Daniel Newman is not just the sexy actor from “Walking Dead”. He is an artist, a model, a singer, an entrepreneur and so many more things. With his coming-out recently he managed to become one of the biggest influencers in the LGBT community. YASS Magazine met exclusively Daniel and here is the interview, for your eyes only.
What made you come out recently through social media?
I was volunteering at a homeless youth shelter, and a girl said “thank you for caring about LGBTQ people.” I asked her “Why do you say that?” and she said “Because you’re straight.” That’s when I realized I needed to come out and tell everyone the truth and be visible and proud of who I am. I’m so proud of the LGBTQ Community, but I just always thought you guys don’t need me to be public. But then I realized it’s so important for every single one of us to be visible and public. I always dreamed when I was a kid that I would find a celebrity or athlete or public figure I could relate to, that would represent me. But I never did. So I decided that I need to be that for kids and people today and do my part to help the LGBTQ Community globally in every way I can.
Have you been thinking about coming out for a long time or was it a spontaneous decision? Do you regret not having done that earlier?
I’ve been thinking about it my whole life! But everyone in Hollywood said it would ruin my career. So I kept silent. I didn’t think there would be any value for me to be public. I’ve always told my family and friends but I never told the press. But I just got the point where I decided that I don’t want to work in an industry any more if it’s going to hurt my career to be honest and open about who I am.
So for the kids and my LGBTQ family I came out proud and happy finally.
How has your life changed after the video?
It’s amazing. Everyone gave me endless love! It was incredible. I grew up getting so much bullying and fighting so I expected more of that. But this has been nothing but love and support and excitement from everyone. It’s just an testament to our lgbtq forefathers and gay mothers that fought and died for our rights and acceptance for generations. If I had come out ten years ago my career would have been over. But because of the endless, tireless hard work from everyone in the LGBTQ community globally, creating love and acceptance for us all, and work that groups like the HRC Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD do around the world, shaping and changing the public image of gay people in all media and creating a true honest loving image of pride and value for all LGBTQ daily, that gave me this incredible reception from the world! Everyone sees me as a unique value now and as an artist now, instead of being an outcast or something negative. Our previous generation literally made this world such a better place for us.
Do you feel that you have been a source of inspiration and a role model for many LGBT people after your coming out?
I hope so! Even if I make even one LGBTQ Kid feel proud of who they are, and proud to be a part of our community, then it’s all been worth it! I hope I inspire
Straight kids too to love themselves. I’m not about separation. I want all people to love themselves and where they come from and value other people equally.
What message would you like to give to gay people who are scared to come out and are afraid of being bullied?
There has NEVER been a better or easier time than now. The whole world is so much more loving and your life has No real value until you are being honest about who you are. You’re living as a ghost. You have to be honest with everyone so that your truth can make a difference to everyone around you and you can be a great example to everyone that wonders about our community. By coming out, you help every one of us around you! You were put here on this earth to be 100% you the way you are and that’s your value to the world.
You said during your coming out video that your career might be over as there are no gay or bi leading men or action heroes. Does the TV industry treat LGBT differently?
I’ve gotten so many lead role offers right now. I’m signed on to Walking Dead but it’s incredible to get this many offers. So the entire TV and film Industry has completely changed because of all the hard work from our community and because of the internet! Hollywood is an old business. But Money is all that matters. Hollywood now sees that all the kids are watching Youtube all day and social media. All the new stars are social media / youtube stars. That’s the majority of what kids watch and buy, and amazingly the majority of big youtube stars right now are gay or bi! It’s incredible. So since Hollywood sees how popular all these new Gay and Bi social media stars are, and Hollywood is trying to capture all that popularity and capture this whole new demographic and viewership. So now is a revolutionary time for our culture, where the “Main stream” is seeing the Billions of dollars spent annually on gay celebs and gay brands, and they want a piece of it.
How is the political system in the USA after Donald Trump was elected as president? Are you afraid that things will get worse or there is still hope?
Trump immediately deleted the references to LGBTQ on the White House website. He campaigned for gay rights just to get gays to vote for him, and then he turned his back on us within 30 days and is now destroying so many of the things he promised he would protect. He lies to get votes, and then does the opposite. Very sad.
How did modelling enter your life?
I was very lucky that there were no successful male redheads. So when Calvin Klein hired me, then Tommy Hilfigur, Christian Dior, L’uomo Vogue, Louis Vuitton, Bruce Weber and all the others. The fashion industry lives off of trends and I guess I was the new trend. I’m amazed I was the only Male model that did all those brands but being the weird redhead always getting picked on as a child paid off well with Hollywood and the fashion industry.
You have also been in the music industry. How was that experience? Are you planning to get back to it at some point?
I love music! I have my album out now, everyone is buying it online now. I’m so busy with acting at the moment but I’m making new music as well.
You have said in a recent interview that you are the owner of a tech company. What is your company about? Did you have to give up on this position when you agreed to play at the Walking Dead?
That’s actually why I’m not touring with my music now. I’m working 24/7 on the TV show and at night on my Tech Company. Tons of work! Ha. I love it. It’s great that the Walking Dead has such a big cast so we have a lot of time off when they’re filming other scenes.
How do you deal with fame? Is being recognisable difficult at times?
I love it. I love knowing that my work has meant something to people and that they enjoy it. It’s definitely weird when people cross the line and you realize people are video taping you at a restaurant or bar or out on the street. That’s very strange. But meeting people in person and having them tell me they like my work means a lot to me.
What has been the best memory from the Walking Dead? How do you explain this cultural phenomenon of the Walking Dead frenzy?
It’s amazing. People tell me they hate their family, but the Walking Dead unites their family! They say one night a week all their family sits down to dinner and watches Walking Dead together! I’ve heard that from people in Europe, America, south America! That’s so powerful. I think people love seeing such a diverse international cast.
How did the collaboration with the RED HOT 100 Calendar happen?
They reached out to my people. They were looking for Red Head celebrities and I was honoured to be involved.
What are you most proud of?
Being honest and working hard to help other people.
A moment you will never forget?
Moments with my mom. She fought cancer and I just worship her and all of my family. I’m so blessed. I have endless moments with them.
What are your plans for the future?
Go global with my Tech Company and hopefully be a strong figure for the LGBTQ community creating film music and entertainment for a long time to come.
Do you have any plans of visiting Greece and meeting your Greek fans soon?
I would LOVE to! Let me know when!!!
The greek version of the interview was published in Antivirus Magazine: http://avmag.gr/81440/81440/