Matt Bomer Says His 'First Acting Role' Was Pretending to Be Straight: 'I Created a Character to Survive'

Beau Grealy for MR PORTER

Matt Bomer may be out, but he understands how, even today, that's still a difficult choice to make.

The White Collar star opens up about sexuality in Hollywood in a new interview with the Mr. Porter journal, where he shares that many of his friends and colleagues in the industry have yet to come out.

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"I have dear friends who are [still in the closet]," the 39-year-old actor reveals. "As an artist, the last thing you want is one label to identify you. You want to be able to have complete freedom over your identity."

In his own career, Bomer has been fortunate to still find work after coming out.

“I’ve had some rough experiences, but I’ve also been blessed with generosity of spirit and artistic openness that maybe some people won’t ever get to experience because of who I am, so I can’t complain," he says. "The artists that I want to work with don’t have stigmas anyway.”

MORE: Matt Bomer Says Hiding His Sexuality Taught Him How to Act: 'It Was a Struggle'

But it wasn't always easy for Bomer, who tells the publication that his "first role" was pretending to be straight during his upbringing in Spring, Texas.

"I created a character in order for me to survive," he explains. In his family life, Bomer has benefited from a strengthened relationship with his parents since coming out.

“It’s night and day," he shares. "When you’re a family, you just table [put to one side] certain things in order to get to the business of loving each other. I feel very, very thankful to have the family that I do."

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