You’ve Got to Admit, Dan’s Got Style
Oct 27, 2009
Hello, everyone. I apologize for the blog being down for so long. There has been a lot going on, but one of the main reasons for the lack of updates is that I finally came out to my father a couple months ago. I don’t have much to say on that topic yet. In a lot of ways, I’m only beginning to digest everything that’s happened recently. I will say one thing: being 100% out of the closet feels every bit as good as everyone said, and no matter what happens, I wouldn’t trade that. Now, onto the blog.
Last year, as Daniel Radcliffe’s remarkable two-year run as Alan Strang in Equus drew to a close, a story ran in many tabloids about Dan’s friendship with a “New York City drag queen.” This, after many of the same media rags reported that the actor was hell-bent on “playing gay,” a story which spun off comments that he made to Details magazine. This, of course, reeled into a discussion over Dan’s sexuality, a story the media has been playing with for the past couple of years, despite Dan’s open and honest attitude about discussing such things. The young actor, now 20, who has a gay male fan base of his very own, seems comfortable with every topic from losing his virginity to his tendency toward slightly older women. Then there was that whole nude scene thing. Yawn.
In reality, the “queen” Dan had befriended was none other than Our Lady J, a noted singer/composer who performs with the Pink Champagne Orchestra. She is not a drag queen, but a male-to-female transgender. In Details, Dan, who has long-maintained that he looks pretty freakin’ hot in eye liner, quipped that if he played a drag queen, he’d have an excuse to wear it all the time. And as for the on-stage nakedness, I saw the last performance of the play back in February and I can say that that scene was essential to the show and artfully done. It would have been strange not to have it in there.
The lack of attention to detail and the inaccuracies of tabloid articles are a good reminder of the spirit in which they are written. Nude scenes, drag queens, older women, oh my! They can’t manage to snap a picture of Dan stumbling out of a bar, so this is what they write. Most celebrities, at some point, have to learn to just let things slide, but Dan seems to have already caught on. Despite all the bull, he does not seem to have shied away from speaking his mind in very public ways. Dan, whose parents work in the arts/entertainment industry, was lucky enough to grow up around many gay people and couples, never making a negative association with it, unlike his schoolmates. He has said people always think he’s gay upon first meeting him, and he doesn’t mind at all. It is that very outlook that landed Dan on the cover of the August edition of Attitude, a UK magazine aimed at gay men. No small deal, as noted by journalist Matthew Todd, as the magazine struggled for years to get celebrities on the cover, and now they had “the biggest family film star in the world.” However, when you have film stars like Daniel Radcliffe who have grown up the way he did and maintained a good head on their shoulders, it gets a whole lot easier. While Dan, as always, was contagiously enthusiastic about discussing everything from the AIDS epidemic to gay sex education, it is his analytical prowess that I find so impressive. It’s the fact that he listens to Bill O’Reilly and reads the Daily Mail so he can stay informed about what is fed to the masses. It’s the fact that he can actually stomach that. He even keeps a private tutor, despite no plans to attend university, just for his own personal study. It’s a rarity.
And even rarer is the fact that he’s backing it up. Dan has joined up with the Trevor Project, helping to support the Trevor Helpline, which has seen a 300% increase in calls in the last year. Noting that suicide was the number one cause of death among young people this year, and that gay youth are four times likelier to commit suicide than straight youth, Dan commented in a statement: “It’s vitally important that young people understand they are not alone and, perhaps even more important, that their young lives have real value.” (The helpline number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor.)
In closing, I’d like to share with you all the poem “First They Came” by Martin NiemÃ¶ller. Dan’s mother actually has this on her wall.
“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out”because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out”because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out”because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out”because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me”and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Till next time,