Functioning Just Fine! In Praise Of 'Mean Girls' Actor Daniel Franzese's Open Letter
'Mean Girls' actor Daniel Franzese has come out in a touching and honest open letter.
So, it turns out that Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese isn’t “too gay to function”, and FYI, he hates that saying too. The actor has written an eloquent open letter in which he publicly comes out of the closet. The letter comes a week prior to the 10th anniversary of the movie, in which he played Damian (cripes, has it really been 10 years?).
Franzese has written an open letter discussing his sexuality
The touching letter was published on Indiewire and was addressed from Franzese to his character Damian. The letter begins, “Dear Damian, It’s been a long time since our last encounter. Ten years to be exact. I was twenty-six; you were sixteen. You were proud of who you were; I was an insecure actor. You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. It might have been easier to be gay growing up.”
The letter continues, with Franzese describing his career post-Mean Girls, being turned down for a role because the directors were looking for a ‘man’s man’, as well as himself turning down roles portraying flamboyant gay men, “How could I go from playing an inspiration, progressive gay youth to the embarrassing cliched butt-of-a-joke?” he asks.
Franzese praises the character for which he is best know, labelling Damian a “natural and true representation of a gay teenager - a character we laughed with instead of at.” In reference the one of the most famous lines from the movie, in which Damian is referred to as “too gay to function”, Franzese explains that people who repeat the phrase “are part of the problem. They should refrain from using that phrase. It really is ONLY okay when Janis says it.” Sorry, Daniel, we mean no harm! It's just become such a used quote that it hardly has any meaning anymore.
The phrase has become one of the best known movie lines from the past decade, along with other quotes from the movie, including “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets”, “On Wednesdays, we wear pink” and “It’s like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it’s going to rain.”
Franzese thanks Mean Girls writer Tina Fey in his open letter
Franzese ends his letter explaining that he no longer is afraid of talking about his sexuality in public and that he is proud to be homosexual: “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)."
Well done, Daniel, truly inspirational and fantastic to see such honesty.