Daniel Newman was protecting himself from much more than zombies for most of his life.
But The Walking Dead actor isn’t hiding anymore; he decided to publicly come out as a proud gay man this week!
The 35-year-old — who plays Daniel, a member of The Kingdom on AMC‘s horror hit — made the announcement on Twitter.
He shared the inspiring message on Thursday, writing:
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Daniel Newma├Ä┬╖ (@DanielNewman) March 30, 2017
AH-Mazing! Fantastic! Powerful!
Newman later filmed a video to thank social media users for their overwhelming support, explaining it was “just time” to share the news to the public.
The Vampire Diaries alum credited a recent trip to volunteer at a center for homeless youth as inspiration for his announcement. There, he said a woman thanked him for being a “straight” ally to the LGBT community.
When Newman corrected her by saying he was actually gay, she questioned why he wasn’t publicly out — noting he could save hundreds of lives being a visible member of the community.
This realization hit the Georgia native “like a gut punch,” prompting him to make the daunting announcement. He explained:
“I realized how important it is in this day and age to be visible. To let people who know you are├óΓé¼┬ª When you’re accomplishing incredible things and you’re hiding who you are, you’re hurting hundreds of millions of people.”
Now instead of hurting, Newman hopes that he will be helping others by sharing his story — and he’s sure as hell off to a good start!
Watch the actor’s video (below) to hear him discuss his conservative upbringing, his “incredible” boyfriend, and the powerful message he wants to share!
[Image via AMC.]