Jane Lynch knows firsthand how hard it can be as a young person struggling to come to terms with your sexuality. Here, the Glee star shares how It Got Better for her.

Jane Lynch might not “give a s***” what anyone thinks about her being gay these days, but years ago, she was terrified that someone might discover her secret.

“To be ostracized would have been the worst thing,” the nearly-54-year-old Glee star explained in a video for the new It Got Better series, which will feature LGBT celebrities’ personal stories.

She added, “To be considered different and not accepted was a fate worse than death.”

Sharing she realized she was different long ago, Lynch recalled, “I enjoyed doing boy things. The boys stopped wanting to play with me when I got to be about 10, and I had to fight to play baseball. Every day, I didn’t know how I would be received because I would just hang out until I got to play. Deep down inside, I knew that something else was going on.”

At age 14, she learned what “gay” meant when friends pointed out that sometimes they would see men walking together and holding hands who are “gay for each other.” Lynch says a lightbulb went off, and she thought, “I am the girl version of that,” though the realization was upsetting.

“It was almost like I had a disease I had been diagnosed with. I had a journal and… I remember I wrote, ‘I am gay. No one can ever know this.’ And I went four blocks away and threw it out in somebody else’s garbage,” she added. “It led to a life of secrecy that I had to unravel.”