Dot 429 Straight Talk Conference in NYC - Page 4
Wilson commented that he had the good fortune to fall into roles where he could be of use and purpose. Such roles have meant the most to him, i.e. RENT, Party of Five and roles in some independent films. He mentioned that as a gay Latino actor who is open about his sexuality, he could not allow himself to get caught up in fear. He commented, "As long as you are authentic and in touch with who you are and what you want to do, you will last a long time."
Vilanch responded to the question about the direction for the LGBT community in entertainment. On the one hand, the process seems slow and everything will not change by the next season, on the other hand, tremendous strides have been made. "Forty years is a blink and it has been a fast path." For Vilanch who is 63, he remembered a time when he, and others were invisible, accepted as comic actors, but not acknowledged as being gay. That part of them was swept under the carpet and not dealt with. From then (1970s) until now, there has been a sea change for the LBGT community.
On Sunday, the closing speaker was Elizabeth Birch, one of the most influential leaders of the civil rights community. Her inspiration to continue to encourage others to open doors and change viewpoints so Americans can better understand gay lives and civil rights has been monumental for the LGBT community.
Check out dot429's website for upcoming events in Chicago, Miami and other cities this year and look for the next Straight Talk Conference in March 2012. If you are a member of the LGBT community, it is a necessity. If you are straight, you might become an ally. Education and love? It's a beginning.