"Walking Dead" actor Daniel Newman came out as gay on Twitter Thursday night and posted a lengthy explanation on YouTube, detailing his experiences that led up to the big announcement.
"It hit me like a gut punch. It felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me," Newman said about an encounter he had with a young woman at a homeless center, who thanked him for supporting the LGBTQ community despite being heterosexual. Newman corrected her and told her that he was gay. "I realized how important it is in this day and age to be visible; have people know who you are."
"When you are accomplishing incredible things and you are hiding who you are, you are hurting hundreds of millions of people," he said.
"By us staying quiet, we're partially to blame for kids getting beat up and ridiculed, stereotypes and stigmas. I grew up in an Irish Catholic family, a farm town in Georgia in the South, and it wasn't even about homophobia or anything -- you just keep your private life private. So that's the way I've always been. But now is not the time any longer to keep it private."
Newman revealed that he didn't have any reservations about coming out over possible ramifications on his career, and reiterated the importance of a community pulling together to effect change for the greater good.
In addition to his recurring role on AMC's "The Walking Dead," Newman also had roles on "The Vampire Diaries," "Sex and the City" and "Homeland."
Watch his emotional video below.