elysianism28 karma2017-02-16 19:49:04 UTC
What is your dream role, if you could have any in the world, and what is your dream directorial role (genre, plot, cast to direct)? If you had to pick one of these, dream role or dream directing opportunity, which would you prefer to do?
Now this is the obligatory thank-you part that I could not pass up the opportunity to post, considering how much your LGBT+ work has meant to me:
I figured this would be a good opportunity to send some well-deserved thanks your way and hope you see it…! This idea of wanting to thank you started in a letter I started writing a good few years ago now… which I still happen to have in my bedside table, because it never got sent. (I don’t think I ever figured out where to send fan-mail to you, which didn’t help my cause.)
I don’t remember, when I was younger, knowing of any out actors. I’m 20 now, but up until my mid-teens, there was a big blank space around the ideas of ‘LGBT+’ and ‘the world’ being connected for me. I’ve known I was gay since I was 11, but the experience was very isolating, not knowing any gay people in real life. I had no foundation to go on, no experience in this, and obviously felt as though I couldn’t talk with anyone about it, even though I remember very few support-type services.
I remember seeing you in Zathura (my Dad loves Jumanji, so it was bound to happen) and ever since then, I think I’ve just sort of stuck with you. I must have seen that movie when I was about 12/13, and I think that’s when I started to hear what it was you were saying, because I noticed it was relevant to me. I followed what you were saying, and as I got older and more aware of myself and the world, it really started to have an impact on me. I felt as though that was my connection, as though that was my way of learning partly about who I was.
Even though you weren’t gay, the fact that you were only a few years older than me and were into the things and the field I also enjoyed really helped me relate to you. Because I related to you and because you actually meant something to me, the message you seemed so passionate about really resonated with me and it gave me a sort of courage and hope I don’t think someone older (or just generally someone whom I didn’t look up to) would have been able to instil. For the first time, someone I liked and someone I respected was talking about this thing I wasn’t able to share with anyone else. And they were a proper force in the ‘wider world.’
I never really struggle with ‘being gay,’ but I struggled with what other people might have thought, and again your dialogue helped with that. It was just so amazing to see someone whom I respected acting in a way that showed me he would treat me and people like me just as he would any other person. Even though it wasn’t a two way conversation between us, I felt that because you were a person with such a big stature who was brave enough to say this in public, that surely you knew people like me were out there and you were at least partially talking to us.
In the big scheme of things, I didn’t have it as hard as some others do, and I never want to take that for granted. My parents are relatively liberal and Australia is an OK climate to LGBT+ in. But I still found that it was hard to relate who I was with something bigger, and it was scary thinking about whether I would have to start a journey of discovery (not just self-discovery, but a discovery of ‘everything LGBT+’ I suppose you could say) on my own. Simply said, you helped me bridge the gap that I think sometimes people forget exists, even for young LGBT+ people in “supportive” environments. Just because they’re supportive doesn’t mean they’re informative or comfortable.
Nowadays, I’m so happy when I see younger celebrities come out, because I know how much that visibility and that platform means to young LGBT+ kids who simply want to see someone like them on television or in the media. Ellen Page, Charlie Carver, Tom Daley, Troye Sivan, Gus Kenworthy, etc, are all fantastic people that I just know will help make all the difference in someone’s life, as you did in mine.
So, all in all, I just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me and everyone else like me! I think it’s fair to say you’re not just an ally, but a friend too. I hope one day I get to shake your hand and thank you in-person for what you’ve done.
(...well this is the most personal thing I've ever written on this website.)
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