The actor says he struggled with a sense of shame, despite having played gay characters twice.
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

16 Mar 2018 - 11:14 AM  UPDATED 16 Mar 2018 - 11:14 AM

An actor from the film Love, Simon has come out as gay.

Joey Pollari, who plays Lyle, a Waffle House employee, came out during an interview with The Advocate, saying there were clear parallels between his experience and that of the film's protagonist, Simon (played by Nick Robinson).

“His experience was similar to mine,” Pollari said. “The only part that was difficult was me coming out to myself. And I think that is the most difficult coming-out."

Pollari also admitted that his mother wasn't surprised by the news and been "waiting for a very, very long time."

“My mom knew. She laid hints for me everywhere,” he said.

He added: “I think all my friends and family knew on some level. I think maybe two people were shocked."

Pollari, who has played a gay character once before in TV series American Crime, said he struggled with a sense of shame before coming out.

“A lot of the trouble was self-shame. I do believe a system of power, of patriarchy, of masculinity did impact me,” Pollari admitted to The Advocate.

“The greatest difficulty I found was that it didn’t match my idea of myself. It seemed incongruent with the future I imagined for myself, the identity I had struck up with others," he said.

He continued: "The interplay between me and women, me and men, now suddenly seemed entirely different. That just didn’t seem fair or right.”

Love, Simon has also had an impact on other members of the cast, with actor Nick Robinson, who plays the lead role of Simon in the film, this week revealing that his younger brother came out to him during the film's production.

“He came out around the same time we started filming, yeah," Robinson told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show.

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"When my father suggested we see the film together, I was equal parts thrilled and mortified. I was terrified of the conversation that might ensue, knowing that my father’s response to it would be somewhat indicative of his underlying views on homosexuality and, by extension — me."

"I think that he had been dealing with this for a long time and the timing was coincidental, but one of the best things that came out of this movie was being able to talk to him.”