Times have changed since the days of Rock Hudson, Montgomery Clift and Sal Mineo. Forced into molds and tiny celluloid closets by a system that treated them like cattle. Force feeding the public what the powers that be believed they could handle therefore actually brainwashing generations to only be willing to accept what they were told they could handle. To be honest, that still happens all over our culture, flip on the news sometime and you will get a very biased version of the day; left, right and middle. Reality has always been a far cry from media interpretations.
Things are changing though, with amazing and out gay actors like Neil Patrick Harris, Matthew Bomer, Phillip Keene and many more, we are beginning to be seen. Compared to the studio system days it’s like we are painted in neon lights. There is no rest if you want lasting change though.
You just have to live in this town to hear actors talk about how “lucky” the aforementioned artists are because “that still is not the norm.”
There are continued conversations among the Hollywood infrastructure contemplating whether known gay actors should be cast in heterosexual roles.
We know it affects all minorities across the board, my Asian American friends asked if they could be more “authentic” in their auditions, or Latino actors asked if they would please play more “south of the border,” or African Americans asked to play it more “sassy.”
The fact is there are still major issues in our culture, we have just learned to whisper quieter and use less blatant words.
This is no big epiphany to anyone who is paying any attention of course. Then again, racism and homophobia and misogyny always seem to take the perpetrators off guard for some reason.
I have some words of advice as women, gays, ethnic minorities, trans warriors and anyone else who feels under-represented continue the good fight. Don’t give up, keep pushing to be seen, do your art without apology, consistently push forward.
Also, remember to celebrate and notice when someone is doing what we all hope for. Recognize that it is a sign that there is hope, even if it’s just a glimmer for the moment. Those glass ceilings can only shatter when the cracks begin to appear.
Listen to The Martini Lounge with Jonathan and Sergeyas we talk with out proud actor, Phillip Keene, about spending 13 years on hit shows The Closer and Major Crimes. May more and more artists only know a career of affirmation and the merits of their talent. Preach!