Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes, who played the character of Jack McFarland in the groundbreaking hit show, has finally come out as gay following years of speculation about his sexuality.

Despite his sexuality being considered an open secret in Hollywood, the Chicago-born actor has been criticised in the past for not being more publicly forthcoming on the issue.

Now, in a new interview with The Advocate magazine, the 39 year old star has opened up for the first time, insisting that he never tried to hide the truth.

“I never have had a problem saying who I am,” Hayes said, adding: “I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never.”

He defended his position by stating: “You are your authentic self to whom and when you choose to be. And if you don’t know somebody, then why would you explain to them how you live your life?”

The magazine, which had been critical of the actor in the past, admitted that he had “never pretended to be something he wasn’t; he never walked some pretty woman down the red carpet or faked a straight relationship”.

Hayes, who said that he was happily involved, added: “I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it.”

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