Saturday, 18 May 2013

Scott Thompson: The Good Bad Old Days

Growing up, you were really the only gay man I saw on TV. Now that's not the case. It seems like there is nothing to rebel against anymore. The seediness and subculture element of being gay is receding.
This whole marriage thing, I mean I understand it and I’m for it, but my heart isn’t in it. For my generation, it was just staying alive. Gay marriage never crossed my mind! Lesbians hoisted it upon us. I don’t know how a young gay guy can rebel any longer. When I was young, homosexuals were interesting and flawed. They were artists and hung out in cafés and were like Jean Genet, Gore Vidal, and James Baldwin. They were underground and shaping culture. The ones you heard about were the very gifted. The ones who were regular folks were married and in the closet and had their sex in parks. Now all the regular folks are gay and we don’t seem as interesting any longer. I guess that’s progress. I wouldn’t want to have to go back to the time where I had to hide everything.

But you never did!
I didn’t, but I paid a very high price. Physical, psychic, spiritual. I’ve had a great career, but not for the last ten years. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to play these neutered gay guys. I’m an actor — I can play anybody. On
Kids in the Hall I played everybody. But people forgot about that. The great gay parts I wasn’t allowed to have. I couldn’t be in To Wong Foo or Jeffrey. I almost got cast in As Good As It Gets and it went to Greg Kinnear and he was nominated for an Oscar. They never would have given that to a gay person. Now they would. I think. I hope.

Scott Thompson the gay guy in the bum-ticklingy Canadian sketch show, Kids In The Hall*, and then the gay guy in The Larry Sanders Show.
To catch up with what he's been doing since read the interview in New York's Vulture.
I always feel dubious about anyone - straight or gay - saying how it was so much wilder and/or bohemian back in the old days.
I bet old queens in Oscar Wilde's day were going; "This has nothing on the 1860s!"
It's usually just an expression of how the old envy the young, but Scott Thompson phrases and frames this far better than most.

PS This Scott Thompson, actor, is not be confused with the Scott Thompson, pictured above right, who's an Australian rugby player, as I've just discovered on Google Images. But I thought it might make someone happy.

* There are loads of KITH sketches on Youtube. Here's one of my favourites.

1 comment:

  1. I think there are quite a few young gays who feel a bit like we've missed out on the whole 'being vilified by society' thang. Someone's gay uncle was telling me about how in the 70s he used to go to this secret club somewhere that looked like a house and you had to knock and know the password.

    So while I suppose it's nice for me that I'm 21 years old and have only been properly gaybashed once, I sometimes feel a bit disappointed that just being gay doesn't automatically make you a sort of rebel outlaw these days.

    Also, hello Scott Thompson rugby player.