Matt Bomer coming out: What took so long?

Bomer finally waved a white flag of surrender to a massive fan base that's been calling for him to come out for years. Why the long wait, and why now?

Talk about hiding your light under a bushel! Why do a slew of handsome stars still feel the need to pretend we don’t know they’re gay? (Previously: Lance Bass, Clay Aiken, Ricky Martin, Zachary Quinto … )

Although the story developed in stages over the past week, Matt Bomer’s coming out story went viral today. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, presumably breaking the hearts of many single ladies – and men, too, since the coming-out involved acknowledging his long-time partner, Simon Halls, and their three children. Yes, one of television’s hottest actors is officially off the market.

This past Saturday, while being recognized for New Generation Arts and Activism at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, the “White Collar” actor thanked his family, “Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry,” for “teaching [him] what unconditional love is.”

By naming his longtime partner, Simon Halls, it was 34-year-old Bomer’s first broad acknowledgment of his sexuality, following years of evasive answers to the press – despite such obstacles as widespread awareness of his lifestyle and even photos circulating of him kissing men. Kit, Walker and Henry are the couple’s children.

Last week’s OK! Magazine also indirectly outed Bomer, citing his relationship with Halls and their children after he brought up the idea of starting a charity to benefit kids.

But why did it take so long for the contented family man to admit that his home life existed? And why do today’s potential gay icons still often feel the need to hide their preferences from the public eye? In 2012, being a doting husband to your husband and raising a crop of cute kiddos isn’t exactly something to be ashamed about.

Last month, Neil Patrick Harris and “husband” David Burtka decorated the cover and pages of Out magazine’s Love Issue with a story about how they fell in love and how they continue to stay in love over time, especially as they’ve started a family (the couple has twin infants). The story received acclaim for positing stable, loving gay partnership in a frank and honest light – looking just the same as anyone else’s relationship and not threatening to overturn society as we know it.

With three adorable children and a stable relationship, Bomer could be part of yet another prominent model of the modern nuclear family at a time when all eyes are on the issue during a pivotal political moment; for example, N.Y. neighbor New Jersey is the most recent state to face the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage.

And coming out isn’t exactly going to hamper one’s career in the entertainment industry.

Upcoming appearances for the newly out-and-proud actor include starring in the movie adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” and a guest role on Fox’s “Glee.” One thing these both have in common is director/creator Ryan Murphy, who’s openly gay and professionally represented by Bomer’s partner, an entertainment agent with Slate PR.

Bomer is also signed on to share a stage with George Clooney in “8,” a play about California’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage, which was overturned last week.

And he’s even going to make an appearance in the pages of a new fictional novel, “The Wolf Gift” – though he might not know it yet. In our recent interview with Anne Rice, the supernatural author admits that her latest nonhuman protagonist, Reuben, a werewolf, is actually based on Matt Bomer. She says, “It was his beauty, his voice, his quiet manner – all of that from ‘White Collar.’ Really, I’m just a big fan.” Rice acknowledges that she’s pen pals with Jeff Eastin, executive producer of “White Collar,” and says that Bomer does not yet know he’s the muse for her wolf.

The “White Collar” actor may be a vocal advocate for marriage equality and HIV/AIDS awareness, working with foundations such as the Trevor Project and GLSEN, but could meanwhile be sending out equally strong, or even stronger, messages simply by being who he is rather than acting like he has something to hide.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.