J. August Richards talks coming out during an Instagram live video

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J. August Richards has been in the public eye for years, but it wasn’t until he joined the cast of Council of Dads that he considered coming out.

Earlier this week Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alum J. August Richards took part in an Instagram live video to come out as a gay man. On Council of Dads the actor is playing a happily married gay black man with a daughter, which spurred him to share a part of himself he hadn’t publically done before.

Richards’ revealed why he felt it was important to let the cast and crew of Council of Dads know about his sexuality, “I knew that I could not portray this gay man honestly without letting you all know that I am a gay man myself.”

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Richards talked more about coming out. “I had a lot of feelings and a lot of fears about it,” Richards said about revealing his sexuality publically. “But I just felt so clearly that that was the time and I’m proud of myself for doing it. The response was…I could not have anticipated the love, support and respect I’ve gotten as a result of it.”

Richards also revealed there had never been a time prior to working on Council of Dads that he had ever thought about coming out. Saying that there was a process of fear and trauma he had to work through. “I drew a wall between my personal life and work and public stuff,” Richards explained.

The actor also said that the only person he’d told prior to this that wasn’t a close personal friend was the actor Patrick Heusinger who played his husband on Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.

“I only told him after we were done working together,” Richards said. “He was the first person that I worked with that I told and then Sarah Wayne Callies was the first person I ever told while I was working with them.”

You can catch J. August Richards on Council of Dads which airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC!

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