Op-ed: Actor Tells The Others to Take The Risk, Play It Gay
BY Tyler Ross
October 11 2012 3:00 AM ET
Growing up in northern Florida in a Southern Baptist church, I didn’t know any openly gay people. Not until high school did I even meet my first openly gay man, a very talented performer with a heart of gold. As I deepened my involvement in the Jacksonville community theatre scene, I got to know him and a few other openly gay people, and it was during the time of getting to know these lovely souls that my church-instilled sense of homophobia began to dissolve and my compassion for the gay community took root.
Working on Nate & Margaret gave me insight into a community where homosexuality is greatly accepted. Playing Nate, and just living in Chicago actually, I was surrounded by people who believe that being gay really isn’t a big deal. Nate & Margaret paints a refreshingly progressive picture of such a community. Having grown up in an environment where homosexuality was condemned, I did not see the gay community as a supported, thriving group of people. My experiences working on the film showed me just how truly supportive and embracing the gay community can be, especially when it is supported and embraced in return.
I almost didn’t audition for Nate & Margaret. Nathan Adloff, the writer and director, saw a rough cut of The Wise Kids and wanted me to audition for his new film as Nate. I read the script. I was apprehensive at first, for two reasons. One, just because I’m O.K. with playing a gay man doesn’t mean I’m naturally comfortable being physical with another guy, and in that regard Nate in Nate & Margaret is a bit of a step up from Tim in the The Wise Kids. The second reason holds more weight: I admit it, I was afraid to be caught in a “type-cast” trap. Taking two lead roles in a row, both gay, would mean setting a pattern. And unfortunately, “type-casting” is a very real issue. I don’t mind playing gay, but I don’t want to only play gay roles.
- WATCH: Obama Invokes LGBT Rights in Mandela Eulogy
- WATCH: The Best of LGBT Chorus Holiday Music
- Op-ed: Two and a Half Men Introduces Trans Character, Manages to Stay Respectful
- Gay Man Allegedly Assaulted by Hasidic Gang in New York
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- PHOTOS: We Asked The Stars, Who Is Your Hero?
- Women Emily Rios' Lesbian Character on The Bridge Upped to Series Regular December 10 2013 8:47 PM
- Media Russia Expert to Offer Political Commentary During Olympics December 10 2013 7:56 PM
- Travel In-Flight Cellphone Conversations: Dream or Nightmare? December 10 2013 7:48 PM
- Politics New Gay U.S. Ambassador Meets With Dominican President December 10 2013 7:08 PM
- Latest News NBC To Spotlight Russia’s Human Rights Abuses During Olympics December 10 2013 6:11 PM
- Couples/Personal Finances The Financial Effects of DOMA: Filing Taxes December 10 2013 5:56 PM
- Couples/Personal Finances Examining Employee Benefits in the Wake of DOMA’s Overturn December 10 2013 5:38 PM