Actor Daniel Franzese has opened up about his sexuality in an open letter to his gay Mean Girls character. The star played a homosexual teenager in the 2004 film, and now he is celebrating the movie’s 10th anniversary with the news he’s gay.
In the letter to his Mean Girls character, Damian, he writes: “It’s been a long time since our last encounter. Ten years to be exact. I was twenty-six; you were sixteen. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. (It) might’ve been easier to be gay growing up…”
Franzese explains he kept his sexuality a secret from the public because he felt the truth would stall his career. He continues, “When I first became an actor, I wanted to play lots of roles… So, would I be able to play different parts after portraying a sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid? I was optimistic. Hollywood? Not so much. I was meeting a ‘gay glass ceiling’ in casting. “It wasn’t until years later that 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 (heavy) dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact you (Damian) had made on them… “Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means God is my judge. So, I’m not afraid anymore.”