While LGBT characters are slowly inching into mainstream film and television, we still have a long way to go before we reach a place that is representative of the nuanced and varied roles #LGBT people play in real life.
According to #AmberHeard, the nexus of this problem could be the fact that there are simply not enough openly gay celebrities in Hollywood to push for more representation.
Amber spoke out at The Economist’s “Pride & Prejudice” LGBT summit this week and explained how, although she didn't really think it was a huge deal to come out as bisexual, it impacted how she was viewed in the industry:
"I just answered honestly. I could tell by the look on this person’s face it was a big deal. My poor publicist. Then I realized the gravity of what I had done and why so many people — studio execs, agents, advisors — did not want this coming before my name. I became attached to a label. I’ve never seen myself defined by the person I’m with."
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Heard then went on to speak about how she was proud of proving naysayers wrong by showing someone sexually fluid can realistically portray a purely heterosexual romance on screen.
How can the industry progress when it comes to LGBT representation though? According to Amber, closeted male actors coming out and making their voices heard would be a huge help, she said:
“If every gay man that I know personally in Hollywood came out tomorrow, then this would be a nonissue in a month.”
Obviously, people should come out in their own time and when they feel comfortable, but Amber definitely has a point about the lack of public representation from gay men in Hollywood.
LGBT women seem to be becoming more comfortable with coming in out in recent years (probably because there is less perceived stigma or risk behind their announcements), but there is radio silence when it comes to high profile male figures in the industry. If, as Amber claims, there are so many closeted men in Hollywood, it would be heartening to see some of them reveal their true colors in an effort to start fighting the stigma against LGBT leading men.
Do you think LGBT people in Hollywood have a social duty to come out?