Matt Bomer has revealed that coming out as gay cost him film and television roles – but he said that the trade-off was ultimately worth it.
The American Horror Story star came out publicly as gay in 2012 in the best possible way — by thanking his husband while accepting an award for his HIV/AIDS activism.
But Bomer has now revealed that his simple act of courage cost him roles in film and television in the years that followed.
Speaking to Attitude magazine, Bomer said there is a “trade-off” for LGBT+ people coming out in the public eye.
“We’re living in a day and age where there are actors and athletes and public figures who are openly gay and have been unafraid to acknowledge that, but without a question, there’s a trade-off, in my experience,” he said.
“I came out at a time when it was very risky to do so – I had a studio film that was about to premiere, and a television series coming out. But to me it was more important to be my almost authentic self, both for my family, and for myself.”
He continued: “I wasn’t trying to be a role model, nor am I now, but I thought if it could help just one person, then it would be worth it.
“But to say that didn’t cost me certain things in my career would be a lie. It did. To me that trade-off was worth it. But it hasn’t been some fairy tale — no pun intended.”
Matt Bomer set to star in The Boys in the Band.
The actor made his comments during an interview ahead of the release of a Ryan Murphy adaptation of acclaimed queer play The Boys in the Band, written by the late Mart Crowley.
The film, slated for release on Netflix September 30, is directed by Joe Mantello, and stars Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells alongside Bomer.
In the same interview, Quinto lashed out at the Trump administration for its “patriarchal white male, heterosexual, homophobic, transphobic mentality”.
“Persecution still exists. It has shifted slightly into different factions of our community. With increased trans visibility – huge step forward in the last five or 10 years – there’s come increased violence against trans people – particularly Black, trans women, and trans women of colour,” Quinto added.
“As gay white men, maybe our challenges have diminished slightly, but we owe it to one another to stand up on behalf of each other. Violence against one of us is violence against all of us.”
The Boys in the Band debuted off-Broadway in 1968 and quickly went on to become a seminal play for the LGBT+ community.
The groundbreaking play tells the story of a group of gay men gathering for a birthday party in New York City. It debuted into a world in which LGBT+ people had not yet received anything close to mainstream representation, and it broke new ground in its depiction of queer lifestyles.
The upcoming Netflix adaptation, produced by Murphy, will reunite the cast of an acclaimed 2018 Broadway revival of the play.