During tonight's Glee Season 5, Episode 2: “Tina in the Sky With Diamonds,” Blaine (Darren Criss) ran for the title of McKinley High Prom King. We expected he'd be a shoe-in to win. Blaine is smooth, charismatic, and pretty much everybody loves him. (Especially his new fiance, Kurt (Chris Colfer)!) Kurt and Blaine got engaged in Glee's Season 5 premiere. But just because a number of other TV co-stars have hooked up with their on-screen lovers off-screen, as well, that doesn't mean that the same is happening for Darren and Chris. Both men are in their own, separate relationships.
Still, watching Darren play a gay character has caused many viewers to wonder if the actor, too, is gay.
The long(er) answer: Darren's not gay — but he loves playing a strong and confident gay character like Blaine on TV. He grew up around the gay community and enjoys some stereotypically "girly" things like musical theater, but Darren is totally straight. Scroll down for Darren's words.
Also worth noting: Darren confirmed in July 2013 that he has a girlfriend, and that they've been dating for years. Sigh.
The longest answer: When it comes down to it, the Glee heartthrob is unconcerned about labels.
"It’s a subject that’s very near and dear to my heart, simply because I grew up in such an open community — doing theater in San Francisco. I mean, it doesn’t get much, stereotypically, 'gayer.' I was inadvertently raised in the 'gay community.' I had straight parents, but I spent massive amounts of time at a very early age with gay, theater-hopeful 30-somethings. And those were the people I spent time with early on, so my whole perception of 'sexuality' just wasn’t there. It just...was," Darren told Vanity Fairback in November 2010.
Still, the company he kept did cause some people to make assumptions. "It even got to the point where, later in life... I had all the components in place. I was, well, not super effeminate, but I was into girly things — I liked musical theater, all the stereotypical things. I had to come out and say, well, I’m sorry, but I think I’m straight. And people were like, say it ain’t so! And I would say, 'It’s been a secret too long, but I’m actually a straight male.'" Talk about coming out of the closet.
It's that attitude that causes Darren to be so protective of Blaine. "And so for the longest time when people asked me about Blaine, I wanted to say it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t. But I don’t want to devalue it, because it’s a very earnest question, and I can see why people would want to know. And I realized that if I said, It doesn’t matter, that immediately means that I’m gay. So I do define myself as a straight male, but it really doesn’t come into play with me in this role. As an actor, your objective is always to play the scene. And in this case, he happens to be a gay teen."