'Days of Our Lives': Another Salem character comes out of the closet -- EXCLUSIVE

In the wake of a decision by Days of Our Lives to feature its first same-sex relationship, the NBC soap has announced plans to reveal another gay character on the traditionally conservative sudser. EW has learned exclusively that Will Horton (Chandler Massey) will come out on the show, which introduced its first gay character last summer. Freddie Smith joined the show in June to play Sonny, a good-natured young man who returns home to join his family.

Massey, who earned his first Emmy nomination last year for his work on Days, released this statement: “I’m thrilled to be able to portray my character in an empowering way that will show his struggle to accept who he is. It is my hope that this storyline will inspire others to be true to themselves as well.”

Will’s sexual orientation will become obvious to the viewers as well as family and friends but his journey toward self-acceptance is expected to unfold over the next few weeks, the show says. Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng had this to say: “We are excited to have the encouragement and support from both NBC and Sony to tell the inspiring story of a young man learning who he is as he defines and creates his relationships with others.”

For now, the show won’t say whether Will eventually hooks up for Sonny. When Smith talked to EW this summer, he said he wasn’t sure who his character’s boyfriend would be in Salem. ”I’m going to be surprised,” he told EW. “There are a lot of guys on the show, so it’s going to be interesting to see who I end up falling for. Someone new? Someone on the show?  We all make jokes, `who am I going to make out with first?’ It’s going to be fun to see.”

While competing sudsers have been in the forefront when it comes to same-sex couples — All My Children, for example, featured the first lesbian marriage between Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel) and Reese Williams (Tamara Braun) — Days has largely played a backseat role when it comes to featuring gay couplings.

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