Matthew Bomer took out the Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Normal Heart at the Golden Globes recently and in his acceptance speech he thanked his husband and children, using the words “my husband”. Now the performing arts have always been filled with LGBT people but there is still a lot of fear amongst some closeted actors that if their sexuality is revealed it will ruin their careers. For some it would become a Mission Impossible (cough cough). So for Matthew to be so public about his sexuality and for it to not even gain one negative article (from what I’ve seen) is a huge sign that we are getting there.
The fact that movies like The Normal Heart are being made and made well is a sign that we’ve come a long way. Back when the movie Philadelphia was made in 1993 it was a brave movie. At the time it got some criticism for the complete lack of affection shown between the lead characters, a gay couple. The criticism these days would be overwhelming and probably ruin the movie’s chance at success. The same criticisms have been leveled Modern Family’s lack of affection between Cam and Mitch.
There is a fantastic array of LGBT people who are openly gay in Hollywood these days pushing boundaries with sexuality and equality. For me, it’s the wholesome clean cut guys like Matthew Bomer that are going to make things more “palatable” for the conservative masses. The amazing drag queens, trans men and women and in your face queens that rioted at Stonewall have been the warriors who’ve broken down walls and fought hard for rights but it’s so easy for the conservatives to dismiss the more flamboyant characters in our community because they can’t relate to them. Guys like Bomer and women like Ellen Degeneres who aren’t confronting and middle America can imagine sitting at their dinner table are a valuable part of the equation too. Middle American mothers might even be able to picture their gay son bringing someone like Matt Bomer home for Thanksgiving. I’ll picture him doing other things.