revival of Will & Grace as an openly gay man.
But that was not the case during the show’s initial eight-year run – something Hayes has major regrets over.
‘You know, I never really understood – nor took the time to realize – the impact I didn’t have by keeping my life to myself,’ Hayes writes in an essay for Billboard.com for LGBT Pride Month.
‘It can be argued that one’s personal life is just that – personal – but I was helping all the hate and ignorance of the world by staying silent. I knew that everyone knew I was gay, but I hated the press hating me for not coming out on their terms.
‘The only thing I could hold over them was not actually saying the words and it drove them crazy.’
Hayes, an Emmy-winner for his role as Jack Macfarland on Will & Grace, finally came out publicly in 2010.
‘Now there is no personal battle,’ he writes. ‘I’m proud when the words “gay” or “queer” are next to my name. Because it’s not about the press – it’s about all of us. It’s about the young LGBTQ kids in the world having a voice.
‘And I realized they can have a voice – not because of a character I played on television who was gay – but because I’m gay and proud to say it, and proud to finally take the responsibility for it as well.’