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On Tuesday, Daniel Franzese took to the popular gay-culture website called bent and wrote a letter to his Mean Girls character, Damian, about how the character inspired him to accept himself and come out of the closet.
— Nathalie (@NathalieBarney) April 22, 2014
In the wordy and emotional post, Franzese explained that he was an insecure 26-year-old, not comfortable in his own body, yet the character of Damian was only 16-years-old, but a proud and strong person. Damian acted as an inspiration for the gay community in 2004 when the most quotable, cult classic film came out.
"You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might've been easier to be gay growing up. You WERE beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down," Franzese wrote.
Written by Tina Fey and Mark Waters, the film starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Lacy Chabert and fans never miss an opportunity to quote it, oftentimes repeating the line “too gay to function," which described Damian.
Franzese particularly desired playing “guidos, gangsters and goombahs,” which made him believe that after playing a “sensitive, moisturizing, Ashton Kutcher-loving, pink-shirt-wearing kid,” he would never receive those roles.
Franzese endured the internal struggle of gender roles, Hollywood, being angry with Damian and most importantly, himself.
Years later, Franzese realized that he was the one responsible for being a role model for gay men and even those on the bigger side, reports Today. Strangers would come up to him and thank him for portraying such a strong, homosexual figure, which gave the gay community someone to look up to.
Franzese ended his heartfelt letter to Damian by saying "looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that's rad."
You go, Glen Coco!