Mean Girls Actor Comes Out In A Letter To His Character, Damian

Daniel Franzese, the actor best known for his scene-stealing turn as the Gretchen Weiner snubbing Janis Ian accomplice in the last of the great teen comedies, has come out as gay in an open letter to his Mean Girls character, Damian.

Published in Indiewire, Franzese, 35, writes to Damian to explain why his professional anxiety of Hollywood’s “gay ceiling” prevented him from publicly acknowledging his sexuality, and why, almost a decade later, Damian has inspired him to do just that. 

“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,” Franzese writes. “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 – ten 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.)”  
You can read the letter in full here via Indiewire.

Via Indiewire