'Pretty Little Liars' star Tyler Blackburn comes out as bisexual: 'I just want to live my truth'
Tyler Blackburn has taken a huge step to 'feel free' from the burden of worrying about what other people think about him.
The 32-year-old actor, best known for his role of Caleb Rivers on 'Pretty Little Liars,' opened up about his sexuality and has revealed that he is queer in an interview with The Advocate.
"I got bullied a lot by other boys, and I just felt like my soul was slowly being taken from me," he revealed in the interview. "I ended up eating lunch in my biology classroom in 10th grade, and I had no one to talk to. You form a shell around yourself for protection. And you start to make decisions based off of things outside of what you want and who you are," he explained.
Describing his ordeal as 'soul crushing', he recalled a time when he forced himself to become silent in order to feel safe from the oppression and bullying. But things have changed for the actor, who stated that in order to be "as happy as possible, as free as possible," he is ready to tell the world who he is.
"I'm queer. I've identified as bisexual since a teenager," he revealed. "I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart."
In the past, the actor has had long term relationships with women but he confesses that he always had an "underlying curiosity" about men but felt pressure to conform.
"I heard so many things from within the queer community about bisexuality being a cop-out or bulls**t or the easy way out or something, and that always stuck with me because I felt the pressure from all sides to have [my sexuality] figured out. And I think for the longest time, I suppressed more of my attraction to me," he opened up.
"It wasn’t until my late 20s, towards the end of Pretty Little Liars, that I really allowed myself to go there and not just wonder about it or lust over it, but experience that vulnerability and experience the emotional aspect of what it is to be bisexual," he disclosed.
If you are wondering, why now? Then here's the answer; Blackburn was cast as a gay war veteran and amputee in the CW series 'Roswell,' New Mexico. Blackburn decided to come out to the show's creator, Carina Adly MacKenzie, while filming the pilot episode.
"I knew this guy in and out," he related to his character. "I understood feeling oppressed. I understood having issues with my father [and wanting to feel] accepted by him. I understood wanting something but being afraid to have it. I understood self-doubt."
After years of trying, Blackburn said he was "tired of caring so much" and wanted to live his truth.
"I just want to live my truth and feel OK with experiencing love and experiencing self-love," he said. "Yes, there is an element of, I want to feel like it’s OK to hold my boyfriend’s hand as I’m walking down the street, and not worry. Is someone going to look and be like, 'Whoa, is that guy from that show? I didn’t know that [he was queer.]'"
His coming out is only the first step and he is still figuring out where exactly he fits.
"Just because you decide 'I am this thing' doesn’t mean you immediately feel like you fit into that thing," he said. "That’s another part of the journey that I still don’t always know how to navigate, but I’m feeling more courageous and fortified to explore," he concluded adding that he actually wants to "feel free."