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Matt Bomer Talks Growing Up Gay When Accepting GLSEN Award
The Huffington Post reports:
Matt Bomer says he had to “cover his tracks” in order to survive high school as a gay teenager.
Honored with an “Inspiration Award” alongside partner Simon Halls at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) Respect Awards, the “White Collar” hunk told the crowd, “When I was in high school, there was no safe haven, there was no outlet for you to speak your mind. So I did what any self-preserving 14-year-old would do—I signed up for the school play and also the football team to cover my tracks.”
As E Online is reporting, the 34-year-old actor — who was praised by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocates for subtly acknowledging his sexuality in February — went on to note, “When that happens, when you aren’t allowed to speak about who you are, one of the most authentic parts of who you are, which is who you love or who you’re attracted to, feels invisible. GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country.”
Pink News reports that Joe Manganiello presented his “Magic Mike” co-star with the award. “You are the example that the rest of our country needs to wake up and see in terms of equality and putting an end to the bullying epidemic and making sure that every family is respected in our schools and our society,” Manganiello, who also reportedly attended college with Bomer, is quoted as saying.
Perez Hilton notes that Halls also chimed in, noting, “Having kids teaches you so many things, and one of the things we both have learned in our parenting journey is how loving and accepting and open children’s minds and hearts are.”
Not everyone has been so supportive of Bomer’s career. In August, “American Psycho” scribe Bret Easton Ellis slammed the possible casting of Bomer as Christian Grey in the highly-anticipated movie version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” as “absolutely ludicrous” because the actor is openly gay.
“I am NOT discriminating against Matt Bomer,” Ellis tweeted. “Fifty Shades of Grey demands an actor who is genuinely into women.”
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Zac Efron Talks Marriage Equality, Gay Rumors & New Film The Paperboy
Via The Advocate:
Zac Efron was turning gay heads way before director Lee Daniels stripped him to his skivvies for the pulpy, ’60s-set southern thrillerThe Paperboy, which steams up theaters October 5. The High School Musical heartthrob is finally ready to return the love in his first gay press interview, which even he acknowledges is long overdue.
It’s good to see you return to your dancing roots with Nicole Kidman in the trailer for The Paperboy, but your moves seem to have gotten wetter and more naked.Believe it or not, that dance in the rain wasn’t planned. Nicole’s fun to work with because she’s very improvisational. She just started dancing with me, and we went with the moment.
Surely you knew that scene would attract some prurient attention.With a scene like that, you just have to stick with it and see where it takes you. After the fact, though, I remember thinking, Oh, jeez, what did I just get myself into?
Matthew McConaughey, your Paperboy costar, helped design his thong for Magic Mike. Did you help select your white briefs?I did, yeah. It’s a period movie, so there weren’t really a lot of choices. Initially, I wondered if my character would even wear underwear at all. But that would’ve been a very different movie.
You’ve worked with other gay directors, including Adam Shankman on Hairspray, but Lee Daniels has often spoken about how much his “gay sensibility” translates to his work. In fact, at a press conference for The Paperboy in Cannes earlier this year, Lee even made light of a connection between his being his gay and your being somewhat eroticized on-screen. Did you have any reservations or did you embrace Lee’s sensibility from the start?I’ve always just embraced Lee as a brilliant artist, so I followed him blindly, trustingly, and wholeheartedly. He’s searching for beauty and truth in every scene, so I believed in him and always felt safe. I was a fan of Lee’s work — I thought Precious was so marvelous and real — and I knew that he had a lot to teach me. All he required of me was that I be fearless, and that’s something I’m really working on right now in my career.
Screen grabs of you in wet undies made quite an impression in the gay blogosphere, but your presence on gay blogs is certainly nothing new.It’s very flattering. After High School Musical and Hairspray, I’ve always felt embraced by the gay community, and I feel incredibly grateful and honored. This is actually a very special interview for me. I’m extremely aware of the support I’ve gotten from you guys over the years, and it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn’t gone unappreciated. I’m so excited to be talking to you.
When did gay fans first come to your attention?I really felt that support after High School Musical. I think the gay audience related to my character Troy, because it really was a story of embracing who you are, no matter how different you might be, and not being afraid to show it. That’s a universal theme for everyone, but it specifically resonated with the gay community, and I felt very proud of that.
Do you remember your first interaction with gay people?I started doing local theater so young — I was 12 — so to me, being gay was just another way that you can be. I never really had time to think about it or have any preconceived notions. I don’t judge anyone and I never have.
You’ve said in the past that the older college kids who performed with your local theater were your first role models.Absolutely. I might’ve been less aware of it back then, but without question I had gay role models.
After your involvement in last year’s Footloose remake fell through, fans worried that you might be done with musicals for good. Do you see more musical theater in your future?Without a doubt, I’d love to do Broadway. I actually can’t wait to get back to musical theater. There’s a part of me that wishes I could go do it right now, but there’s also a part of me that knows I need to tackle other types of acting opportunities first. I want to be a well-rounded, versatile performer. Until I master other things, it would be hard for me to get back to musical theater. But that will always be my home base and where I feel the most free, and it’s something I will definitely do again, even it it’s just for pleasure and personal fulfillment.
The Paperboy also marks McConaughey’s first gay role. Are you interested in tackling a gay character?I’d never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I’m always looking for a role that’s challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future. It’s always interesting to delve into unexplored territory, and that would be a new avenue for me. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid.
In a 2008 Details profile, the writer brought up the subject of gay rumors, particularly as they related to blogger Perez Hilton’s online speculation about you. You replied, “Honestly, if the worst he can say about me is that I’m gay, then I think I’ll be fine. I can handle it.” That was a pretty cool and classy response.Thank you. I don’t like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with — that’s the way I was raised — but I just can’t see what’s so wrong about being gay.
Last year a number of blogs posted a picture of you wearing a FCKH8 T-shirt that read, “Some Dudes Marry Dudes. Get Over It.” Unfortunately, it was soon revealed to be Photoshopped.Yeah, that picture was fake, but a couple days after it went around, a fan sent me a shirt identical to the one in the picture. So now I do own that shirt.
Have you worn it?I’m sure I have and I’m sure I will. It’s still hanging up somewhere.
So what are your thoughts on marriage equality — and dudes marrying dudes?It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do.
The word on the street is that you throw a mean party. Do gay friends make the exclusive guest list? [Laughs] You’re on for the next one.