Daniel Newman, a 35-year-old actor (and a mighty good looking one, if we may add) who appeared on The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and several other movies and TV shows, decided to openly come out as gay this week (he later clarified that he’s bisexual) – despite warnings it might damage his career.

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“When you’re doing incredible things and hiding who you are, you are hurting hundreds of millions of people”, he said in an emotional video posted on his official YouTube channel.

Daniel Newman the walking dead
Photo: AMC

Daniel Newman plays a member of “The Kingdom” on The Walking Dead. Yesterday, he posted a tweet saying he is “Out and Proud”, with the #LGBT hashtag. “Love you guys”, he wrote, “Be proud to be yourself…”

Later that day, Daniel posted a video, thanking his fans for all the incredible support he’s been getting following his coming out, and explaining why he decided to do it, despite being from an Irish Catholic family in Georgia.

“It was just time. I was helping out at a homeless youth shelter, and this girl came up to me and said – ‘Thank you so much for helping out with the LGBT.”

She said it like she didn’t deserve it… ‘Because you’re straight.’

So I said – I’m not straight.

And she said – ‘Why have you never said that publicly before? You could help change our lives.’

‘It hit me like a gut-punch. It felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me. I realized how important it is in this day and age to be visible; have people know who you are.”

Daniel Newman the walking dead screenshot
Photo: AMC

The news comes two weeks after a major character from The Walking Dead, “Jesus” (played by Tom Payne), came out as gay on the show.

Daniel realized coming out might hurt is career at this stage – but he adds a powerful message:

“Right now around the world there are estimated around 300 to 700 million LGBT. It’s larger than any army ever in history. You realize how powerful that is?”

Watch his full video right here:

h/t: Attitude