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.’)”