Here is the short film I starred in called Words, directed by Anthony Armstrong. Watch below.
Stepping into this role was so natural to me, because it's not horribly far off from who I am. I've been affected by words all my life and while I'm strong enough to not let myself become defined by them, there are people in this world that are not strong enough.
This video vignette shows how difficult it truly is to be gay in our society. While so many leaps and bounds have been made in LGBT acceptance, there are still members of the gay community that lose friends, family, even their jobs just for being attracted to the same sex.
My character feels alone, lost and afraid when he loses his rock, when he loses the man that made him feel comfortable in his own skin. Watching this video on the surface, it may be hard to put yourself in my character's shoes in just four minutes. But I think the message can relate to anyone with a little dose of empathy. Imagine the person you love walking out on you because society is pushing you apart.
I've been in that situation. While I've never been in a relationship, I know what it feels like to be pushed away by someone because of perceptions, labels and words. There have been guys I've felt were interested in me but pushed me away because of the fear of being judged by their peers.
I think what pushes gay youth to suicide is they can't get the acceptance they truly want. I know I've searched for it myself, that's part of the reason I'm a performer and artist. But when you truly feel like you don't belong, when you feel like even the people who are supposed to love you walk out on you (like what happens to my character), it's easy to feel like there is no other solution but death.
But that shouldn't ever be the solution. Whether you're straight, gay, or don't even want to be pinned down by labels, remember that your words and actions have an effect on people. Remember to see the beauty in all people, in all things, and in all ways of living. Being cognizant of the little ways we categorize, judge and organize people can make us that much more aware of how we change the people around us. Humans are too complex and beautiful to be shoved into a labeled box.
Share Words with your friends, get the word out there that change is an evolving process. We've made it so far already, let's keep using our words to make all humans feel loved.