I, for one, welcome our future Indian-Chinese lesbian cyborg president.
It’s been a long time since our last encounter. Ten years to be exact.
I was 26; you were 16. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.
You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.
What you may not know …
When I was cast in the role of “Damian” in Mean Girls, I was TERRIFIED to play this part. But this was a natural and true representation of a gay teenager — a character we laughed with instead of at. (You can thank Tina Fey and Mark Waters for that. I can only take partial credit.)
When we first made this movie, I’m not sure any of us knew how loved and quoted this movie would become. You certainly hope when you pour your heart into something, that people will respond — but to paraphrase Gretchen Wieners, “we can’t help it that we’re so popular.”
So, why the hell did it take me so long to come out of the closet?
When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles — Guidos, gangsters, and goombahs were my specialty. So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.
One time I wanted to audition for a supporting character in a low-budget indie movie described as a “doughy, blue-collar lug of a guy.” The role was to play the husband of an actress friend of mine who I had been in two movies and an Off-Broadway play with. She and I had even moved to LA together.
I figured I was perfect for it.
They said they were looking for a real “man’s man.” The casting director wouldn’t even let me audition. This wasn’t the last time this happened. There were industry people who had seen me play you in Mean Girls but never seen me read in an audition but still denied me to be seen for “masculine” roles.
However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay. How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, cliched butt-of-a-joke?
So, there it was. Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really pissed at you. I became celibate for a year and a half. I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay. I even brought a girl to the Mean Girlspremiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard.
It wasn’t until years later that grown men started to coming up to me on the street — some of them in tears — and thanking me for being a role model to them. Telling me I gave them comfort not only being young and gay but also being a big dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them.
Meanwhile, I was still in the closet. Deleting tweets that asked if I was gay, scrubbing IMDB Message Boards for any indication, etc. (It’s important to note that I was actually DISCOVERED singing in a Florida gay bar by casting director, Carmen Cuba, for my first role in Larry Clark’s Bully.)
I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 — 10 years later — looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.” Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it’s time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means “God is my judge.” So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet, or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.)
By the way … in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshall of the Portland Gay Pride Parade.
We go Glen Coco.
With love and respect,
P.S. I hate it when people say I’m “too gay to function.” I know you do, too. Those people are part of the problem. They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.
OMG, poor War Machine…
Why does RDJ have a tiny chair
|—||me every time there is a dog regardless of the situation (via spockular)|
The plot of Mass Effect 3 in a nutshell.
NOOOO NO NO NONO FUCK FUCK FUCKIG CBS IS TELLING WOMEN NOT TO REPORT SEXUAL HARASSMENT BECAUSE IT WILL “DAMAGE THEIR CAREERS” and “HARASSMENT IS AN UNFORTUNATE PART OF CLIMBING THE LADDER” I AM SO ANGRY THEY ARE LITERALLY TURNING SEXUAL HARASSMENT INTO A NORM THIS IS NOT OKAY
This is an actual article and I’m still having a hard time believing it’s real.
IF YOU ARE SEXUALLY HARRASSED YOU REPORT THAT SHIT
That is AWFUL. Please report it when you’re sexually harassed. If not for yourself, to try to protect future victims.
This article is three years old. The fact that it has not been removed from the website, with all evidence of its existence scrubbed from the internet (to the extent that is possible), is proof that women MUST stand up for themselves, because THIS is what we are up against.
In law school I attended a panel about women in law. 97% of it was about balancing a family with work (including one woman who said children are the most important thing) and how to ignore sexual harassment because doing otherwise will hurt your clients and/or career. I hate everything ever.
hello cats hello cats hello cats hello cats
Can we have another “Type the following words into your tags box, then post the first automatic tag that comes up.” post with the words
- I don’t want someone to wander in and raise their eyebrows at my lame attempts to be funny
- okay maybe not but I am so pleased
- …but science!
- though Gat-style Highlander would be a disaster (a glorious one)
- I do hate to say it but aside from the funny bits this does hurt
- 'slight of hand my templar friend. slight of hand. fenris is quite good at it’
- I left him alone for five minutes and he started chain smoking and complaining about Troy
- I feel like I’m getting sentimental all around here
- theirs is a groovy kind of love
- not okay
- but i get tired of seeing his pointy cheekbones everywhere
- though sometimes it’s a mandolin
- i’m just saying that i might have once ADDED butter to a Paula Deen recipe
- no do not charge goddamnit
- and don’t underestimate the importance of body language
- only lovers left alive
- bad ideas all around