Tuc Watkins: ‘ I did avoid speaking to the press about [being gay] because I thought it would affect my career’
Love me some Tuc Watkins and love that he’s featured in a new interview in The Advocate.
The handsome and talented Tuc is currently on Broadway in an all-star production of Boys in the Band. He plays a soon-to-be-divorced bisexual father named Hank who lives with his boyfriend, Larry (Andrew Rannells).
Here is an excerpt:
It’s always a journey of self-discovery. Can you relate to some of Hank’s struggle?
What I relate to is, you know, I have a couple of kids, and fortunately I always thought I wanted to be a dad, but I never knew how I was going to be a dad because I knew I was gay and I wasn’t going to get into a relationship that was [inauthentic]. As I got older and I learned there’s adoption, there’s fostering, there’s surrogacy, there became avenues for gay people to have kids of your own, so I engaged in the surrogacy process as a single parent and now I have twins.
I imagine that [Hank] was vilified in the late ’60s for choosing to leave his family and go live what he knew to be the truth, but that takes a lot of courage for someone to do that. As a father, I sympathize with someone who has to come to terms with who they truly are and try to live that life authentically yet still feel the responsibility for other people he loves.
You always lived an out lifestyle, but I’m sure it must have felt freeing to come out publicly, which you did in 2013.
I did avoid speaking to the press about [being gay] because I thought it would affect my career. I thought I wouldn’t get to play parts. But like Hank says in the play, I just got to a point where it just didn’t matter. I didn’t want to continue doing this dance, especially after becoming a dad. It just didn’t feel … it felt really wrong. You don’t really care where it takes you. If you know that you’re finally embracing the truth and telling the truth, then whatever is on the other side of that truth is going to be OK.
In this day and age with social media, it’s becoming harder to keep a secret.
Yes, and the best part is it’s so important for us to not keep secrets. I think the meaning of life is we’re all here to make each other feel safe, and part of making each other feel safe is looking each other in the eye and telling the truth. I want people to feel like they can look me in the eye and tell the truth and know that they’re safe, and I want to feel the same way.
I always find whenever someone is vulnerable to me, I embrace them. The times where it’s been really scary to be honest and truthful about who I am, I have for the most part only been supported and embraced in return, and we just need to remember that with each other.