One of the nine out gay or bisexual stars of Netflix’s The Boys in the Band, Charlie Carver says that a gay colleague once slapped his face at an Emmy party as part of a lesson to not to appear too gay at entertainment industry events. The exchange was a catalyst for Carver coming out a while later.
“I was told that I needed to ‘get it under control’ around people in the business,” Carver told Variety of how the incident began.
Later that evening, when Carver asked his colleague what he meant by the statement, the man slapped him.
“It wasn’t playful but intentional, pointed and meant to be instructive. A slap,” Carver said. “I told him that if he ever touched me again, I would name him.”
“That was the moment when I said to myself, ‘I can’t do this. I cannot police myself in that way,’” he said.
Carver came out a few months later, in January of 2016, on Instagram.
In a recent interview with The Advocate, Carver, who also stars in Ratched on Netflix, said he was “intensely grateful” for the support he received once he came out.
“To have kind of other champions in this business who gave me a chance, Ryan Murphy being one of them, they saw something in me and they let me be a part of it,” Carver said. “Then, opportunities led to other opportunities … I started kind of stepping into myself, and I believe when you do that, doors open.”
Since deciding to come out, Carver starred as “Cowboy,” a hustler and a birthday present for Zachary Quinto’s birthday boy Harold in the 2018 Broadway revival of 1968's The Boys in the Band. He reprised the role for the Netflix film.