Darren Criss says his recurring role on Glee feels like his second job.

In a cover story for gay glossy Out, the 24-year-old rising musician talks candidly about his gay mentors growing up and how landing the role of gay student Blaine Anderson, the unlikely romantic interest of Chris Colfer's gay character Kurt Hummel, on the Fox musical-comedy Glee has complicated the rest of his career.

“I feel like I'm sort of moonlighting on Glee,” he said. “The coolest part is not that it's a hit show – that's a bonus – and, of course, that I have a job. But the real cool thing is I was inadvertently raised by the gay community.”

Criss, who grew up in San Francisco, added that he began performing at an early age: “I was staying out much later than most kids after shows, going to restaurants. It's not like I was doing body shots off beautiful Castro boys. I was friends with older guys – they were who I looked up to. It wasn't until later I put together that they were gay.”

Criss is photographed dripping wet, his shirt open, in the magazine's photo spread.