Not Garden Variety



MICHAEL SUCSY DIRECTS X390 | ADVOCATE.COM The director is still contemplating that question. "It's important for people to know about us and for kids to know they're not alone," he says. Sucsy found a dearth of such positive images when he was a child, but laughs when thinking back to 1982, the first time he saw gay characters in a film. "My very conservative father took me to the film of Deathtrap, and when Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine kissed, he said, 'We're leaving.' He yanked me out and said this is not appropriate."

But neither of his films to date, nor the upcoming Rosaline, has included gay characters. For a moment Sucsy becomes politely defensive. "Listen, the majority of people in this world are heterosexual, so the majority of stories tend to be about heterosexuals," he says. "Could this be told with two men or two women? Absolutely. Would that add a layer that isn't there and make the story better? No, I don't think so."

Nevertheless, Sucsy won't make any allowances for homo-phobic humor. "There was a film recently in which they kept using the word 'gay' in a disparaging way," he states. "It really bugged me, because there was a homosexual person involved in that production, so I wrote an email and said, 'You're in a position to not do that. It didn't make it funnier. So stop allowing that.'" Sucsy won't identify the film or the person but admits his friend in question blew off the criticism and jokingly called him a "fag."

Still, he's aware of his responsibility if The Vow is a success. "I also make sure there's nothing slanderous or negative about gay people in my work," he says. "That's something I can control. I'm not looking to be a role model, but if I become one for some kid who knows he's gay and he thinks because I'm doing it that he can, then great. It's not my goal or agenda, but if that happens in the process of me just living my life, fantastic."

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