Out actor Chad Allen this week announced he's leaving acting.

“It's been an incredible journey … working on the incredible shows that I've been able to wok on over the years,” Allen said in a three-and-a-half minute video. “I'm incredibly grateful and always will be.”

The 40-year-old actor's first television role was playing a boy in an episode of CBS' detective series Simon & Simon at the age of eight. Two years later, he landed a recurring role on the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere. He is best known for playing Matthew Cooper in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Allen also played openly gay detective Donald Strachey in four movies made for LGBT channel here!

“My life has taken me on a very different trajectory and after 30-plus years as an actor, I made a decision a couple of years ago to begin letting that side of my life go and I've been focusing on my education,” he said.

Allen said that he was studying to be a clinical psychologist.

In his farewell video, Allen promised to continue his HIV/AIDS activism: “That won't end. I promise you.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)