Photo Credit: Simon Russell/Getty Images
Matt Bomer, the star of White Collar, spoke publicly about being gay for the first time this Saturday while accepting an award. The 34-year-old actor thanked his partner Simon Halls and their three children after being presented with the New Generation Arts and Activism Award at Saturday's Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards.
"I'd really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry," said Bomer at the end of his emotional speech. "Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment."
Bomer, a Texas-born actor who got his start on soap operas, has been coy about discussing his sexuality since rising to fame with USA's White Collar in 2009. In a Details interview from 2010, Bomer was asked directly about speculation that he was gay, and refused to confirm or deny it.
"I don't care about that at all," said the actor. "I'm completely happy and fulfilled in my personal life."
When pressed by the interviewer, Bomer said that he was worried about being "too trusting" now that he had "a network and a show riding on my shoulders."
Likewise, during a guest-hosting gig on the Today show with Hoda Kotbe last March, Bomer was asked how he juggles his career with three young children -- and his careful answer made no mention of his partner. (Watch the video below; it's at the 4:35 mark.)
On the other hand, Bomer's sexuality has never exactly been a secret. Curious fans needed to look no further than Bomer's Wikipedia page, which identifies his partner by name. Bomer also frequently brings Simon Halls, a Hollywood publicist, as his date to events like the Golden Globes -- at which, you might have noticed, there are tons of cameras.
Even though Bomer opened up at the Steve Chase Awards (where he was being honored for his efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS), it's too soon to tell if he's ready to share his personal life with his many fans. Jodie Foster had a similar "coming out" at an awards show in 2007, thanking her then-partner Cydney Bernard in her acceptance speech -- but she remains fiercely private about her personal life. It could be that both Foster and Bomer are just trying to protect their families from media scrutiny which, in the case of young children, makes perfect sense. But it's nice to see Bomer finally acknowledge the man he loves, without pausing to worry about his pronouns.