The actor kept quiet about his sexual orientation for years while he played the flamboyant Jack McFarland on the hit sitcom.
He tells the Advocate, "I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never. I believe that nobody owes anything to anybody. Nobody owes anything to anybody. You are your authentic self to whom and when you choose to be, and if you don't know somebody, then why would you explain to them how you live your life?"
And he admits he was reluctant to speak to publications like the Advocate in the past -- because editors always seemed determined to 'out' him.
He adds, "Why would you go down that path with somebody who's done so much to contribute to the gay community? That was my beef about it. What more do you want me to do? Do you want me to stand on a float? And then what? It's never enough.
"I feel like I've contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I'm open to it. You're welcome, Advocate."
Hayes is now in a relationship -- and he has no desire to flaunt his romance in the spotlight: "I spend time with a special someone in my life. That's it. That's all I need. I don't need events. I don't do a lot. I live my life like an 85-year-old man. I'm just quiet. It's fantastic."
(c) 2010 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.