“The Walking Dead” actor Daniel Newman publicly came out on Twitter on Thursday.
Newman, 36, plays Daniel, a soldier of the colony The Kingdom, on the post-apocalyptic show. He announced in a tweet that he is “#OUTandProud” and encouraged people to be proud of who they are.
— Daniel Newmaη (@DanielNewman) March 30, 2017
The actor followed up the tweet with a YouTube video explaining he decided to be open about his sexuality after volunteering at a homeless shelter. He says a young LGBT person mistook him for straight and he was shocked. After he explained he was gay, she asked why he had never been open to the public.
“It hit me like a gut punch. It felt like someone knocked the wind out from me,” Newman says in the video. “And I realized how important it is in this day and age to be visible – to let people who know you are.”
Newman admits he felt pressured to stay closeted for the sake of his career but now just wants to be himself.
“I’m an actor. The whole world, the industry, is like ‘here’s your big break, you’re on ‘The Walking Dead,’ you can’t come out, you can’t be in the press, because everything you work so hard for is going to be gone – there’s no gay or bi leading men, no action heroes, your career’s going to be over,’” Newman says. “I don’t care. Because I know what’s right.”
“The Walking Dead” season finale airs on Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.