QUEER VOICES
07/10/2014 12:06 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jane Lynch On Her Early Struggles With Being Gay And The LGBT Impact Of 'Glee'

"Glee" star Jane Lynch recalled her early struggles with sexuality in a HuffPost Live interview this week, saying that being gay "felt like a disease" in her early teen years.

"I was in the closet for so long and it tortured me. I thought I was the only [gay] person in the world," she said. "It wasn't a fun thing."

Nonetheless, the Emmy Award-winning actress says she's proud of the impact that "Glee" has had in terms of opening doors for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teen community, even if the show's immense success came as a bit of a surprise to her and the rest of the cast.

"I'm glad that this show and the fact that I'm out and open about it will perhaps ease the hearts and minds of some kids where it's not so easy," she said. As for the many "Glee" naysayers who've criticized the musical series' depiction of LGBT characters and themes, she added, "They think it's legitimizing a lifestyle that leads to ruin and tears at the fabric of society, and I think that we're finding that's just hogwash."

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