Actor and singer Cheyenne Jackson has posted a heartfelt message about attending his high school reunion. He admits he almost didn’t bother attending. Like many gay men, he says his high school years hold some painful memories. He experienced bullying and had the word “f*g” scrawled on his locker.
However, he says attending proved healing and he had a great time. He even ran into someone who used to bully him.
“I wasn’t going to go to my 30th high school reunion,” he posted on Instagram. “High School was a confusing, painful, awkward time for me. F*G was written on my locker more than once.
“But it wasn’t all miserable,” Jackson continued. “Over the years I’ve conflated the experience in my mind. For there were also incredible, core memory moments. I realized during high school with the help of my music teacher Mark Caldwell that I wanted to be an artist.
“I realized through the mentorship of my track coach Pat Stahl that I had tremendous athletic potential, which was a shock to me.
“I made a best friend, Chuck Green, who is the one who convinced me four months ago to go and be open to this experience. I’m so glad I did. I reconnected with and looked into faces I hadn’t seen in 30 years.
“We shared our struggles, our stories of losing parents. We walked the hallways of our tiny school and shared funny memories and anecdotes and I felt part of a community. It’s funny how we can reframe things. My high school bully apologized to me and I accepted it. I’m so proud to be a poor kid from the backwoods of the northwest. I don’t run from it anymore.”
Jackson’s post prompted a flood of supportive comments.
“I went to a very conservative, religious high school,” responded one man. “I wanted to go to my 20 year reunion, but I didn’t want to face the stares and glares. I admire the bravery.”
“I’m really happy to hear the bully apologized,” said another.
Jackson’s early life in Washington and Idaho
Jackson was born in 1975 in Spokane, Washington. He grew up mainly in Oldtown, Idaho, near the Washington border, before moving back to Spokane in his teenage years. Jackson began to make waves on Broadway in the ’00s, before breaking into TV and movies. He is best known for appearances on American Horror Story, 30 Rock, and Call Me Kat.
Jackson met his husband, Jason Landau, at a 12-step meeting in 2013. They married in 2014. In October 2016, they welcomed twins Ethan and Willow into their lives.
Jackson is not shy of getting personal on his Instagram page. He’s often offered fans a glimpse into his family life. In April, he revealed he’d fallen off his sobriety wagon after ten years without alcohol. He thanked those close to him who had been there to support him and said he felt moved to share the news in case it helped others who were struggling with the same issues.