Juan Pablo Di Pace discussed his decision to come out as gay.
The Argentinian actor — who plays Fernando on the Netflix show Fuller House — opened up about his sexuality during a TedX talk earlier this year, Di Pace followed up in an interview with People and revealed he’d been out privately for twenty years.
“I’ve been out for 20 years. It’s not like this is a secret that all of a sudden I needed to bring out to the surface,” he declared.
“I live my life freely. I told the most important people in my life 20 years ago, my parents and my friends and people that are close to me.
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“In the work-life, public life, it just felt like I was still omitting a piece of information because there was some kind of shame or fear there, and so, I saw this as an opportunity to also heal myself.”
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Di Pace said he felt a “responsibility” to come out publicly to help propel the discourse around equality forward, mainly because there are many regions around the world where it’s illegal to be LGBTQ.
“It is something that I was keeping, you know, quiet for a reason thinking that perhaps this in my industry was something to guard because there’s always the paranoia with artists as well,” he continued.
“Paranoia that, I don’t know if this is going to be a good piece of information because you don’t want to typecast, you want to be able to play all the colors of the rainbow.”
He continued: “I felt that I now had the responsibility to talk to people to a generation about what I found out about my life, and we all have different perspectives of life.”
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Although his “very Catholic” parents initially struggled to accept him being gay, Di Pace said it’s now “a completely different thing” and they support him wholly.
“My father can’t wait for me to get married, have my own kids,” he stated. “We have these conversations now, and it’s quite stunning, and my parents are everything to me and to see the growth in them, it’s a beautiful, beautiful development.”
All four seasons of Fuller House are available to stream on Netflix. The final season will premiere later this year.