As many of you know, I've been a theatre geek since boyhood; and I continued to be passionate about acting well into adulthood.
In fact, during my first retirement from bodybuilding (from after the 1985 Mr. Olympia until mid 1988) I studied full-time in the advanced theatre program at the Stella Adler Conservatory; and those two years remain among the best and most fulfilling periods of my life.
But when study ended, the real world of 1980s Hollywood had to be faced.
Unfortunately, back in the 80s, the road for openly gay 20-ish leading-man types in mainstream TV and film was -- to be blunt -- all but impossible. Actors like me faced a stark choice: Stay in the closet (or in my case, go in to the closet) or spend years beating your head against a brick wall.
Thankfully, during these last decades things have begun to change. We see more young mainstream actors deal publicly with their sexuality. For a while it seemed that we might be witnessing a handful of brave exceptions that proved an insidious rule. But the pace of evolution now seems unstoppable.
For someone like me, now in my 50s and dedicated to the writer's path (which suits my personality exceptionally well), working on a show like DEFYING GRAVITY was a gratifying confirmation. As I spent time on set, working with all those talented people, I realized something at once profound and healing: In a different era, I could have done this thing and killed it; all that study and dedication to craft had not been for nothing.
I acknowledge that each of us is born in a time and a place and a culture. Ultimately, we must deal with life as we find it -- or as it finds us.
Sometimes just seeing a bit of what might have been can be enough.
I hope that all of us will continue to push the world forward in a positive and evolved direction.
Cheers and Namaste,