Christian Campbell is now (and possibly will be forever) a gay icon. He will have gay fans as long as his career continues, and probably a lot longer than that. Those of us who have seen "trick" know that he has accomplished something that no other star of a gay movie has ever done before. He has helped us to feel good about ourselves.
Even when he's all wet, he's as red-hot as a blazing comet.
It has to be a very difficult thing for a straight actor to play a gay role so convincingly. It leaves him open to gossip and slander, because many will be convinced that he really is gay and will spread it around to the maximum possible extent, especially young, straight men who are the most homphobic members of our society. Straight people, even the most liberal, don't understand gay people very well at all. I suppose in a way, it's like the straight fiction among men that it is impossible to understand a woman. A woman is like a tin mine. A little light in the right places and she'll blaze like a torch. All it takes is a little effort.
Understanding of others is not a strong point in this society. Having been an abused child, growing up gay, and seeing all of the horrors THAT can present in all their sanguine manifestations, I know what it means to be gay; and I know that it is a miracle that there are straight people out there who are willing to put their hard-earned reputations and their credibility on the line. The fact that Christian Campbell (who had far more to lose in the long run than any other members of the cast of "trick") was willing to do this says volumes about the type of person he really is (not that I ever had any doubts, of course). It's true that he probably is not perfect, any more than you are ... or I am. However, the actual true life Christian Campbell is in one sense irrelevant to the point I am making here. He has become larger than life to many in the gay community because of what he did in "trick". What he does from this point on is basically immaterial in that context. We can all certainly wish him the best, and I hope that he will eventually receive the recognition he truly deserves. I feel that he is one of the great character actors of all time. (I watched Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, Robin Williams in the Birdcage, etc. and I can tell you that they are good actors indeed. Christian is better.)
Being gay is not a "choice" as the faux religious right would have you believe. It is genetic and it is irreversible. Some are born bi-sexual with an interest in either sex and some of them are predominately gay in their leanings. It may be possible for a few of them to readjust their orientations. This is a matter between them and whoever they are involved with, but it is not "proof" of anything else. Christian Campbell seems to have known this and he was consequently able to make the right decisions deliberately and accurately.
From the San Francisco Examiner's report on the San Francisco Lesbian &
Gay Film Festival (6/16/99):
FOR THOSE WHO THINK YOUNG
By Wesley Morris, Examiner Film Critic
There's a host of things scheduled to happen during the 10 days of the 23rd
Lesbian and Gay Film Festival -- which runs June 17-27 at the Castro, the
Roxie and the Victoria Theaters in San Francisco. Breakups. Breakdowns.