In a touching essay, the "TW" twin admitted that while he has spent years growing accustomed to his homosexuality, he has been adamant about keeping his public and private lives separate... until now.
"As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor," Charlie wrote. "It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. Over time, this abstract 'knowing' grew and articulated itself through a painful gestation marked by feelings of despair and alienation, ending in a climax of saying three words out loud: 'I am gay.'"
The San Francisco native has played a handful of homosexual characters on television, including half of the deliciously beefy (and often shirtless) twin duo on the MTV series. Not to be confused with Lydia's love Aiden (RIP), played by Charlie's twin brother Max, Ethan was openly gay on the show and had a longtime crush on fellow BHHS student Danny. (Remember that steamy motel scene in Season 3? We'll never forget.)
Now that he has come out publicly, Charlie hopes his admission will serve helpful to other young people who fear their sexuality may someday hold them back.
"Honesty is probably a great step in the right direction," he wrote. "I now believe that by omitting this part of myself from the record, I am complicit in perpetuating the suffering, fear and shame cast upon so many in the world. So now, let the record show this: I self-identify as gay. As a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say that."