Actor Addresses Rumors on Being Gay in a Perfect Way

'LAT' column lauds Tyler James Williams of 'Abbott Elementary' on his handling of sexuality rumors
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 4:30 PM CDT
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Tyler James Williams arrives at an 'Elle Magazine' event on May 11 at the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica, California.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

There's apparently been speculation among fans that Tyler James Williams, who plays Gregory Eddie on the ABC comedy Abbott Elementary, might be gay, and on Sunday he took to Instagram to address the rumors. But LZ Granderson doesn't care so much about Williams' sexual preferences as he does how the 30-year-old actor handled the situation—and he calls it a win for Williams, and for a society that often pigeonholes men into certain behaviors, traits, and appearances. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Granderson notes that Williams made clear in his social media post that he isn't gay, but that "the culture of trying to 'find' some kind of hidden trait or behavior that a closed person 'let slip' is very dangerous." Williams added: "Being straight doesn't look one way. Being gay doesn't look one way."

It's a refreshing take, writes Granderson, himself a gay man who was uncomfortable being around "flamboyant" gay men when he was younger. "The truth is I wanted to be viewed as a 'regular dude' who just happened to be gay," he writes. "I was almost 30 before I understood how unhealthy my thinking had been." Williams, on the other hand, successfully tackled the "archetypes" of being masculine—ones that Granderson notes can ultimately be harmful to all men, gay or straight. He compares Williams' perspective to that of GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who promotes an alpha male lifestyle that Granderson says can lead to misguided fears of appearing "gay." "Homophobia, disguised as masculinity, slowly drains the joy and connection out of life," Granderson writes. His full column here, as well as a piece on how Williams' two brothers say he supported them when they came out. (More LGBTQ stories.)

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