Harvey Levin, the founder of celebrity website TMZ, says in a new essay for the Los Angeles LGBT Center that he felt “shame” in coming out to himself.

The 65-year-old Levin came out publicly in 2010 during an appearance as an event speaker for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association.

“When I was a teenager, I found myself in a profound internal struggle – what I perceived as a mandate to live a 'straight' life, despite contrary feelings that were welling to the surface,” Levin wrote in Vanguard Now, a publication of the LA LGBT Center.

“When I finally began to experiment, I felt such shame. If I went to a gay bar, I would wait – sometimes for half an hour – just to make sure cars weren't passing by the front door for fear a driver might see me enter. When I met someone, I would often use an alias so I could easily cut ties. It actually makes no sense, but that's what I did.”

“Short story, I was a mess.”

Levin has been in a long-term relationship with Dr. Andy Mauer, a Southern California chiropractor.

He lauded the LA LGBT Center's programs: “The people who provided these services are angels, and the Center deserves profound respect and support in our community.”