Newell says he aims give people motivation to be whoever they are and to never change for anyone. He also told us he's never been to Utah before and wants to see what it's all about. And, of course, he's coming to entertain.
"My idol is Beyonce, and she said, 'If I can make you forget all of your world problems that you have outside of the concert or of the performance, then I did my job right.'," Newell says.
Newell learned at a young age to be himself and accept who he is. His father passed away when he was 6, and he grew up with a single mother. He says this pushed him to find his confidence, because he didn't always have someone to speak up for him.
He advises others who are gay to come out when it is right for them and not for anyone else. "You have to be ready and confident and just—it's a hard thing to tell someone," he says. "It's basically what their heart says and what they want."
He says often the worst fear in coming out is not being accepted, which is made harder because the media sends the message that being gay is bad. "If you go to high school and you see the star quarterback on the football team, you think meathead, jock, antigay, all of that," Newell says. "So you're scared and you don't think they'll accept you for who you are based off of their stereotypes and what they do in high school."
Although Newell is a role model to many young fans, he says he's really just trying to be an individual. "I am always trying to be myself and just let everyone know that if I can be myself in Hollywood, where it's really hard to just be yourself, that shouldn't stop them from being themselves, whether they're in high school or college or even middle school," he says.
Being a part of Glee has taught him a lot. "It's given me more of that scheduling, organization and tenacity than anything else," Newell says. "It's also given me a platform to let my voice be heard more."
And Newell's overall message is for others to never try to be someone else. "That's like trying to fit a star into a square in the little box thingy that you do in preschool," he says.
Click here for the full schedule of Utah Pride Festival events.