Daniel came out of the closet on April 22 in the most touching and inspiring way imaginable — an open letter to his ‘Mean Girls’ character, Damian. So sweet!
10 years after creating the lovable character of Damian for the classic film, Mean Girls, Daniel Franzese has come up with the courage to come out of the closet himself! The best part is, he used Damian as inspiration, writing an open letter to the character as his confession.
Daniel Franzese Comes Out As Gay
If you’ve seen the movie there’s no doubt you’ll remember Damian, Cady Herron’s (Lindsay Lohan’s) gay best friend who helps plot the social demise of biatch of all biatches, Regina George. He is kind, funny, caring and above all confident — proud of who he is.
“Dear Damian,” Daniel begins the letter to his iconic Mean Girls alter-ego, posted on Indiewire.
Though the manifesto is not merely a coming out, it is a sad portrait of Hollywood reality — a reality where playing a gay character can get you typecast for life.
Daniel explains, “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.’ They said they were looking for a real ‘man’s man.’ The casting director wouldn’t even let me audition.”
He goes on to tell the sad truth that this wasn’t the last time that happened. As disturbing as this is to read, it’s very important that the truth is out there, because if people don’t speak up about this, there can never be a change.
Daniel Franzese: Damian Gave Me The Courage To Come Out
In the letter, Daniel also explains the reason he chose to come out was because of Damian.
After years of hating the character for limiting his acting choices, he realized that Damian had actually made a difference to people’s lives. He wrote, addressing Damian directly:
Grown men started 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.
Honestly, so touching.
Daniel, massive congrats for being so open and honest and sincerest best wishes from all of us at HollywoodLife!
And to end on a fun note like Daniel did, FYI, he will be “Celebrity Grand Marshall of the Portland Gay Pride Parade” in June! We love you Daniel!
— India Irving