Actor J August Richards, best known for his roles in Marvel's "Agents of SHIELD" and "Angels", has come out as gay and thanked fans for their unwavering suppoort.
The actor addressed his sexuality for the first time in an Instagram Live with his "Council of Dads" co-star Sarah Wayne Callies.
Richards, who plays Dr Oliver Post, the best friend of Callies' character and an openly gay man, said taking on the role on the NBC series made him want to be open about his experiences.
Saying that he felt a "pressure and responsibility" in portraying the character, he said, "You have an opportunity to put an image into millions of homes and I wanted that image to be honest and correct. It required me to show up in a way that I haven't always when I was working." Richards, 46, said he couldn't play Oliver truthfully without letting his co-stars know that he "was a gay man myself".
"I've never done that with the people that I worked with. I knew how important it is to other people out there like me, who would need to see that role model, so I took that responsibility very seriously." The actor later shared his picture wearing a rainbow T-shirt on Instagram.
"Everyone said it would be, but nothing could have prepared me. Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. 'Thank you' feel like cheap words to describe the depths of the gratitude I feel for your support and the crushing avalanche of LOVE I felt aimed at me yesterday.
"Who knew that something I once thought of as terrifying had within it something so beautiful... For every comment, like, emoji, repost, phone call, text message, everything. I felt it ALL... Thank you!!! #PRIDE #LGBTQ #BlackLGBTQ #ComingOut #SelfLove #SelfAcceptance," he wrote.