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09/26/2014 11:01 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jesse Tyler Ferguson Came Out After He Was Caught Stealing Gay Porn

Valerie Macon via Getty Images

Jesse Tyler Ferguson's coming-out story involved gay porn.

When the "Modern Family" star sat down for an interview with actress Aisha Tyler for her podcast, "Girl On Guy," Tyler asked Ferguson how his parents responded to his being gay and asked if he had a formal coming-out.

"Well, I was caught stealing gay porn when I was 14," Ferguson, who was raised in New Mexico, admitted. "So, I always considered that my coming-out. ... It was so humiliating. I had been stealing porn for a while. I had quite a little collection. And I would bring it into the house, and then I'd get nervous, so I'd hide it under the mattress, or I'd hide it behind a shed in the backyard. And then it would get rained on, and I'd have to go get the barbecue tongs to [get it out]."

One day while stealing X-rated material, Ferguson picked up one that happened to have a sensor on it and was caught.

"I had to go back, and the woman asked me if I had anything in my backpack. She was giving me the benefit of the doubt. ... She took me to the back room. They brought my dad in, and they showed him the nature of the material I was stealing, and it was really, really humiliating. So I always consider that my coming-out process."

Despite the gay porn incident, the actor says his father "wanted to hear me say [I'm gay]."

"When I stole the porn it was like, 'OK, are you gay?' And I was, like, 14. I didn't really know. I didn't know what I was going through. But then in my later teen years I did come out to him, and it was like he needed to be told three times. ... [When I was 21] he asked me if I had a girlfriend at the time, and I was like, 'Dad! You know I'm gay, right?'"

He said his father ultimately had an "evolution" about his son's sexuality and gave a moving speech the night before his wedding to Justin Mikita last year, accepting him into the family.

"It was a process for him as well. It was sort of a coming-out process, and he had to figure out how to deal with having a son that wasn't the ideal son that he had," he told Oprah Winfrey last year.

h/t Gay Star News

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