BY Michael Fairman
September 09 2009 3:00 PM ET
Scott, how has this journey been for you playing out Fish’s coming-out? Have you watched back any of the episodes from his struggles?
Scott: I watched a couple of the days I was on from a few weeks ago, and I think it is playing out really nicely. I was delighted to see the scenes with Layla, played by Tika Sumpter. She made my job so much easier, especially in the scenes where we got in the argument and I was coming out. It made me a better actor. So I was anxious to see how those turned out.
Mom, did you see those scenes?
Lisa: That was the day that I was there on the set watching. I was having a meltdown! My poor baby. I just saw my baby really, really crying and all the pain, and Tika was crying. I ran up to him the minute the taping light went off and I said, “Are you all right?” and he said, “Mom, it’s acting.” I thought, Oh, all right. Thank goodness. I paid all that money to NYU, and it worked. [Laughs] It was so powerful and moving.
Was it gut-wrenching for you then to see his performance because you knew how Scott’s experience of coming out in real life was?
Lisa: It was very painful for me, but not for Scott. I run a children’s theater, and I know a lot of young people who have had really difficult experiences with this. So for that, it was gut-wrenching. I was grateful that my own son did not have that experience at all.
Scott said some beautiful things in our last Advocate interview -- that you were very accepting. It can be tough for moms and their sons at times. Scott, was it easy to tell your mom you were gay?
Scott:For me, I wanted it to be more dramatic than it was. When I did tell her, I sat around with her and told her, and then she was like, “Cool. What do you want for dinner?” It wasn’t even anything. People would ask me, “When did you know?” or “When did you come out?” My mother always tells this story: The day she gave birth to me, she looked down and said, “Oh, yay. I got a gay one.”
While Scott was growing up, did you know instinctively that he was gay?
Lisa: It was not something I really thought about. I have a very large number of gay friends, mostly men. It never really was an issue for me if any of my children were gay or not. It was irrelevant. When it really became something that I thought about was when I could see there was something going on inside him. All I cared about was that Scott was not struggling or hurt or knew that the path was clear in terms of his entire family. I just wanted it to be an easy journey and an easy road for him to be able to get there and come out and live the life he wanted to live.
You must have been concerned that for a gay child, it can be harder in society and present different challenges.
Lisa: That is just it. The lifestyle is harder. You have to remember, I live and work in a community that is very open. I mean, we know a gay couple who have children and a white picket fence. In Massachusetts, I know a lot of gay married couples, friends with children, and living their lives as a family. For me, I thought the only hard part would be that transition from Scott being what he was in high school. That was the popular boy, all the beautiful girls loved him, and all his friends were the super jocks ...
Scott:Thanks, Mom, keep going ...
Lisa: .I worried about that transition for him, and as it turned out, he had remarkably wonderful friends. The captain of the football team was upset because Scott did not tell him directly. On the family side it was, “Are you OK? Are you happy? What do you need from us?”
Scott: My little sister, the first thing she said was, “Can we go shopping?” I said, “Just because I am gay does not mean I want to go shopping!” [Laughs]
Scott, what did your OLTL castmates say about working with and meeting Mom?
Scott:They have not shut up about her, which is fantastic. Everyone in the makeup and hair department has asked, “How is Mom?” She became best friends with David Fumero [Cristian]. He still asks about her, and my mom goes, “How’s David?”
Lisa:I love David. He is such a good boy!