Gus Kenworthy gets candid about his years in the closet
For reasons that escape us, out actor/Olympian Gus Kenworthy has been on the receiving end of criticism after it was announced his role in the new American Horry Story anthology would beâ€¦wait for itâ€¦straight.
We hope you didnâ€™t faint.
The upcoming series, titled American Horry Story: 1984, looks properly creepy. But one thing we donâ€™t find creepy is Kenworthy playing a straight character. Do we even need to say that?
In an essay published by ESPN, Kenworthy said:
â€śWhen Ryan [Murphy] announced heâ€™d hired me to play Emmaâ€™s boyfriend, he and I both received a lot of negative comments online.
â€śSome people wanted to know how I was cast as a straight man or if I could play straight. Is that even a question?
â€śI spent the first 23 years of my life playing a straight man.â€ť
â€śEvery gay man has the experience at some point in his life of pretending to be someone heâ€™s not.
â€śI 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.
â€śThe stakes were so high. I remember going to crazy lengths to make people believe I was someone I was not. Thatâ€™s acting.â€ť
â€śMaybe this sounds unfair, but I feel like itâ€™s much more OK for a gay man to play a straight role than vice versa.
â€śMost 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, itâ€™s usually a sidekick.
â€śAllowing a gay person to play that character does a lot in terms of visibility and breaking down perceptions and stereotypes.â€ť