Disney star Karan Brar comes out as bisexual
Brar rose to fame in the role of 10-year-old Indian adoptee Ravi Ross on the show Jessie.
Karan Brar (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Former Disney star Karan Brar has publicly come out as bisexual in an emotional essay penned in Teen Vogue.
Titled “How I Found Myself,” Brar recounted in the essay his experience as an Indian-American child actor.
Brar’s first starring role was as Indian middle schooler Chirag Gupta in Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the next two installments of the franchise, Rodrick Rules and Dog Days.
In 2011, Brar rose to fame in the role of 10-year-old Indian adoptee Ravi Ross on the show Jessie, alongside Debby Ryan, Peyton List, Cameron Boyce, and Skai Jackson.
At just 19 years old, the now-24-year-old explained that he was only then able to stop compartmentalizing “public Karan and private Karan.” Eventually, he was able to come out to roommates and fellow Disney actors Cameron Boyce and Sophie Reynolds while inebriated.
“The moment the words left my mouth, I regretted it,” Brar shared. “I could barely see straight, but I ended up trying to do some damage control anyway.” He offered to move out, but his roommates promptly interrupted him “by hugging me from behind. Again, I told them I should move out. They told me I was being stupid. I told them I’d cover for them if people asked why we didn’t live together anymore,” he continued. “They said to shut the f— up. I told them that they probably hated me. They said my bisexuality changed nothing for them.”
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Boyce and Reynolds “were both shocked when I came out, not because of my sexual identity, but because I genuinely thought they would want nothing to do with me after I told them,” Brar wrote. “Today I can understand how absurd that was — Soph and Cam had been my best friends for years and loved me every step of the way. Why in the world would they stop then? I think I just convinced myself that this part of me would feel less like an invitation to know me better and more like a burden they had to endure.”
Boyce tragically died later in 2019 from complications with epilepsy. His sudden death deeply impacted Brar, who eventually became suicidal due to the loss.
Now, three years later, Brar says he is doing much better.
“While in treatment, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder,” he wrote. “It’s been ages since I’ve experienced a PTSD symptom, so much so that I don’t think I even meet the criteria for the diagnosis anymore. My depression has been in remission for some time, and with the help of my medication, I’m finding my emotions to be much more manageable. I’m no longer drowning in the grief of losing Cameron. Rather, I’m in acceptance of grief being an ever-changing experience I just have to see through.”
Because of his suicidal thoughts, Brar noted he “never really saw myself growing older. I no longer experience chronic suicidal ideations, and sometimes, that feels complicated. There’s a discomfort knowing that suicide is no longer an option when things get too painful. Somehow, I feel more vulnerable than ever.”
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