Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

To Be Young, Gifted, and Out

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

To Be Young, Gifted, and Out

Article excerpt

You may think that on Broadway it's easy to be out. Actually, it depends on what you mean by "out." In theaters and elsewhere, I've heard a lot of half-measures, put forward in all sincerity, from "my friends know" to "it's not an issue." They usually boil down to excuses from people afraid to say these simple words: "I'm gay."

Cheyenne Jackson is not one of those people. Tall and strikingly handsome, the star of Broadway's campy hit Xanadu is the essence of "straight-acting, straight-appearing" onstage. He's a powerhouse singer and a good enough dancer to put the moves on his leading lady in roller skates, no less. Jackson is the kind of big, masculine leading man whose "people" advise him never to come out. You know the conventional wisdom: If audience members know an actor's gay, they won't believe him when he makes love to a woman onstage or onscreen.

Jackson believes we're smarter than that. He's telling his truth and trusting his talent to pave the way forward. …

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