IN “this is so stupid” news a self proclaimed author and “actor” Nicholas Brown found it pertinent to divulge the trials and tribultion of a straight actor playing a gay role. In the oh so (NOT) riveting Why Do I Still Feel Uncomfortable Playing a Gay Man on TV?, Brown questions the thougtht processes that he goes through to portray a gay man, accurately or otherwise. Overall in a very vague sentiment of history, stereotypes, and prejudices, Brown recalls how gay roles are very trying, even though he has a plethora of friends and family who are gay:
I am not gay. I have no shortage of gay friends. My uncle is gay. I’ve marched in a gay pride parade. More than half of the roommates I have lived with are gay. I support marriage equality.
So it comes as a shock to me when I realize that, actually, if I am honest with myself, I’m not comfortable with kissing another man on camera. I really don’t want to book this part.
I don’t want people to think I’m gay. And I’m even more uncomfortable because that isn’t a thought that I want to have.
Acting is a curious profession. The Oscars tend to award actors who transfigure themselves. Think of Charlize Theron in Monster or Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Capote. And most actors actively want to stretch outside of themselves. That is, after all, why we tried to make a career out of pretending. But people tend to assume things about you after they have seen you onstage. The character and the person are conflated.
Still, I wouldn’t turn down a commercial that required me to pretend to slap a child, or one where I played a Nazi. And—assuming the ad wasn’t advocating child abuse or Nazism—I don’t think I would feel odd about the audition.
Alright enough is enough. The rest of the article reads as some power point to justify Brown’s “bold” declaration. And since Brown is so forthcoming, I’ll return the favor. Your article is insulting and I am so sick of these vain pretentious actors like you Brown being praised and recognized for playing gay characters. And here you go thinking that they’re “brave” and then complaining about how uncomfortable you felt during the process of doing YOUR JOB? Please shut the hell up.
Every time you go out and say something so inanely stupid further perpetuates this inaccurate stereotype that being gay is a chore. That being gay is some big effort that requires a lot of effort.And on some subconscious level, you talking about being “uncomfortable” implies to the reader that gay is a choice. Because you imply that you can play an abuser or murderer with ease, but something that involves a nonviolent kiss with a guy gives you concern and you have to make a conscious effort to participate (instead of just not going for gay roles, which would actually make sense).
You choosing a r0le is a choice. Me responding to your ignorant article is a choice. Being gay is not a choice. Even when discussing the matter of the discrepancies of gay actors being denied playing straight characters and giving justifications isn’t about you wanting to expand your talent. It’s about money and your wallet. Since you’re taking this existential journey why not go all the way and be honest about it. I think what you were trying to do was discuss it as a process like any normal job preparation but instead tried to justify why you and others feel that way. Well let me tell you, you missed the mark.
You’re probably wondering in astonishment why I am being so confrontational about your statements, failing to see my issue is. Well, for the most part, we spend on average about the first two decades or more of our lives finally accepting our sexuality. Some of us still repress it because there is still a need to fit into society rather than accepting and completely owning that we are sexual beings.. Not that being being gay is difficult but because life is difficult. Acceptance is difficult. Society is difficult. Out culture that slowly moves towards equality and on a consciously accepts on a moralistic level to demonize gay makes our lives difficult. Misconceptions and ignorance is the catalyst to all of this and Brown, you’re serving up a hefty pile of it in your article.
In all fairness, Brown does try to repair some of his verbal damage by issuing an apology, and it is suggestive, albeit not clear, on wanting to change that part of himself as he recognizes this flaw in himself:
I, at least, am sorry. You don’t have to believe in a Judeo-Christian god to find something redeeming in confession. I am sorry that I balked at the idea of pretending to be gay. I am sorry that my uncle went home alone all those years. I am sorry for the whole ugly human history of slights and hate crimes and exclusion.
It seems important to acknowledge the depth and power of our biases, particularly at a time of year when many of us try to devote ourselves to being better people. There is something vicious in each of us. Depressing though that may seem, focusing on our flaws is a first necessary part of wanting to be better. The hope that we can be better, it seems to me, deserves great celebration.
Even in your apology, you congratulate yourself but offer no substance to it like how you would work to understand why this uncomfortable stance exists within you. That would be an actual benefit but again, your vague reasoning is so aloof from substance.
And your weak, strained opinion on how hard it is for you to portray a gay character further represses us. We get enough of this shit from NOM and FRC but I sometimes wonder if people like you are the ones that do the most damage. People that claim accpetance, seeminly nonintrusive and welcoming, spreading ignorance and a pompous air of accomplishment. We already have vapid nihilists like Bret Easton Ellis for that Brown so we doon’t need you adding to the collective pool of derisive ignorance. You or any other actor making the same stupid statements are not brave for making this declaration. You’re assholes.