Equality Magazine Winter 2011
And, so, finally, after almost 3 months since the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) event that Luke Macfarlane attended back in November, the HRC has printed some excerpts of what Luke said at the HRC Chicago Gala 2010. I have included the two pages in the gallery that covers his interview in the Equality Magazine Winter 2011. They are HQs so they’re kinda big. There are some great stuff he said in this interview that you will want to read. You may want to download the full version. (Remember to use the (i) on the lightbox to access the information page which will bring you to the normal page and then click on the picture to get the full size).
On “Brothers & Sisters,” his first Hollywood party and coming out every single day
Luke MacFarlane may be best known for his role as Scotty on the ABC’s hit television series, “Brothers and Sisters,” where his husband, Kevin, is a member of the complicated, but certainly lovable, Walker family. “Brothers and Sisters” was the first show on American network TV to air a same-sex marriage ceremony. And it goes on to talk about the everyday issues of our lives – like gay parenting, who teaches the child how to bait a hook, who leads on the tango and so much more. And it stars Sally Field!
MacFarlane, 31, made his feature film debut in Bill Condon’s film, Kinsey, opposite Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, and also starred in Robert Altman’s series about American politics, Tanner on Tanner, opposite Cynthia Nixon. The Julliard graduate – who has a twin sister – hails from London, Ontario, and lives in Los Angeles.
Excerpts from his HRC address follow.
“During my first week in LA, I was invited to my first Hollywood party. It was a sprawling contemporary home, high in the Hollywood Hills. And I knew almost no one there, and I wandered about large rooms a bit lost, with a drink in my hand, looking for someone to talk to. Eventually, a pretty blonde casting assistant recognized me from an audition and called me over and introduced me to a group of her friends. We talked for a bit, and she asked how I was adjusting to life in Los Angeles – how my driving skills were, and the superiority of Los Angeles sushi over New York sushi.
“But then she said to me, ‘I heard a rumor, Luke, I heard you were gay. Are you gay?’ I think my heart skipped a beat, and I impulsively responded, ‘No, I’m not gay.’ I felt sick to my stomach. And somehow, I agreed to have a date with her. This might not seem like a shocking lie, coming from the lips of a newly arrived actor in Hollywood. Lord knows, there is a rich legacy of gay male actors going on dates with women. But the truth was, up until that point, I believed I was comfortable and secure in my sexuality. I had been living as an opening gay person in New York for years. Why did I feel like I had to say, ‘I’m straight,’ in that moment? Coming out for me had been relatively painless. When I sat down with my oldest buddies and told them I was gay, they hugged me and they said, ‘This doesn’t change anything.’ When I choked out the words, ‘I’m gay,’ to my mom and dad, the first thing they said was ‘We love you.’ And then my mother told me that she still expected grandkids from me! [Laughter]
“Any difficulties I had in coming out were internal. My struggles were mostly within myself. The immediate world around me was incredibly supportive; it couldn’t have been more supportive. I was raised and educated in a place where I felt safe and secure, I was never bullied, and my family encouraged me to self investigation. What was shocking about that lie that I told that night in Hollywood Hills was how easily I could take all the steps I had made toward making the best and open version of myself back. Because in that moment, in a few words, I slipped back into the closet.
“It was then that I realized how fragile my resolve was. And that if I was going to truly be gay, I was going to have to come out every single day of my life.
“It’s something that we do in small ways. Like asking for a room with a single bed when we’re on vacation with our partners. And it’s something that we do in large ways, like telling our commanding officers that we’re gay. For the past few years, I have been taking class in fine wood-working… most of my classmates are retired contractors, firemen and engineers, and most of them have never met and actor before. Each class starts with an introduction. And I say, ‘My name is Luke MacFarlane and I’m an actor.’ And they say, ‘Oh, would I know you from anything?’ And I say, ‘Well, right now I’m on a show called “Brothers and Sisters.”‘… And they say, ‘Oh, “Brothers and Sisters!”‘ And then they say, ‘Well, what do you play?’ And I say, ‘I play the husband of one of the brothers.’ ‘Ooohhh’ is usually the response. Recently, one of my shop mates wandered over to me and admitted that he had seen my show because his wife watches it. And then he asked me what it was like kissing a guy. I told him I liked it. But I could see that I was starting to make him nervous, and then he asked me, ‘So are you gay in real life?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ And I swear to you that it was like coming out for the first time all over again.
“I wish I could say at this point, he said, ‘Cool.’ But instead, he became uncomfortable and told me that I was the first gay person he had ever met. For the remainder of the class, he kept his distance, and I was obviously disappointed by the way that conversation went down.
“I would like to think that on some level, I helped move his acceptance of gay people just a tiny step forward. And that is all we can do.
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