Starring on HACKS, what has been the most challenging part? The most fulfilling one?
The most challenging part was going back to work after such a long hiatus and knowing that I was working with such powerhouse creatives and people that I admired. The most fulfilling part though was that the intimidation I originally felt was washed away almost immediately by their generosity and kindness and that they’ve become like family to me.
Why did you decide to get into acting? Was there a person or specific moment that you knew this was meant for you?
My grandmother always wanted me to be an actor, so I started taking acting classes as a kid and the rest is history.
Tell us more about who you are and the different parts of yourself you have discovered in the last two years.
I’ve discovered my power as a person and a performer. That being me is truly enough, and that being authentically myself will afford me more opportunities and happiness than trying to be someone I’m not.
Share with us the story of a time you were faced with adversity. How did you overcome it?
Being a young gay kid in the early 2000s was not easy, especially when you’re playing one on television. I was faced with gay slurs and inappropriate questions from reporters about my sexuality as young as the age of 12. I don’t think that I was truly able to “overcome it” until I was in my mid 20’s, but it’s still a work in progress.
Any advice for those who are afraid to truly be themselves?
Self-acceptance and self-love do not have a near timeline. It takes a lot of work and is truly different for every individual. Don’t give up on yourself. Strive to learn to love yourself and I promise it will happen someday.
As an LGBTQ+ activist, what do you believe is the most important aspect to channel on the road to progress?
The multiplicities of the “queer experience”
When you are not working, what do you like to do?
I’m quite a homebody, so I love to cook meals for my friends and lounge around with a nice glass of red wine ha-ha
What comes next?
Continuing to do what I love and try to play as many nuanced gay characters as I possibly can.
My friends are truly the most important people in my life. They inspire me to be creative, to push through my insecurities, and serve as a tonic to the stresses of work-life
My parents have been my biggest supporters and have made so many sacrifices to help me further my career for which ill be forever grateful.
On SEXUAL FLUIDITY
I would hope that the discourses we are having culturally and societally today regarding the spectrum of gender and sexuality can be disseminated and accepted on a global scale
I would hope that one would use their faith, whatever their belief system might be, to spread love and kindness, not division and hate.
On GENDER EQUALITY
It’s a shame that some people are still even debating which bodies are hierarchical. We would live in a more harmonious society if all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, etc. were given equal opportunities and seats at the table; especially regarding issues that affect them directly.
On SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a double-edged sword in my opinion. It can be a useful tool in promoting oneself as well as gathering news in real-time, but it can also function as an extremely divisive tool in terms of one’s self-esteem as well as spreading false information.
On CLIMATE CHANGE
We only have one Earth. Let’s protect it. There are myriad levels to being a climate activist, but even just recycling or turning off a light when you’re not in that room can make a huge impact if we all are collectively participating.
On IMPORTANCE OF POLITICS
I find the importance of voting to be more important than the importance of politics. Politics can be riddled with rhetoric and circle talk. I believe that our inalienable right to vote people in and out of office is what is most important.
I feel similarly about technology as I do about social media. Of course, I can’t imagine a world without my iPhone or instant access to information, but our reliance on these tools—or our addiction to these tools—can also be damaging. But despite the pitfalls of technology, I do generally think it’s important and useful if engaged with correctly.
On IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL STYLE
In the social media generation and the rise of influencer culture, I think a lot of people what to look the same. Personal style has always been important, but I believe that it’s more important now than ever. It’s a physical representation of one not getting lost in the pressures of “sameness”
On CULTURAL DIVERSITY
It’s important for us to see ourselves represented in media and in positions of power and influence. While I believe we have come a long way, there is still much work.