Ian McKellen (1939-)
One of the traits I love about actors from the UK, especially gay ones, is how unapologetic they are in being true to themselves. I find it incredible that Ian McKellen has been public about being gay since 1988. I don’t think we saw that sort of openness until the new millennium. Of course, I do believe we will have progressed one day to the point where history books will be written about public personalities being “in the closet” and the readers will find the novelty amusing. What prudes they were in the 1980s and 1990s!
Another reason I love Ian McKellen is that he represents a completely different segment of the LGBT community to the flamboyant and over-the-top characters that dominate the entertainment world. We expect a bit of that from gay celebrities like Alan Carr, RuPaul, Adam Lambert, Tom Allen, Todrick Hall, Graham Norton, and Louie Spence. And if I’m honest, I love a swish in a man’s hips, but Ian McKellen offers something soberingly different. That isn’t to say he is boring or lacks his own flare. He’s fantastic and funny, but he’s a much more buttoned up type of guy. It’s diversity, and the willingness to be authentic, that are the strengths of the LGBT community. It doesn’t always strive to embrace that diversity, but it’s at its best when doing just that.
Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (1984-)
I didn’t know anything about Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman until appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race. I then binge watched him on Unreal, along with the brilliant Contance Zimmer. Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman is really a lot of fun, especially in a reality setting. There are a handful of actors who I would love to just watch have conversations, and he is definitely one of them. Maybe we need some sort of comedian or LGBT panel show like The View. I’d watch that. I might be the only one though. And I would be frustrated with what it actually devolved into. It was a good idea for the 30 seconds before it wasn’t anymore! Anyway, I’ve got my eye on Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. He’s fun, he’s funny, he’s charming, and I am expecting more great things from him.
A Six-Pack of Swishy Drag Artists