'Mean Girls' Actor Daniel Franzese Comes Out in Touching Letter to His Gay Character

Daniel FranzeseLike the good millennial that I am, I naturally love the movie Mean Girls. It's Lindsay Lohan at her best, it launched Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried, and the screenplay was written by Tina Fey. In other words, it's basically art on film.

And of course, one of our favorite characters was Too-Gay-To-Function Damian, a role that actor Daniel Franzese hasn't always appreciated playing. 10 years after playing one of the greatest gay teen roles ever, the actor has finally come out of the closest himself in an absolutely perfect way -- by penning an open letter to his alter-ego Damian.


Franzeses expresses his appreciation for Damian's acceptance of himself, "a natural and true representation of a gay teenager -- a character we laughed with instead of at."

More from The Stir: 10 Things We Learned From 'Mean Girls' That Still Ring True 10 Years Later

But there was a downside for playing such an iconic gay role -- he was often overlooked for more masculine roles -- roles he desperately wanted to play. He also didn't want to play any flamboyantly gay characters that made being gay the butt of the joke.

He writes, "So, there it was.  Damian, you had ruined my life and I was really pissed at you. I became celibate for a year and a half.  I didn’t go to any gay bars, have any flings and I lied to anyone who asked if I was gay.  I even brought a girl to the Mean Girls premiere and kissed her on the red carpet, making her my unwitting beard."

He says his friends and family have always known the truth, but now thanks to seed of self-acceptance planted a decade ago by Damian, everyone knows.

I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014 -- ten years later -- looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the “art freaks.”  Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that's rad ... Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means "God is my judge." So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.) 

And just because this letter is basically perfect, he adds a post script:

P.S. I hate it when people say I’m “too gay to function.”  I know you do, too. Those people are part of the problem. They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.

You go, Glen Coco.

Were you inspired by Franzese's performance in Mean Girls?


Image via Daniel Franzese/Instagram

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