Matt Bomer Plays Straight In Season 3 of “The Sinner”
Whenever there’s a discussion about whether or not straight actors coming from places of straight white privilege should play gay characters in “gayface” someone always comes up with the reply, “Well, if straight actors can’t play gay characters then gay actors can’t play straight.” Unfortunately, that statement alone is pure straight privilege. Or, they simply just do not “get” it. Because the entire world and most of it’s content is straight and white. That’s the mainstream. And I don’t think it’s possible to appropriate the mainstream. You can assimilate, but you can’t appropriate.
But more than that, Matt Bomer, just like every gay man on this planet, once lived and functioned in the world of straight white privilege. I don’t know anything in detail about Matt Bomer, but I would imagine he either pretended to be straight or he just never said anything at all. I did that, too, and so did most of the gay men I know. We all know, first hand, what it’s like to be straight. We faked going to straight proms, we faked being in straight wedding parties, and we even faked marrying straight women in some cases.
The only time I think it might be problematic for an openly gay actor to play a straight character is when it’s just not believable. However, this is not the case with Matt Bomer in The Sinner. He owns this part, the entire 3rd season of this series is fantastic, and Matt Bomer is not only believable playing a straight character I think he should play more straight characters.
“This is the most challenging role I’ve had, but it’s also the most rewarding as an artist,” Bomer told at the show’s Season 3 premiere Monday at the London in West Hollywood. “It asked the most of me and demanded the most of me … It definitely took a psychological toll, a physical toll, but I think that’s what you hope for as an actor.”
With that said, there’s also the factor of closeted gay actors playing straight characters. They’ve been doing this in Hollywood for decades and they’ve done it well. They didn’t have any other choice. For one thing, up until recently, no actor could come out of the closet as gay, and for another thing, there was almost no gay content at all for openly gay actors.
So the scales of balance have always been in favor of those who are born with straight white privilege, and the next time you hear someone comment that gay actors shouldn’t play straight characters just remind them that anyone who is gay is part of a marginalized group. Think of the play, Hamilton.
In 2016, the show weathered some backlash for a casting call that encouraged “non-white” actors to audition for main roles. Since then, the wording was changed, but the idea remains intact: The show leans into diversity as guiding principle, yielding conversations about how the longstanding notion of “colorblind casting” no longer has legs.
But I highly suggest watching Matt Bomer in The Sinner. You can’t go wrong with this one. I’m sure the discussion about whether or not straight actors should play gay will continue, but it took years to reach the point of Hamilton in our society. And in my case alone I’m still getting vicious homophobic reviews for writing books that are parodies of straight romances. I even get them from
Amazon“A wonderful story that I loved. The characters were well developed, and strong. Gus: A sweet young man. Doing something for all the wrong reasons. Craig: his boyfriend, he’ll go along with anything Gus say. Henry: Gus father a no nonsense man, who’s husband died last year. I enjoyed this story.”What readers said about “Altered Parts”“Best Gay Novel In Years. This story will stay with you and you will feel you know every character and the beauty of their home in the mountains of North Carolina.”Altered Parts