The Disney star has come out as bisexual and shared his struggles with mental health and embracing his identity…
Former Disney star Karan Brar has come out as bisexual in an emotional essay that was published with Teen Vogue that touches on the the actor’s mental health and asking for help.
The 24-year-old actor is perhaps best known for playing Indian middle schooler Chirag Gupta in the Diary of A Wimpy Kid and the next two installments of the franchise, Rodrick Rules and Dog Days. He also played Ravi Ross in the popular Disney Channel series, Jessie, and its spinoff, Bunk’d. More recently, he’s been doing a lot of voice work, including playing Prince Veer in the Disney Junior cartoon Mira, Royal Detective, and voicing Sanjay “Jay” Tawde, a new version of Jason Todd, in the DC Elseworlds animated movie Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham.
In the vulnerable and inspiring piece, Brar talks about moving out of his parents’ place – something that was difficult for him as an Indian-American – and how that ultimately led to him coming out to friends. He also details how his career had strained his relationship with his parents and led him to compartmentalize much of his life.
“There was public Karan and private Karan,” he says in the essay. “Both were real, but trying to hold them in one body was proving to be too much.”
In 2019, Brar moved in with his fellow Disney actors Cameron Boyce and Sophie Reynolds. In the essay he recalls a night he was drunk and he came out as bisexual to his roommates, fearing that it would forever change how they saw him.
“The moment the words left my mouth, I regretted it. I could barely see straight, but I ended up trying to do some damage control anyway,” he wrote. Brar then offered to move out, but said his roommates “interrupted me by hugging me from behind. Again, I told them I should move out. They told me I was being stupid. I told them I’d cover for them if people asked why we didn’t live together anymore. They said to shut the fuck up. I told them that they probably hated me. They said my bisexuality changed nothing for them.”
“This was the first time in years that I wasn’t hiding anything from them; instead, they were seeing the most authentic version of me,” Brar writes. “I finally gave up and accepted that they loved me as I am, as I’ve been, and as I’m going to be. This was a crisp picture of what unconditional love looked like.”
Unfortunately, Boyce died shortly after due to complications from epilepsy. Brar said his friend’s death and other life stressors started to take their toll on him, and soon he was suicidal. Thankfully, he was able to admit himself into an inpatient treatment center.
Now, three years later, Brar says he’s doing much better.
“While in treatment, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder,” he said. “It’s been ages since I’ve experienced a PTSD symptom, so much so that I don’t think I even meet the criteria for the diagnosis anymore. My depression has been in remission for some time, and with the help of my medication, I’m finding my emotions to be much more manageable. I’m no longer drowning in the grief of losing Cameron. Rather, I’m in acceptance of grief being an ever changing experience I just have to see through.”
In sharing his piece on Instagram, Brar writers, “This essay encompasses the challenging moments that have led me to rebuild and rediscover who I am on a fundamental level. From coming out of the closet, to making the difficult decision of admitting myself into mental health treatment—here’s a clearer look at the person I am today.”