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'Mean Girls' Star Opens Up About Toll Anti-Gay Bullying Took On His Health In Emotional Throwback Post

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Today, we're talking about Aaron Samuels.

You know.

The one whose hair looks sexy pushed back?

The one who made October 3rd an annual event?

This guy:

Giphy

Actually this is about the actor behind Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls, Jonathan Bennett.

Bennett is now an out gay man, happily engaged to fiancé Jaymes Vaughan—a former Amazing Race contestant and current host of Celebrity Page.

But Bennett wasn't always out, or happy, with his sexuality as he recalled in an emotional throwback post on Instagram.

Bennett's post, featuring clips of him playing J. Pierrepont Finch in Frank Loesser's musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, gave followers a glimpse into the life of teenage Bennett, who was struggling more than he let on.

He wrote:

"He constantly gets pushed into a locker by an a**hole named Justin and when he walks down the halls he gets called a f*gg*t."

@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram

Continued Bennett:

"He cries himself to sleep every night and develops stomach ulcers because of the stress and the homophobia in his small town."
"He thinks really dark thoughts and lives miserably in secret."
"But there is one place (and only one place)that gives him the tiniest bit of refuge....His high school theater."

@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram

Bennett said his high school theater made him feel safe, seen and shielded him from the homophobic slurs that otherwise came his way during school.

He emotionally recalled:

"He isn't ridiculed for being different, he's CELEBRATED. He's not a loser, they actually make him a STAR."
"They give him leading roles and he goes on to do dozens of shows for years in the safety and comfort of those 4 walls."
"He steps out on stage and for the first time in his life, he feels ALIVE. "
"He is home."

@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram


@jonathandbennett/Instagram

Bennett's post echoes the struggles that queer and transgender youth face every single day in their hometowns, and in their lives.

But he ends it with a ray of hope.

"To any one reading this that identifies with my story, know that you are not alone and that you are a star and you deserve to shine bright."
"And never stop singing and dancing, no matter how good you are because it's not about being perfect, it's about shining your light."
"And the world NEEDS your light."

Shine on, little Jonathans of the world.

Shine on.