I haven’t seen all of Girls yet, but what I’ve seen I feel is very accurate to my own experience in my twenties. And unfortunately, it’s a show about women rather than gay men. There has never been any sort of medium or art that I identified with that was written about a gay man. I always identify with women in films, sometimes men, but usually I react to things with such strong feelings and emotions that you don’t see straight men do that in film at all. It’s refreshing to see that in The Outs. Not only that, but you’ve got gay guys playing gay guys, which so rarely happens.
I saw Zachary Quinto in Angels in America last summer, and I wanted to bring a fucking sign because I don’t think you get to be Louis in Angels in America if you’re in the closet. I was really pleased when he finally came out because I just wanted those kids in Ohio who liked Star Trek to know that Spock is gay. Spock! I have a friend that feels very strongly, that especially like a place in New York, only gay actors should be playing gay roles, and philosophically I really disagree with that because it goes against the idea of acting. That said, it is our total pleasure to have as many gay actors on the show as we do and—not that you need to have experienced it to act it, that’s not what acting is about—since it’s about New York and people and whatever, it helps. And we had experiences with one of the minor gay roles; a couple of them are played by straight men or whatever they want to identify themselves, and one of them asked, “Can you tell me if I’m going to have to do any guy on guy stuff,” and I was like, this probably isn’t a really great match because, no you’re not, but that’s not the point and I kind of don’t want you hanging around. Another straight guy said, “Whatever you want to do is fine, I don’t feel like making out with people on screen.” He handled that right. It’s just about how you handle these things and the level of sensitivity, because no gay actor will ever say, “Hey, am I going to have to, like, touch a boob?” Fuck off already. If you’re a professional actor, then put on your big boy pants and deal with it.
I talked to Adam Goldman, friend and smart person behind The Outs, a great webseries that you can read all about (and watch!) here. At times it went from a normal Q&A to us having an actual conversation about how gay men are portrayed in TV and film.