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Tyler Blackburn is sharing a new part of himself with the world: He is bisexual. The actor opened up about his sexuality in an interview with The Advocate published on Friday (April 19).
“I’m queer,” he said. “I’ve identified as bisexual since a teenager.”
Over the course of his acting career, even with extremely popular roles in Pretty Little Liars and Roswell, New Mexico, Blackburn has avoided publicly discussing this piece of his identity — until now. “I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart,” he added.
It took some time for Blackburn to get to this new space of comfort, having been bullied in high school for, as the outlet wrote, “being effeminate,” and later feeling like he had to know which side of the binary he identified with — gay or straight — before exploring his “underlying curiosity” about men.
“I heard so many things from within the queer community about bisexuality being a cop-out or bullshit 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,” Blackburn said. It wasn’t until his late 20s, he added, that he allowed himself to “experience that vulnerability and experience the emotional aspect of what it is to be bisexual.”
The 32-year-old doesn’t have everything figured out yet. He added that he’s still getting comfortable exploring this new, open space he’s in. “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.”
For now, Blackburn is ready for a deep exhale. “I’m so tired of caring so much. I just want to live my truth and feel OK with experiencing love and experiencing self-love,” he said, admitting that, sure, part of him wants to be able to own his truth before curious eyes recognize him out and about with a man on his arm.
But that’s just one piece of what Blackburn truly wants. “My goal above everything is to feel as happy as possible. As free as possible. I don’t just mean happy, like, ‘I’m laughing all day, every day.’ That’s actually insane. That’s impossible,” he said. “What I mean is, I want to feel free.”