The Wanderer

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sunfishdunes:

Dear Damian,
It’s been a long time since our last encounter. Ten years to be exact.
I was 26; you were 16. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.
You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.
What you may not know …
When I was cast in the role of “Damian” in Mean Girls, I was TERRIFIED to play this part. But this was a natural and true representation of a gay teenager — a character we laughed with instead of at. (You can thank Tina Fey and Mark Waters for that. I can only take partial credit.)
When we first made this movie, I’m not sure any of us knew how loved and quoted this movie would become. You certainly hope when you pour your heart into something, that people will respond — but to paraphrase Gretchen Wieners, “we can’t help it that we’re so popular.”
So, why the hell did it take me so long to come out of the closet?
Here’s why:
When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles — Guidos, gangsters, and goombahs were my specialty. So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.
For example:
One time I wanted to audition for a supporting character in a low-budget indie movie described as a “doughy, blue-collar lug of a guy.” The role was to play the husband of an actress friend of mine who I had been in two movies and an Off-Broadway play with. She and I had even moved to LA together.
I figured I was perfect for it.
They said they were looking for a real “man’s man.” The casting director wouldn’t even let me audition. This wasn’t the last time this happened. There were industry people who had seen me play you in Mean Girls but never seen me read in an audition but still denied me to be seen for “masculine” roles.
However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay. How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, cliched butt-of-a-joke?
So, there it was. Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really pissed at you. I became celibate for a year and a half. I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay. I even brought a girl to the Mean Girlspremiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard.
It wasn’t until years later that grown men started to coming up to me on the street — some of them in tears — and thanking me for being a role model to them. Telling me I gave them comfort not only being young and gay but also being a big dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them.
Meanwhile, I was still in the closet. Deleting tweets that asked if I was gay, scrubbing IMDB Message Boards for any indication, etc. (It’s important to note that I was actually DISCOVERED singing in a Florida gay bar by casting director, Carmen Cuba, for my first role in Larry Clark’s Bully.)
I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 — 10 years later — looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.” Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it’s time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means “God is my judge.” So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet, or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.)
By the way … in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshall of the Portland Gay Pride Parade.
so…
We go Glen Coco.
With love and respect,
Daniel Franzese
P.S. I hate it when people say I’m “too gay to function.” I know you do, too. Those people are part of the problem. They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.

sunfishdunes:

Dear Damian,

It’s been a long time since our last encounter. Ten years to be exact.

I was 26; you were 16. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.

You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.

What you may not know …

When I was cast in the role of “Damian” in Mean Girls, I was TERRIFIED to play this part. But this was a natural and true representation of a gay teenager — a character we laughed with instead of at. (You can thank Tina Fey and Mark Waters for that. I can only take partial credit.)

When we first made this movie, I’m not sure any of us knew how loved and quoted this movie would become. You certainly hope when you pour your heart into something, that people will respond — but to paraphrase Gretchen Wieners, “we can’t help it that we’re so popular.”

So, why the hell did it take me so long to come out of the closet?

Here’s why:

When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles — Guidos, gangsters, and goombahs were my specialty. So, would I be able to play all of those parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a “gay glass ceiling” in casting.

For example:

One time I wanted to audition for a supporting character in a low-budget indie movie described as a “doughy, blue-collar lug of a guy.” The role was to play the husband of an actress friend of mine who I had been in two movies and an Off-Broadway play with. She and I had even moved to LA together.

I figured I was perfect for it.

They said they were looking for a real “man’s man.” The casting director wouldn’t even let me audition. This wasn’t the last time this happened. There were industry people who had seen me play you in Mean Girls but never seen me read in an audition but still denied me to be seen for “masculine” roles.

However, I did turn down many offers to play flamboyant, feather-boa-slinging stereotypes that always seemed to be laughed at BECAUSE they were gay. How could I go from playing an inspirational, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing, cliched butt-of-a-joke?

So, there it was. Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really pissed at you. I became celibate for a year and a half. I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay. I even brought a girl to the Mean Girlspremiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard.

It wasn’t until years later that grown men started to coming up to me on the street — some of them in tears — and thanking me for being a role model to them. Telling me I gave them comfort not only being young and gay but also being a big dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them.

Meanwhile, I was still in the closet. Deleting tweets that asked if I was gay, scrubbing IMDB Message Boards for any indication, etc. (It’s important to note that I was actually DISCOVERED singing in a Florida gay bar by casting director, Carmen Cuba, for my first role in Larry Clark’s Bully.)

I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 — 10 years later — looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.” Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it’s time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means “God is my judge.” So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet, or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.)

By the way … in June I am the Celebrity Grand Marshall of the Portland Gay Pride Parade.

so…

We go Glen Coco.

With love and respect,

Daniel Franzese

P.S. I hate it when people say I’m “too gay to function.” I know you do, too. Those people are part of the problem. They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.

(Source: blogs.indiewire.com, via feynificent)

1,161 notes

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an incredibly clever, complex and extraordinary show, contributing to the birth of female empowerment portrayed in television and constructing positive role models for young women in particular. The show was born in a still very traditional patriarchal society, and has since created characters such as Buffy and her fellow friends and allies for female audiences to idolise and adore - “these stories give people strength”. Along with the establishment of the first long-term lesbian relationship to be seen on network television, Joss Whedon and Buffy have taken an enormous step towards equality, a necessity enabling survival in the modern day world.

(Source: spikebuffy, via feminist-fairy)

7 notes

sweetspeas:

"WHO DID THE THING?!?!" #fionnathehumantakesdc #lemongrab #adventuretime #awesomecon #awesecon2014 #awesomecondc (at Awesome Con)

sweetspeas:

"WHO DID THE THING?!?!" #fionnathehumantakesdc #lemongrab #adventuretime #awesomecon #awesecon2014 #awesomecondc (at Awesome Con)

39,926 notes

If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”

And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.

And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.

It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.

The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.

As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.

Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via clambistro)

Once at a festival I went to a discussion panel with sci-fi writers and someone asked them how they would write a pregnant character. 

And all three of the male panellists said that they couldn’t, because they literally couldn’t even begin to put themselves in the position of being pregnant. 

These are sci-fi writers. They make their living writing about space lizards from Mars, or alien invasions, or futuristic dystopia where everyone breathes through their fingers or whatever

Their entire function is to write unimaginable, crazy, out-there stuff. That is the whole point of their existence. And they couldn’t even try to imagine what it would be like to be pregnant. It’s seen as this inherently and totally mysterious female thing, that no man can ever even think of representing, even though as men they write things that none of them have ever or will ever experience. 

It made me realise - In the world of sci-fi fiction, alien experiences are more human than women’s experiences. 

(via reasonsforfeminism)

(Source: ofgrammatology, via stfu-moffat)