Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsLos Angeles

Playing Gays

December 08, 1990

Re Ray Loynd's Nov. 28 article on the play "The Lisbon Traviata":

Why does it always seem necessary when interviewing heterosexual actors playing gay roles to mention the healthy status of their family lives, as if playing a gay character negatively stigmatizes the actor?

And why do participants in gay-themed plays, movies or television shows invariably insist on downplaying that aspect of the production. Here, (the wonderful) Nathan Lane is quoted saying "the play is not a treatise about gays . . . it's about anybody living in these times."

The writer of the article exacerbates the problem when he writes that "Lisbon Traviata" is "not a gay play."

Well, I just saw the play, and I have news. "Lisbon Traviata" is very much a gay play, politically problematic, but nonetheless gay. It's about gay people leading gay lives in a world where the legitimacy of our lives is constantly called into question. It's a play that very boldly foregrounds gay sexuality, and this in an increasingly intolerant era. And for these reasons, no denial nor apologies are needed.

BEN VANAMAN

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|