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RECAP: Marc Shaiman, Michael Benjamin Washington, Eduardo Vilaro, and Jessica Kirson Shared Their Coming Out Stories on STARS IN THE HOUSE

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RECAP: Marc Shaiman, Michael Benjamin Washington, Eduardo Vilaro, and Jessica Kirson Shared Their Coming Out Stories on STARS IN THE HOUSE

Stars in the House continued Thursday night (8pm) for a Pride Special with Jessica Kirson, Marc Shaiman, Michael Benjamin Washington and Eduardo Vilaro. This episode was in support of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Michael Benjamin Washington talked about being an out gay Black man. "I never hid. I was who I was and let people deduce who I was...The interesting thing is being a black boy, even now, people aren't popping out of a bush to find out who Billy Porter or who Tituss Burgess is dating so it's a very very different thing if you're black and out than if you're a young white guy trying to be a leading man...The same reason I'm not allowed to read for a lot of those rolls now. They're saved for white actors...I've always mandated that I should be allowed to read and then you can tell me now...but people have their fantasy...That's why I started writing and creating things...You just create your own miracles."

Michael talked about growing up in the church. "I grew up in a church family that never preached anything against Homosexuality. It was a United Methodist upbringing that I came from with a lot of people whose parents were discriminated against and they come from the tradition of overcoming obstacles from people who have decided that the way you were born wasn't fit to walk the face of the earth. So they didn't spend a lot of time dissecting people. I never heard anything negative about Homosexuality in my church...In that sense, the Black church never shunned me."

Eduardo Vilaro talked about his experience being gay and growing up in the Bronx. "I integrated and settled in the Bronx and it was a very Hispanic, Latino, very machismo in the culture is/was very strong. There was always the talk about calling someone gay and horrible words...It was very difficult. I learned how to be gay from this very young flamboyant young man that I actually fell in love with. I was going to Catholic school and he wasn't. He introduced me to the world of hanging out in this...Edgar Allan Poe has this house in the Bronx and I lived nearby. Poe Park was where all the queens met late at night and so you really got to understand what it was to get chased, beat up, because it was the only space you were given or you took to express yourself...My eyes were being open to a lot of hate."

Jessica Kirson shared her coming out story. "I came out, my family was great about it. I told my grandmother and she goes 'what do you need a man for anyways? You have your own money!' My dad asked if it was his fault and I said yes...I've been out for years."

Marc Shaiman talked growing up. "I'm very very very lucky...A lot of it has to do with white privilege. I grew up in basically a white suburb which didn't mean that people weren't homophobic but it's just not as, things are nice, ordinary people kind of vibe."

Marc Shaiman performed a song he wrote for Martin Short's Christmas parties.

Click HERE to watch the full episode.

Click HERE to donate to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Current and past episodes can be found on the website starsinthehouse.com, as well as a donate button linking viewers to The Actors Fund.


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