It’s been a year since actor Charlie Carver came out through a post on instagram, and in an interview with Entertainment Tonight he discussed the pride he feels over his decision one year later.
“I’ve always been proud of who I am — I came out to my family when I was 17 — but the movie, that process did awaken something in me,” he said. He’s talking, of course, about his latest role in the film I Am Michael, based on the true story of Michael Glatze. In the film, Carver plays a friend who has a threesome with Glatze (James Franco) and his boyfriend (Zachary Quinto).
“I’m so glad to have met, worked with and become friends with Zach. He’s somebody who I admire very much and somebody who has carried who he is out in the public in a very admirably way,” Carver said, adding that working with Quinto added a lot of perspective to being an out gay man.
Pt 1: “Be who you needed when you were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular? Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license…. Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me. As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus… But the acting thing stuck. It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. Over time, this abstract “knowing” grew and articulated itself through a painful gestation marked by feelings of despair and alienation, ending in a climax of saying three words out loud: “I am gay”. I said them to myself at first, to see how they felt. They rang true, and I hated myself for them. I was twelve. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family…
I was with Bernie, and now #imwithher🇺🇸 Why? Many reasons. For one, Trump doesn't know shit about foreign policy and his bellicose ignorance would be dangerous on the world stage. But domestically, his platform is divisive, fear-based, and laden with tribalist thinking that undermines American values of tolerance, self-determination, and a respect for human rights. The #LGBTQ community is as diverse as the fabric of our nation, and solidarity across our nation's diverse groups is how we can hold our representatives accountable and work towards a better future – Trump's hate is a danger to us all. It will only divide us. It will only splinter the 99%. Don't let hate win — #turnOUT for @HillaryClinton on 11/8
Now that I Am Michael is out, Carver will next be seen in the ABC miniseries When We Rise by Dustin Lance Black which focuses on the fight for LGBTQ rights. In it, Carver will portray a U.S. Navy soldier who carries out a secret love affair with another man. The actor says in preparing for the role, he came across a lot of stories including the one of deceased Vietnam War veteran Leonard Matlovich who was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force and later died from complications of AIDS. Carver was particularly struck by his tombstone, which reads:
“When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”
“I think it speaks a lot to what this series is trying to get across,” he said.
As for taking on more gay roles, Carver says he’s ready as long as they’re well written.
“One thing I warned myself to do is never to be afraid to take another gay part, especially a well-written one. I just think, How can I create? How can I have the career I want, but also, how can I contribute to expanding the narrative available to LGBT people and the narrative for people to see? I think there are a lot of stories that happen to include LGBT voices that aren’t told,” he said.”
Carver will appear alongside of his equally attractive, but straight, twin brother in the film Fist Fight starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day while also developing a series for MTV called Blooms.
“There’s a lot to look forward to this year,” he promised.
We bet there is.