“To be gay, or not to be gay, that is the question.” – Shakesqueer.
A guy I used to be friends with- and who was my boss at one time- used to work in the film industry, and when I told him I was going back to school to study acting for film & television, he told me that I better stay in the closet. Whaaaa? After more than 20 years of hiding in the closet, I was supposed to go back in? And this guy was gay too! An openly gay guy telling me to open the door, slide the coat hangers to the side, and step back inside the dark, lonely room…
His logic was the type-cast situation. If audiences saw me as gay, they would find it hard to believe me in a relationship with a women on the screen. But, that’s what acting is: making them believe what is not necessarily real- isn’t it? I do think there was a time where it may have been in your best interest to remain in the closet as an actor if you are gay, but I believe times are changing- and for your own health, happiness, and well being, it is my opinion that you should be who you are. To make the choice to stay in the closet for the rest of your life for your job seems so bizarre to me. That being said, I understand why people do it- see fellow Homorazzi Stephen’s article for example. So far, I haven’t seen any “out” actor play a leading man role where his love interest is female and how many movies are out there with this type of scenario? Lots. The likelihood is probably low to get such a role as a gay actor, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make to live my life as myself.
In my opinion. You only get one life. If you’re an actor, you play roles on stage and on film, you don’t need to play someone you’re not in your everyday life.
Kudos to the following brave celebrities and actors that are paving the way for the rest:
Ellen Degeneres, Portia De Rossi, Charlie David, Chad Allen, Neil Patrick Harris, T.R. Knight, Alan Cummings, Rosie O’ Donnell, and thankfully many more.