"Maybe if we could all just be a little more honest and stop pretending, life would be simpler."
Brian Falduto, the 29-year-old actor who essayed the role of Billy in Jack Black’s School of Rock (2003) recently opened up about his experience of playing a gay character that early in his life. Speaking at the Cooper and Anthony podcast, the actor shared it complicated his reckoning with his sexuality. According to a report in US Today, he said, “I was in so much denial…This movie came out and I got called ‘gay’ and then someone told me that’s not cool so I just was like ‘Oh OK I’m not gay.’”
Being surrounded by negative messages, he developed an apathy towards homosexuals. “By the time I realised I was potentially gay, I was already homophobic toward myself. In college I met a bunch of gay people and I was like, ‘This is awesome and they’re great, but this isn’t an option for me’,” he said.
Back in 2018, he had written a heartfelt essay on this experience for Advocate: “Nearly 15 years later, I am still the “gay kid from School of Rock,” but for the first time ever, I’m OK with it. Pushing this humbled experience of fame aside, I believe everyone has a unique and important story to tell. Here’s mine,” he wrote, alluding to his role in the film.
“No one in my life was taking the time to stop and tell me that it was OK to just be me. I was always expected to fit in even though I was most known for standing out,” he wrote about how difficult it was for him to navigate his sexuality amid all the labels hurled at him.
“Maybe if we could all just be a little more honest and stop pretending, life would be simpler. Maybe by doing so, we can help others unlock the truth in themselves,” he wrote in conclusion.
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