Model and socialite Christian Wilkins has opened up about why he never felt the need to come out to his father, Channel 9 entertainment presenter Richard Wilkins.
Christian told News.com.au that he was “never in” the closet and disagrees with the pressure on people to reveal their sexuality.
“I have never said to either of my parents I am gay,” he said.
“I just don’t think there was ever this assumption that I was necessarily straight or that I needed to say something.
“I remember a few years ago one of my dad’s friends said to me one night that dad wanted me to come out and that he wanted me to say that I was gay to him.
“The next Monday I went into his office and shut the door. I was a little bit annoyed because I didn’t really think that was something that he [Richard Wilkins] should want.
“I said to him, ‘Why do you want me to come out?’ And he turned to me and said, ‘I honestly don’t know what you mean? If you feel the need to come out then I’m here and I want you to know that I love you, but you don’t need to do anything for me. I just want to know that you are safe.’
“I think that was such a lovely sentiment, I think that was the way that it should be.
“If you need to come out or you want to come out, then come out but you shouldn’t have to.
“I truly was never in, and I never felt the need to say ‘I am gay’ when reporters asked because it was never an issue for my family or my friends.”
The model and socialite, who refers to himself as “Prince Wilkins” on his glamorous Instagram account, said that despite his confident persona he had “always had issues with self-esteem.”
“There was a phase when I didn’t necessarily like the fact that I was gay,” he said.
“I’ve always had this weird obsession with Disney films and in these films, the magical prince always ends up with the beautiful princess.
“When I was younger, it took me time to realise I could also end up with the prince.”
“I think I am very confident but I think that confidence comes from having low self-esteem.
“I have come to a point now where I do really like myself and I like the point where I’m at but definitely when I was younger … I was a weird, loud, arty gay kid that didn’t really fit in.
“It was a long time before I ever had any romantic interest from people, and I think that definitely played with me a lot.
“I put on this mask of confidence and it just became the real thing after a while.”
The day after the “yes” vote on marriage equality last year, Richard Wilkins delivered a touching message to Christian on Channel 9’s Today program.
“It was a significant day yesterday for Australia, which has of course resonated around the world – and it was also a very profound day for my family,” he said.
“My son Christian has been a passionate advocate for marriage equality. To see the joy and relief on his face yesterday made me very happy and extremely proud of my beautiful boy.
“It feels to me like we all grew up a little bit yesterday. I love you very much darling, very proud. Thank you.”
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