It's an experience I'd like to add to the chorus, that these blue-collar, macho men, like my older brother, had the capacity to say: 'I don't care, I love you anyway.' There are young kids thinking: 'I'll never come out because it's too hard in our communities.' But I'm saying maybe your story can be similar to mine.
When you're doing exactly what you want to do, it's not tiring. You've been planting these seeds, and finally, you have a full garden in bloom; you're like, 'Oh, I just want to smell the flowers and play among the flowers all day.' That's what I'm doing. I'm playing among the flowers.
It is true that as people, we tend to remember only the positive. With time, the grim details fade away, and as a species we survive on this notion. In our desire to gloss over the undeniable macabre parts of our American history, we forget. That amnesia manifests itself, especially when dealing with the plight of black men.
From afar, I have cried watching my nation, sore with prejudice, slowly heal itself. I hurt along with America, my phantom pains only alleviated by work I do every day - art.
I recently did a play, Athol Fugard's 'Coming Home' at Long Wharf Theatre, where I played one character throughout - I sat at a table and didn't have any costume changes. Following one character's arc from beginning to end is a whole different mindset.
When I first moved to New York, I had some colleagues who said I should be my straightest self - whatever that means - when I went into casting offices, but I didn't want to put on an act of what I thought was heterosexual. I just wanted to be myself, and I'm very grateful because I feel like I've been embraced for that.
I hired a publicist once I got cast in 'Passing Strange,' and one of the first conversations we had was about how I wanted to handle talking about my sexuality. I said, 'It's never been an issue for me. I want to talk about my work, but if something about myself relates to my work, of course I'll talk about it.'
I had no inclination to perform as a kid. I was a shy child - I always had my nose in a library book. I didn't start acting until I went to college. Once I started, it seemed to fit like a glove. I felt completely at home on stage. It was the perfect way for me to express myself, even better than writing.