Playing It Gay, Now and Then

3.14.2006

By Jeffrey Epstein

Shawn Pyfrom

When they told you Andrew was going to be gay, what were your thoughts?
I thought it would be a really cool twist and adding more depth to my character. How could you say no to an amazing character opportunity? And it's all part of this gig.

How do you feel about being groundbreaking in that way?
I rarely ever think of him as groundbreaking. But I never thought I would do anything groundbreaking. I think it's good, and I'm glad that I get to be that person who crosses that line, who maybe starts a different way of thinking and possibly having other gay characters like him come out on TV. I think it's good that we're coming to a point where an actor won't be stereotyped because they're playing a gay role.

Have you heard from young gay people? Not that Andrew is the best role model'
Surprisingly, I have. I can't tell you how many fan letters I've gotten from gay teens who've said that because Andrew is a strong gay character and is comfortable and doesn't let other people waver this thinking on who he is and what he wants to do, it's inspired them to do the same and feel the same. I got a letter from one person in particular who said that by watching my role on the show, it has helped him come out to his parents and his friends. Before he was worried they wouldn't accept him for who he was. He's not worried about that anymore. He's happy with who he is. I'm really happy he decided to write me. It encourages me to continue doing what I'm doing.

Are you ready to go wherever Marc [Cherry, the show's openly gay creator] may lead Andrew?
I am. I trust Marc Cherry and his decisions. He's writing an amazing show and I know he won't do any of us wrong.

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