Variety's inaugural ‘Power of Pride’ is packed with Hollywood's most influential LGBT entertainers.
It used to be that coming out in the entertainment field meant career suicide, but now it's a sign of power. Variety has gathered together some of Hollywood's biggest hitters in their "Power of Pride" issue.
Stars Jim Parsons, Hannah Gadsby, Billy Eichner, Don Lemon, Asia Kate Dillon, and MJ Rodriguez have come together for this special issue to discuss everything from inclusivity to race relations to political hot topics.
Hannah Gadsby has become known for her articulated views on toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. She gets personal when discussing Alabama’s abortion law.
"They’re getting away with it because they’ve got into the branding really well," she told Variety. "It’s not ‘pro-life. What a stupid f***ing statement! I’m ‘pro-life,’ but I had an abortion. That sits very comfortably in my head as a duality. Had I been in that state, under these laws, under these politics at that time in my life, I would be dead. It’s as simple as that. I was assaulted, raped and very, very vulnerable. How was I going to raise a child? I would have ended up dead. How is that pro-life? You can’t say women can’t have abortions and then provide absolutely no infrastructure to help them."
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons says once he came to the world he realized what being self-empowered means.
“Once it was out in the public, I was like, ‘Well, f**k you! If you still have a problem with gay people, you directly have a problem with me,'" he said. "Being a full-fledged member of it and claiming it, there was just an elation there, and there still is! I still feel it. It’s a huge relief, and it’s also really nice to sometimes be able to feel righteous anger.”
Actress MJ Rodriguez of Pose said the conversation she had with her agent about being trans was scary because she thought she might lose representation. But she was surprised at the reaction.
Rodriguez recalls: “I remember calling my agency and saying, ‘Listen, you guys, I don’t know if you’re going to drop me or whatever the case may be, but I just need to let you guys know that I’m a female. That’s how I feel, and that’s how I’ve always been feeling ever since I was a child. They just welcomed me with open arms and said, ‘We don’t care. We love you, and we already pretty much knew.’ And I was like, ‘OK, good.’”
Variety's "Power of Pride" issue also talks with Asia Kate Dillon, Billy Eichner, and journalist Don Lemon who speaks honestly about facing homophobia and racism from critics.
“I’m never one to talk about race," said Lemon. "But I was talking to my fiancé, and he said, ‘Do you think that your colleagues are attacked that much?’ And I said, ‘I know they’re not.’ A lot of criticism of me is rooted in homophobia as well.”
The "Power of Pride: issue, which is out today, also includes the articles ‘The State of Pride,’ Janet Mock gets a seat at a far bigger table, and an essay from Marc Malkin about being HIV-positive and sober in Hollywood, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis writes about LGBTQ representation, and much more.
You can read this special Variety issue and "The Power of Pride" HERE.