Tevin Campbell says he’s embraced identity as gay man

Former R&B child star Tevin Campbell has opened up about his sexuality, confirming that he identifies as a gay man.

In an interview with PEOPLE, the 1990s heartthrob known for the hits ‘Can We Talk’ and ‘I’m Ready’, said he “didn't hide anything” about himself or “didn't try to act a certain way or anything", but noted "You just couldn't be [gay] back then."

He said his personal journey with his sexuality began in the late 1990s after his music career stalled.

“When I came out to my family and friends [at] about 19 or 20, that was it for me. And then I went on the road of discovering myself. I didn't know who I was,” Campbell said.

He said he has embraced his identity and is at a happy place in his life.

“What makes me happiest right now is how far I’ve come in life,” he said. “You know, there are a lot of child stars that don’t make it. But a lot of us do … and the fact that I’ve embraced me.”

There has long been speculation about Campbell’s sexuality. And while it is the first time he is speaking about it publicly, he hinted at his identity earlier this year in a now-deleted tweet. He tweeted, “Tevin is…” followed by a rainbow flag emoji.

Campbell signed his first major label record deal with Warner Brothers Music in 1991, releasing his debut album T.E.V.I.N. in 1991 and following it up with I’m Ready in 1993.

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