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Why Sex and the City's Stanford Portrayer Didn't Come Out as Straight


Willie Garson, who portrayed Carrie Bradshaw's GBF Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City, has revealed why he stayed in the closet — as a straight actor.

“For years I didn’t talk about it because I found it to be offensive to gay people,” Garson told Page Six in a Thursday interview.

“People playing gay characters jumping up and down screaming that they’re not gay, like that would somehow be a bad thing if they were.”

Garson said that during press interviews, he had a stock answer if inquiries about his sexual orientation arose. “When the question would come up during the show I would say, ‘When I was on White Collar, no one ever asked me if I was a con man, and when I was on NYPD Blue, nobody ever asked me if I was a murderer. This is what we do for a living, portray people,'” he said.

However, Garson also experienced dating troubles for portraying the high-profile gay character, who memorably wed Anthony (Mario Cantone) in a musical same-sex marriage number with Liza Minnelli in the Sex and the City 2 film.

“At the beginning, you would approach someone at a bar and realize, ‘Oh, they want to be Stanford’s best friend.’ They don’t necessarily want to sleep with you,” Garson said. The actor never married, but he did adopt a seven-year-old son, Nathen, in 2009.

Garson remarks come at a time of debate over the appropriateness of straight actors portraying gay roles. While the casting of a straight actor in Disney's first clearly gay role in Jungle Cruise sparked a sizable backlash on Twitter — campy tropes are particularly sensitive territory — indie fare like Supernova, a Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci starrer, have a warmer welcome.

Historically, out actors were less likely to be cast in starring roles, even gay ones, as this list of 61 straight people who received Oscar nominations for LGBTQ+ roles attests. 

Tags: television

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