Wilson Cruz talks to EW about growing up gay in TV from “My So-Called Life” to “Star Trek: Discovery”
I think the world of Wilson Cruz and was so excited to open up my new issue of Entertainment Weekly over the weekend – an LGBT issue – and see him featured inside.
He was so brave to come out at the beginning of his career when he was cast as a gay teen on ABC’s My So-Called Life.
Here’s an excerpt: When the short-lived, critically acclaimed drama My So-Called Life launched in August 1994, Cruz became the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character as a series regular on a television show.
“I took it as an opportunity to shed light on LGBT youth issues and give a voice to young people,” Cruz, now 44, says of playing abused teen Rickie Vasquez. “I felt like, at that time, there weren’t a lot of people who were willing to take those roles. Here I was, not only willing but excited to take them—and to make a difference because of them.”
And he knew the only way he could do that was to come out publicly.
“The moment I was told that I was playing [Rickie,] it felt, to me, that it came with the responsibility of coming out—and I was excited about it,” he says. “Now, I can’t say it was exciting for everyone who was representing me, but I didn’t really care.”