Because gay people were so much more visible, violence against gays was more common and reported on. But they were definitely related to each other. In the wake of AIDS, gay people felt like they had to organize, become much more active and visible. AIDS fostered a gay rights movement that made gay people more powerful and more vulnerable at the same time.
You think you're in a place where you're all 'I'm thrilled to be gay, I have no issues about being gay anymore, I don't feel shame about being gay,' but you actually do. You're just not fully aware of it. I think I still felt scared about people knowing. I felt awkward around gay people; I felt guilty for not being myself.
I'm certainly not going to tell other people what they should do with their own personal lives. I think it's certainly easier for a director to be out. The public is not going to see a movie because the director is gay or straight. It's maybe a little harder for an actor or actress because of, you know, the love roles and stuff. But gay people have been impersonating heteros in the movies for years. So, hopefully, that is becoming less of an issue. I think it would have been really great if a gay person had played a gay person. That's brave!
We've had a culture war roaring away, and the kinds of people who want to abuse and discriminate against gay people who are adults can't really lay their hands on us unless they want to be gay-bashers and go to jail. They abuse us from afar and in the abstract, they abuse us with checkbooks and ballots, but their kids go to school on Monday morning. And there's a gay kid. And they feel they have license to beat that gay kid up in a way that I don't think they did when I was in school. I think it's gotten worse.
I cannot prevent anyone from getting angry, or mad, or frustrated. I can only hope that they'll turn that anger and frustration and madness into something positive, so that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help.
For a while, the gay thing seemed like such a big deal. But now, I don't think it is. It's just a comedy-drama about people who live in the United States. It's a slice-of-life. I play a character-that's it. But I was well aware of the gay lifestyle before the show. I've been hit on in a really strong way by gay men who've tried to convert me, and a lot of my heroes are gay. William Burroughs, Lou Reed. Well, I guess Lou Reed is bi. The point is, it's 2002, gay life is no longer that shocking.
There are tons of gay issues that are important, from gay marriage to adoption rights to work-place discrimination and more... but I think the biggest gay issue is the level of involvement of the gay community to demand change. So many gays think that other gays will take care of it. To fix this, people need to realize that they CAN make a change, but no one person can do it alone.
In my real life, both my bosses are gay. On the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' Andy Cohen is gay, everybody at Bravo is gay - we call them the gay mafia. Over at 'Glee' and 'The New Normal,' my boss Ryan Murphy is gay. On the show, my boss, played by Andrew Reynolds, is gay in real life. I'm surrounded by all my gay bosses.
I think people feel threatened by homosexuality. The problem isn't about gay people, the problem is about the attitude towards gay people. People think that all gays are Hannibal Lecters. But gay people are sons and daughters, politicians and doctors, American heroes and daughters of American heroes.
Words can mean different things to different people. It is important to understand what people mean when they use a certain word. Let's make an example. Take the word gay. Fifty years ago, gay meant exclusively cheerfulness, lighthearted excitement, merry or bright colors. Today this word has a different meaning. You won't call a cheerful person gay because it could be understood as something else.
People from pre-sexual revolution and even from the 60s and the birth of the gay movement still define gay as two men or two women having sex. Our generation defines it from a more emotional standpoint. To be gay means you are drawn to the same sex. But it's a part of who you are, an identity, not an act.
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