Out actor/Olympian Gus Kenworthy got a lot of criticism, mostly from the LGBTQ community, after it was announced his role in the new, American Horror Story:1984, would be a straight man.
Excuse me?! THAT’S a problem?
In an ESPN essay, Kenworthy said:
“When Ryan [Murphy] announced he’d hired me to play Emma [Roberts’] boyfriend, he and I both received a lot of negative comments online.
Some people wanted to know how I was cast as a straight man or if I could play straight. Is that even a question?
I spent the first 23 years of my life playing a straight man.
Every gay man has the experience at some point in his life of pretending to be someone he’s not.
I knew as a teenager that I was gay, yet I was still sleeping with girls, pretending to be straight, playing this persona I thought I needed to be for my sport.
The stakes were so high. I remember going to crazy lengths to make people believe I was someone I was not. That’s acting.
Maybe this sounds unfair, but I feel like it’s much more OK for a gay man to play a straight role than vice versa.
Most characters are straight. Most shows are about straight people and straight lives and straight dynamics, and if there is a gay character on the show, it’s usually a sidekick.
Allowing a gay person to play that character does a lot in terms of visibility and breaking down perceptions and stereotypes.”
American Horror Story: 1984 premiered Sept. 18. The series trailer is below.
(Photo, FX; via Queerty)