Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Jason Stuart: Laugh Factory vet is out and proud
by Joe Franco
2012-08-08

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Before Ellen made the cover of Time, before Neil Patrick Harris came out and before Anderson Cooper finally publicly confirmed that he is, indeed, a friend of Dorothy, there was Jason Stuart.

Stuart came out in 1993. He told Windy City Times that he "came out on the Geraldo Show. They were doing a segment on unconventional comedians and apparently I made the list."

"I found being in the closet exhausting," said Stuart. "It was just so exhausting. The fear of being discovered for who I was became overwhelming and it seemed crazy to remain quiet—so, I wasn't."

Stuart's very first gay-themed show happened to be right here in Chicago, so it is fitting that he returns to The Laugh Factory Aug. 16-18—this time in a new show called "I'm the Daddy and I have the Candy." He said, "The show is about getting older, politics, dating younger guys. I once went out with a guy who had no idea who Barbara Streisand was! Can you imagine? He asked me, 'Wait, doesn't she sing or something?' At this point the KFC spork stabbing should have commenced."

Stuart was the first openly gay headliner for The Laugh Factory and found support from Jamie Masada, its founder and owner. "Jamie [Masada] has always supported me and has always been there for me. I could not do what I do without that support and I am eternally grateful for it," said Stuart.

Still, despite his early success as an openly gay comedian, Stuart encountered the "boys' club attitude" of many comedy clubs and venues across the country. "Gay men were not treated the same way as their straight counterparts," he said. The feat that I am able to work is a grace of God and I am grateful for it." Stuart also found that "people don't see gay men as headliners or even their own spokesman. We see Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho on RSVP cruises. Even Lady Gaga is speaking for gay men. I am grateful for it, but what about our voice?"

Stuart found the sexualizing of men to be omnipresent in television and film, particularly for certain types of men. "If you were under 35, looked white and were chiseled, there'd be something for you," he said. "I play mostly ambiguous roles. I am not the twink. I am not skimpy." It was after more than a decade of seeking work as an out comedian and actor that the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) approached Stuart to head the committee for LGBT actors.

"In 2006, when the committee was organized, it was just me," Stuart said. "Then, I started to meet other gay and lesbian actors. These men and women were scared and not about to come out. They were afraid of being pigeonholed." Stuart explained that every kind of person has a certain kind of role that is "perfect" for him or her: "If you're a Black woman you'll be cast as a nurse or a mom. For gay men over 35, you're getting cast as a manager of something. It gives you the illusion of power but without having any real power. This happens to everyone, not just gay men and Black women. Every type of person has a pigeonholed role."

Other actors have come out in overwhelming support of Stuart. Billy Clift—director of Baby Jane?, I Want to Get married and Hush Up Sweet Charlotte—said that "[Jason] Stuart is one of the hardest working actors in the business. He's dedicated, funny and a good friend. He shows up genuine and has been an important role model for our community."

John Fleck—from Weeds, Starship: Enterprise and Carnivale—said, "Jason [Stuart] is one of the nicest gay entertainers I know. Always there with a helping hand to support his fellow actor." Wilson Cruz, known for roles in the TV cult classic My So Called Life and the film Party Monster, found Stuart to be "Hilarious! He's been an incredible ambassador for us."

Through his involvement with the SAG LGBT Committee, Stuart has made major headway into minimizing the divide between gay and straight actors. New language has been added in contracts that is more inclusive of gay men. Gay men and women now get health-insurance benefits similar to their heterosexual counterparts'.

"We're even doing seminars, movies and film festivals, like 'Out Fest' in Los Angeles," said Stuart. "We still have a long way to go, though. The running joke is that if you're straight and play gay in a movie, what will you wear to the Oscars." Recently, Stuart became involved in the Williams Institute of UCLA's survey on openly gay actors. "I'm extremely excited to be a part of this," he said. "Some gay actors don't view themselves as activists but just showing up to an audition as an out gay actor is activism."

Stuart emphasized the importance of the gay community supporting one another: "We need to buy each other's books, see each other's plays, go and see each other in our movies. I have a great life, but our goal should be to support one another the way straight people do." Stuart himself has a lot to be thankful for and noted some of his upcoming roles this year: "I'm playing a laundry trustee in a prison in K-11, I'm in Bear City 2: The Proposal and Hush Up Sweet Charlotte, [which is] in pre-production now."

Stuart waxed sentimental about his continued presence and advocacy for out gay actors. "I'm still here and have the passion," he said. "My work is like a lover that just won't stop … and the sex has gotten even better."

Jason Stuart is scheduled to appear at the Laugh Factory in Lakeview Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 16-18. The Laugh Factory is at 3175 N. Broadway. For tickets or info, call 847-331-5862 or visit www.laughfactory.com . Proceeds from the Aug. 16 event will benefit Test Positive Aware Network.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW How to Live on Earth 2019-03-15 - Playwright: MJ Kaufman At: Chimera Ensemble at the Flatiron, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: ChimeraEnsemble.com; $23. Runs through: March 24 Those ...


Gay News

eta seeking executive director 2019-03-14 - The board of directors for the eta Creative Arts Foundation is seeking an experienced executive director with a strong background in African-American arts ...


Gay News

Ravinia Festival Experience Center, immersive-experience theater, to open 2019-03-14 - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ravinia Festival will open a major addition to the park, the RaviniaMusicBox Experience Center, later this summer. The new ...


Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Remember the Alamo 2019-03-13 - Playwright: Nick Hart At: The Neo-Futurist Theatre, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets: neofuturists.org; $25 ( pay-what-you can Thursday nights ). Runs through: April ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Bridges of Madison County 2019-03-13 - Authors: Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown At: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston. Tickets: www.theo-u.com or 773-347-1109; $39-69. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Southern Comfort 2019-03-13 - Authors: Dan Collins ( book/lyrics ) and Julianne Wick Davis ( music ) At: Pride Films & Plays, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: 866-811-4111; ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Man Who Was Thursday 2019-03-12 - Playwright: adapted by Bilal Dardai from the story by G.K. Chesterton. At: Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: LifelineTheatre.com and 773-761-4477; ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-03-12 - On Clover Road, American Blues Theater at Stage 773, through March 16. The unplanned Steven Dietz festival continues with this twisted desert-cult psychological ...


Gay News

SPRING THEATER REVIEW Hot-button plays for a cold spring 2019-03-12 - The groundhog lied to us! Winter in Chicago is not yet over, boots and parkas still litter the foyers and the New Year ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.