Why Can’t Gay Dudes Play Gay Dudes?
Today was a realization day. I hate those days. You know when you realize that something that you never thought was true actual is true, and now you feel like a jackass ’cause you didn’t see it before. Well, today was one of those days. I had an audition for a feature, and I read through the script, which was OK, not exactly Chaucer, but it was OK. It happened to be a gay movie, which I usually don’t audition for because they are typically soooooo boring and clichéd, and some character always either has an overdose or AIDS because apparently that’s all gays are about (yawn), but I thought this one could be interesting.
I went in and read for the lead, which was some dude who falls in love with some dude yadda yadda yadda. The director liked how I read and asked me to stay to read with some of the other guys auditioning. I was like, “Right on, he likes me!” Well, then some asshole production assistant comes in and says he knows who I am, and then the whole mood changes. But this is where the realization comes: The director asks me if I’m gay. I usually don’t think it’s anyone’s business, but I was like, sure, why not. THEN he says he wants me to try another role. The other role is of the really nelly sidekick. I read it a couple of times, he keeps giving the direction to be more flamboyant, you know, cause that’s funny! Who knows if I will get cast, but I found it interesting that when I said I was gay this GAY director took the GAY lead from my hands and gave it to a straight guy and then gave me the ubergay character. Interesting.
Then I started thinking. I saw a movie called Eating Out. The leads were straight guys playing gay guys and Jim Varraros (from American idol, who sang like he was giving himself a Fleet enema but actually can act), who is openly gay played the nelly roll. In Hellbent, the “first gay horror movie” (I find this funny to begin with, I mean, like who cares lol), all of the gay characters are played by straight guys except the effeminate ones. In Will & Grace, Will the “straight” man, if you will, is played by a straight man and Jack, the queen, is played by the very flamboyantly gay Sean Hayes. Queer As Folk, the leads are played by straight guys except for the really faggy characters. And ladies, you aren’t immune either. The L word, that’s right, hard to believe, but Jennifer Beals is straight (not that she wouldn’t have said or done anything to get a role after Flashdance), but straight girls play the lipstick lesbians, and the real lesbians play the bull dykes.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think acting is acting and the whole point is that you can be whoever they say to be. But I just wonder, if even gay directors and producers and filmmakers don’t have the balls to allow gay people to play gay people without the stigma and stereotypes, then why do people blame guys like Tom and John T and Orlando for not coming out. I wouldn’t come out either if the only way to play gay was to play fag. PLAY HARD!
It’s always a business doing pleasure with you!
– Dylan Vox