Alan Smithee Jr.

June 2000


I'm a young actor on a television series. I play a teenager but I'm actually a little older than that. I don't want to come out publicly, not yet anyway, but I would like to tell my story. I've found some comfort in the stories that I've read here especially from one person in particular who I will talk more about later. I have to walk a fine line in writing this. I want to tell enough of my story to get people to understand a little about me but I also want to keep my privacy. I've been in show business since a very early age. I've also known that I was gay at a very early age and did a good job in keeping it from everyone including myself until I was around fifteen years old. I never fantasized about girls and I wouldn't let myself fantasize about boys even though the images kept coming to me. When I realized that I was definitely gay I let my fantasizes run wild but I kept my distance from boys. I dated girls and played the game. Things got harder for me as I got older. The more involved I became in show business the more closeted I became. I knew that people didn't come out and have a successful career. I've seen actors come out and their careers are different or over. Sometimes I just say to myself to forget about the career and work in a normal job. But I love to work and I can't imagine doing anything else but acting. I also don't want to wind up just playing gay roles.

The first person that I ever came out to and dated was a singer. I think I could go out on a limb and say that he's in a very successful boy band because everyone could guess all they want and they will all come up with different answers as to the identity of the person. I also got his permission to put it in this column. As soon as we met we hit it off. I can't tell how we met because it might make it easier to figure out who he is. We went out alone the next night. That night we came out to each other. It wasn't direct but in slow steps over a period of hours. We talked a lot about how we had to create images for the public. Finally I said the words first, that I was gay. He replied by saying he was too. I knew when I met him that he was probably gay. It must be that gaydar thing I've heard so much about. He told me how he wasn't out to anyone and was a virgin like me. Later that night we both lost our virginity to each other and began a relationship that lasted almost a year. I love him as a friend now but we both knew we couldn't keep up a relationship because he was always traveling. Our breaking up helped us to come out to other people. I came out to one close friend who is on the same show as me first and that person was totally okay about it. Then I came out to my parents and they took it well. I don't know what I expected from them. I didn't know if they would never want to talk to me again or what but they told me that they loved me and that it didn't make a difference to them. My now ex-boyfriend came out to his bandmates and still hasn't told his family.

A short time later I went to some Hollywood parties. If my ex was in town he came with me. These Hollywood parties had gay and straight young Hollywood people at them. It was like a secret society. We both also went to some regular gay bars. We figured that people would never guess it was really us and would think how much we looked like so and so. That's what we thought, but people did guess and rumors started spreading about us, although we were never linked together as far as we know. We stopped going to the gay bars and stuck to the private parties. I never dated anyone I met at the parties. It didn't matter how famous they were or how nice they were, they were all more accepting of their sexuality than I was and I wasn't ready to take the next step. My ex felt the same way and in some ways has gone deep back into the closet. I think it's harder for him. Every move he makes is watched.

I met my next, and current boyfriend, at a mall of all places. He's the nicest, cutest guy that I ever met in my life. He is so sincere and sees the good in people. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He's trusting and loving and would do anything for anyone. I never met anyone like him and I never will. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I would come out for him and give up everything if he asked me to. If he ever left me I will always know that he was the love of my life and that no one could ever come close to his level of warmth and love. We met at a mall called the Beverly Center. It is one of the few places in Los Angeles where you can go shopping and people generally won't come up and ask for an autograph. There are a lot of famous people that go shopping there just for the simple fact that you could be left alone. I saw who was to be my future boyfriend shopping and was just so taken by his striking looks. It wasn't just how good looking he was but I could see the gentleness in him. I wanted to hug him right there without even knowing who he was. I never felt that way about anyone in my life. I could tell that he recognized me and I smiled at him and he smiled back. As he left the store we were in I followed him. He headed to the food court and I bumped into him when he stopped abruptly after buying a drink. I just started talking to him and then asked him if he wanted to sit with me. We sat and talked for several hours. What I liked best about him was that after we talked briefly about show business he was interested in just talking about normal stuff and I liked that a lot. As we about to leave I asked him for his phone number. He gave it to me and then asked me almost as if he were apologizing if I knew he was gay. I told him that I hoped he was. Even thought I didn't tell him I was gay at that moment I know he must have figured it out. The rest is history. He's a student at UCLA and has the same morals and values as I do. He has only been with one person before me also. It was like we were meant to be together.

I told my boyfriend about Oasis a few months ago. I read a lot of the columns but there was one guy's story that really stuck with me so I asked my boyfriend to read it. He read it and then wrote to the guy without me knowing. They struck up an online friendship and he unintentionally outed me to the guy. Then I wrote to the guy some time later and I outed my ex because I misunderstood something and thought my boyfriend already told him. It's been a little scary knowing there is someone out there who neither one of us met who knows all about us. The guy seems really genuine and although I still feel a little unsettled about the whole thing I am starting to adjust to knowing there is a person out there holding my career and my ex-boyfriends' career in his hands.

That's a condensed and carefully worded summary of my coming to terms with being gay and making my first attempts to coming out. I think about coming out publicly all the time and maybe someday I will. I hope this helps people at least a little bit. Who knows, maybe someday you may see me on the cover of the Advocate.

You can write to me at Alan_Smithee_Jr@hotmail.com. Of course, this is not my real name. Alan Smithee is a name used when a director doesn't want his name used on a project he directed. I just added the Jr.

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