When John Barrowman was a teenager, the future Torchwood star didn’t want anyone to know he was gay.
‘I didn’t tell my family until I was in my early 20s but I didn’t fret about it,’ he tells BigIssue.com. ‘I wasn’t doing anything sexual with anyone at that time anyway.’
But school dances were a bit of a problem.
‘I used to dread school dances because on the way home you were expected to make out with a girl, give them a pet, and I really didn’t want to do it,’ he says. ‘But outside of that I was happy to go out with girls and they liked me. They had this good-looking guy on their arm and he was no threat at all – I just told them their shoes looked fabulous and their dress was great.’
The Arrow star kept up the dating girls charade and began to live something of a double life.
‘I still had a girlfriend right up to college,’ he admits. ‘If I could go back I’d say to myself, look John, just call it off.’
Things did get tricky at times.
‘I was doing a show and I was secretly seeing the Spanish dancer guy in the same show and my girlfriend showed up to surprise me. Stefanie Powers was in the show and I ran down to her dressing room in a panic, saying, Marilyn’s just shown up, what should I do? She said, just tell her you’re in love with me. And that’s when I realized it was all a bit ridiculous. So after the show I told Marilyn the truth, I just sat her down and told her. And that was that.’