Are You Ready to Say "I'm Gay"?

By Ross von Metzke

Originally published on Advocate.com February 04 2009 12:00 AM ET

From the creative
team behind A&E’s Intervention comes Way Out , a show that hopes to help people who are still
closeted come out to family, friends, coworkers, and,
in the process, anyone with a subscription to Showtime. But casting producer Adam
Drucker says that unlike most reality shows that find
entertainment in people’s pain, Way Out
is really about helping families come together.
Drucker sat down with Advocate.com in the hopes of
finding a few good people to film the
show’s pilot episode
.

Advocate.com:When word first broke that Showtime is
producing a show about helping people come out to
their families and friends, gay people were
understandably skeptical. But hearing that it was
from the same team that produces Intervention
sort of softened the blow. How did working on
Intervention prepare you for this show?
Adam Drucker: I worked on Intervention in the
first season. Working on that show was incredibly
rewarding. Initially, when they first approached me
with Intervention, I had some skepticism. Would
it be exploitive? I wanted to make sure their goal was in no
way, shape, or form to exploit people’s pain
for entertainment. My argument was this: Do these
stories need to be televised? But I found that you
help an enormous amount of people if you show these stories,
and Intervention was my first exposure to the power
of something like this.

With Way
Out
, it all depends on the execution and the
people we find –- finding people who absolutely want
to take part in this. We don’t want anyone
who’s even remotely unwilling.

I’m sure you heard from a lot of people,
"Why do we need a show about coming out?"
Oh yeah, people said, "Come on, were sort of
past the coming-out story." My response … and
what I've seen…is that as much as we are trying
to reach a gay audience, we’re trying to reach an
audience that’s universal. While the idea of a
coming-out show might be trite to certain communities
of gay people, it's still not understood by the masses.
Prop. 8 shows us that. The choice is not whether or
not you choose to be gay, it’s whether or not
you choose to come out. That’s a much easier choice
in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

So, if the audience you’re going after is both
gay and straight, is it safe to assume the team behind
the show is mixed?
Yes, it’s half and half. We’re in
the very beginning stages. We haven’t started
hiring what will be, ultimately, the whole team. It was
really important to Bryn (Freedman, executive producer
of Way Out and Intervention), who is a
straight woman, that there be gay people associated
with it. What we're doing right now is we're casting
locally to film the pilot, but the stories we’re
really looking for -- what we’ll do in the
series is travel the country, go to places where
people are risking true family rejection or the loss of a
job by coming out.

I think
it’s also important to say that we aren’t
going to out these people and move on. We’ll
provide psychological support, therapy if it’s
needed. We’re not going to hurt these people’s
lives and move on.

What sort of people and stories are you looking for? There’s really no limit. We just want
people who really want to come out -- who are willing
to take this step. People can be out in many aspects
of their life. The Hollywood exec who is married to his
partner, sits on gay boards, but his parents back in
Iowa don’t know he’s gay. When they come
out to visit, he moves his partner out of the house. There
are all ranges of coming out -- we just want to tell
the stories and hope other people can learn from them.

- Way Out
is actively casting people to appear in the pilot
episode of the program. Visit www.WayOutDocumentary.com for more
information.