Anderson -- one of Kristin Cavallari's best friends who was a regular on her reality series -- took to Instagram on Wednesday to send a message to his fans ... and a few of his critics.
"For whatever reason I've always felt so comfortable sharing so much here on instagram. i feel like i've got a solid group of buddies enjoying the ride here with me," he began. "i root people on, i try to make people laugh and i try to make everyone feel included here on instagram, but i'm gonna be open and honest and say that i wasn’t prepared for yesterday's emotions."
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"to the people showing love and support - thank you. to the people sharing their own stories of adoption - i appreciate and respect you," he continued. "to the people from private accounts saying negative things - go kick rocks on the freeway, you're not welcome here."
Anderson went on to say the choices he made in the past definitely play a role in who he is today, though they don't "necessarily define" him.
"i am strong because i have struggled, i am wise because i have made mistakes, i am accepting and full of love because i have experienced otherwise," he added. "my sister and @caitlinrounds sent me this kid pic of me last night and it just reminded me that i’ll always be the sweet little justin that always wanted everyone to smile and laugh and get along."
He concluded the post with a heart emoji, adding, "xoxoDad."
Cavallari was one of the many who supported Anderson in the comments, writing, "You are nothing but pure light and love Justin. We all are lucky to have a little piece of you."
"90210" star Jennie Garth also added, "i just love you."
During an appearance on the "Scissoring Isn't a Thing" podcast this week, Anderson revealed for the first time publicly that he placed a child for adoption nearly 20 years ago. He said he and his high school girlfriend got pregnant after she visited him in college freshman year.
Anderson explained "there was no talk of abortion" when they found out she was pregnant, as both of them were raised in Mormon homes.
"So we found this beautiful couple. It was an open adoption. We had our son Tyler. I was in the hospital room. I'm 18 by the way," he recalled. "We hand our baby over to the family. And I drive back to college by myself and life goes on."
Anderson would come out as gay just a couple years later, during his junior year of college, he revealed. He, his siblings and his parents also eventually left the Mormon church -- and, years later, he reconnected with his son, who reached out to him via social media. They have since met up for dinner in person with their families and have stayed in touch.