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Actor Thomas Dekker, who rose to prominence with appearances on the TV shows Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has come out as gay, and married.

The actor took to Instagram to publicly declare his sexuality after rumours about his departure from Heroes re-emerged, and claimed that he has been ‘outed’ by Bryan Fuller, a writer on the show.

Dekker played Zach, best friend of Hayden Panettiere’s character, during the first two seasons of Heroes before exiting abruptly with no explanation.

Dekker’s note to fans read: “My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to ‘out’ me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots.

“While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier.”

My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to “out” me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots. While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier. I have never lied to the press about the fluidity of my sexuality but this man claiming that I came out is not true. Because I have not “officially” until this moment. I simply refuse to be robbed of the glorious joy that belongs to me. To say the words myself. “I’m gay”. Those words are a badge of honor that no one can steal. Sexuality and who you love is a deeply personal and complicated thing. For some of us, it takes time to cultivate, discover and conclude. It is not something anyone should ever be ashamed of and certainly not something anyone should be rushed into. I agree with many who believe it is an important responsibility for LGBTQ persons with a platform to come out. It has the power to change minds, challenge beliefs and make others feel understood and supported. It can strengthen the progression of our community and help disarm those who discriminate against us. It is a brave, powerful and important thing to do but it is also a deeply personal decision. One that should only be made when you are ready. If we are to stand strong in the gay community, our mission should be support, not exclusion; love, not shame. I choose not to look back on the past with a regretful heart but rather focus on the future with a hopeful one. A future where myself and all others can feel free to express their true selves with honor and dignity. I embrace you, any of you, with open arms, kindness, faith and patience. For all of you who have supported me, before and now, I thank you from the bottom of my fledgling heart. Be proud of who you are. No matter how long it takes.

A post shared by Thomas Dekker (@thomas.dekker) on

Dekker wrote that he has “never lied” about his sexuality. He continued: “I simply refuse to be robbed of the glorious joy that belongs to me. To say the words myself. “I’m gay”. Those words are a badge of honor that no one can steal. Sexuality and who you love is a deeply personal and complicated thing. For some of us, it takes time to cultivate, discover and conclude. It is not something anyone should ever be ashamed of and certainly not something anyone should be rushed into.

“I agree with many who believe it is an important responsibility for LGBTQ persons with a platform to come out. It has the power to change minds, challenge beliefs and make others feel understood and supported. It can strengthen the progression of our community and help disarm those who discriminate against us. It is a brave, powerful and important thing to do but it is also a deeply personal decision. One that should only be made when you are ready.”

Bryan Fuller, who worked on the fantasy from the outset, admitted at Outfest this week that a gay storyline never went ahead on Heroes because of major drama backstage with an unnamed actor.

“The gay character was het-washed after the actor’s management threatened to pull him from the show if [the character] were gay,” said the producer.

While there’s no confirmation as to which character Fuller was talking about, at the time the show was on the air, many viewers believed that Zach, played by Dekker, was gay.

The behind the scenes drama was mentioned at the time by Heroes creator Tim Kring in 2007, who said:  “It was certainly not our intention to confuse the issue of Zach’s character being gay. We have too much respect for our audience to do that intentionally. However, it has simply become too complicated behind the scenes to push this issue further with this particular character.”

Shortly after his departure from the series, Dekker shared a blog post denying the rumours, and insisting that what happened was simply down to “confusion and last minute decisions”.

He wrote: “I, nor my management have ever had any kind of problem with creating a gay character. What transpired on Heroes is something far more complicated than anyone being “afraid” to make Zach homosexual.

“The character that I created in the beginning of the show, a process I take very seriously, was based on Zach being an outcast who had a burning love for Claire, a crush that drew him to her and effected every ounce of his self-esteem around her.

“I created the character that way because it was WRITTEN IN THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT that he was in love with Claire. I was not informed in the beginning of the series, of any planned character arc, because I was told there wasn’t one.

“What ensued later was a combination of miscommunication, confusion, surprise and last minute decisions, not a knee jerk reaction from me or my team,” added the actor.

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