His character on Modern Family is constantly finding himself in embarrassing situations, but they're nothing compared to the real-life circumstances Jesse Tyler Ferguson has dealt with. His coming out story, for example, is somewhat of a gay nightmare. While the majority of us may only experience such fright in our sleep, Jesse had to face it in the real world.
During a special 'coming out' feature for People, he revealed: "I consider my coming out story to be the year that I got caught stealing gay porn."
Jesse said that when he was a freshman in high school he would make trips to the local book store and hide adult magazines inside more 'acceptable' publications before sneaking out with them both under his shirt. Back in the day you just did what you could to get your kicks, I guess.
When he visited another book store, which had metal detectors, his secret adventure finally came to an end.
"The alarm system went off and one of the people came over to me and asked if I had anything, and I shamefully showed them the magazines under my shirt. They took me to a back room and then a police officer came and arrested me," he said. "My mom and dad had to come to the store, and they showed them the 'nature' of the material that I was stealing, and that’s sort of how I came out. I find it funny now in retrospect, but at the time it was incredibly traumatizing. Especially hearing that phrase 'the nature of the material' I was stealing, it felt so dirty, and to have a person of the law say ’This is a shameful thing you’ve done’ was really traumatizing."
Don't think that Jesse was a complete fool, though. He recalls throwing in some straight porn just in case he ever got caught. "My father had a hard time catching up to that. I was smart, I snuck in some straight porn in there too so that threw him off just enough, but he still had to come to his own acceptance of that."
After coming out in the worst possible way for any human being, Jesse said a huge weight was lifted. It took his father a while to come around, but he eventually found acceptance. A happy ending to a very frightening story.