Actor Van Hansis Talks About Being Gay


The Fight asks EastSiders and As The World Turns star Van Hansis about why he wasn't out publicly until now:

I guess it was a combination of a lot of things—It was my first job, it was a different time back then in regards to LGBT stories being told—I mean, the Luke story was groundbreaking at the time. Now, I think every remaining soap has a gay storyline. I was completely green, fresh out of college, and honestly, I was scared.

Hansis is also asked if he has felt pressure to act differently "to fit into someone's preconceived notions:"

I think this is part of the reason I connect with a show like “Eastsiders” so much. It, along with so many other really remarkable shows—whether LGBT focused, or just including some really great LGBT characters- are changing the narrative on preconceived notions. While for decades LGBT characters in cinema could be the villain, victim, or asexual comedic relief—shows like what you have created have characters so well rounded that you can be all three, and so much more. As we all are, often in the same day.


  1. says

    It’s reality. I used to be on a kid’s show in Canada many years ago, a few years after I came out, and i was told by a director to “get rid of my lisp.” I replied with “I don’t have a lisp, actually”. The director fired back with “you know what I’m talking about, you need to remember who watches this show.” To which I stated, “I’m pretty sure I don’t know what you’re talking about, and *I* used to watch this show when I was a kid.”

    People talk about how it’s “limiting” to be a gay actor – heck, it can be limiting to be an openly-gay anything! We live in a time where people still think about it, about us, too much. They see GAY! the same way people see Travolta and Cruise and now just See Xenu.

    The good news – for younger generations it’s more and more of a non-issue. The only limitation to “gay roles” is that not enough are being written, even when some roles aren’t expressly written *to be heterosexual* – they’re just assumed that way by default.

    The more of us who are Out, the more this will change. It will not just change what we see on screen, but it will change audience perceptions – audiences with gay friends and family tend to care not about the orientations of the actors on film, and tend to not get huffy about “seeing gays onscreen” – in fact we want more of it, because it represents the realities we live with, every day.

    Kudos to this young man, may his star shine.

  2. TJ says

    All the best to Van. I remember the Luke and Noah story line very fondly. It was so well done I still have all of the scenes saved to DVD.

  3. KT says

    Actually, the second paragraph, the part about being out since 16, is not from Van but from Kit Williamson who is interviewing Van. Sorry to be a nitpicker!

  4. Mike says

    Hollywood might care if he’s gay, but most people in the US won’t.

    Research has consistently shown that these days Hollywood and Washington, D.C. are much more conservative than mainstream US society. The research that I’m familiar with doesn’t go into why that is, but I bet it’s because both are run by huge corporations for profit. They want to protect that profit, so they generate films, policies, and laws that fit very specific formulas. For example, almost every movie these days is written according to a very strict formula you can find in one book on scriptwriting. That book times events down to the minute.

    That’s why many people find today’s films boring and utterly predictable, and why much of Hollywood’s top talent is moving to television, where they can actually do good work.

    If you watch movies from the 60s, 70s, and even early 80s, they were unbelievably daring and experimental when compared with movies today.

  5. jjose712 says

    Hollywood is not conservative at all. The problem is that they are cowards, the fear an openly gay actor would do some damage to the dollars they want to make with a film, so they prefer them to stay in the closet, or even better in a pr relationship

  6. jjose712 says

    Anyway, maybe it’s the first time that Van talks about this, but it was pretty public knowledge. He didn’t deny it and in the Eastsiders interviews it was implyed that the actors where gay

  7. Jen says

    Van didn’t say the second paragraph in this article. It was a lead in to a question that he was asked by Kit Williamson. If you look at the original article it’s in bold because it’s an interview question. Just thought I’d clear that up.

  8. Mike says


    I lived and worked in Hollywood for decades, and while most of the people that work in the business may not be that politically conservative, especially in the trenches, the people that call the shots at the top are financially conservative, which was my point, and a point with which you appear to agree.

  9. simon says

    You are right. Big corporation is financially conservative. They are very sensitive to anything that potentially will hurt their bottom line.
    The firing of Eich by Mozilla was actually a result of conservative values which ironically were denounced by conservatives.

  10. Tony says

    I worked at a CBS affiliate when he was on ATWT and thought he did a great job as Luke.

    No small feat given that the show’s production company was a hot mess, run by idiots. It was if they couldn’t or wouldn’t commit fully to the his plot line.

    The main to me was: although this TV station was in the south. We didn’t get a single complaint about his plot line.

  11. Bryan says

    With all due respect, what career? He was probably not going to get anything big outside stage, where sexuality doesn’t matter much. It’s not really affecting his career

  12. James says

    Kiwi brings up an interesting issue. The problem is often not that gay actors shouldn’t be out, but that some gay actors just can’t lose the gay. And, no, it’s not a lisp exactly, but it’s gay voice, and we all know what that sounds like. And yes, it’s much easier to affect a gay voice than to LOSE a gay voice. That’s a problem, unless you’re playing a gay character.

  13. Saturnalia says

    Van is a great actor, one of my favorite gay actors with Luke MacFarlane and Russel Tovey ( add Colton Haynes as guilty pleasure )and should have a great career, but it is obviously that gay hotshots do not help gay actors to succeed in bussines. Instead they are fawning around straight boys like Tatum and Evans who are unable to act even as a wet sponge.

    I hope season 2 get made. This is a great show, for me and I enjoyed it immensely, like both Looking and Hunting Season.

    I did not know that Kit Williamson is also gay, and that third actor from the love triangle, too!

  14. C says

    It’s true, Saturnalia– and so is John Halbach who plays the straight character on the show lol. I had no idea until I saw him on here with his shirt off for Wallflowers! All four guys are really hot in different ways, too.

    While I am objectifying all these guys I’d be remiss to point out that they are all seriously talented and doing really cool stuff for LGBT representation on the web. So proud of Van for coming out and for making his mark (again) with EastSiders.

  15. Billy says

    Van being gay was something no one could talk about on his “official” fan board – to the point of people getting banned for even speculating if he was gay. Naturally, you could wonder if he was straight or gab about potential girls he’d date. Cuz labeling someone as “straight” isn’t an invasion of privacy — but calling someone “gay” somehow is. And this was a policy in place by a gay man who ran the site. Sad.

  16. Saturnalia says

    Wow, C! I did not know he is also gay!

    I am just angry that Eastsieders project, which is not expensive, literary hinges on good will of its viewers, while all these producers give money to some stupid movies. I think Decoteaus movies cost around a million, and he gets the money for them. I wonder how.

    I am also angry that now these four actors careers obiously suffer for them being out – I know Van was not officaly out but he and Tayler Hanes, well they are together alnmost a decade now, and fans knew about them.

    Billy, I know about site you mention, but I think they allowed the threads about Tayler Hanes, even the ones, about something that struck me as romantic and nice, how they wear each others clothing when they are not together, I mean in public,like shirts, jacket and stuff.

    I must check this Wallflowers series and I hope Hunting Season gets a sequel, and Robot Ninja and the Gay Guy.

  17. GILL-ERIC says

    I, m from Canada and i want to tell you what a fantastic and great actor is Van Hansis, now a lot of my friends are watching LUKE’S STORY AND LUKE AND NOAH and sincei told them to watch ATWT they change their lifestyle they don, t go to the bar they reunited to watch Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann, what a team you were . I had so mix felling, I cry a lot , I was mad very at his mother to take all this time to support Luke, his father was a great man with a great heRt for his son, van let me tell you you got a thousands of fan in Quebec Canada I’m the biggest of all , my wish i would like to have a picture of you and sing by you , hope you gonna see this and let my wish come true, you like a brother, a friend to me , Van hansis is Like James Dean in the 60, one of the best actor to me , hope to see you soon cause the people wants to see you also in a great movie maybe brokeback mountain 2. Take care and you are unique. Lol

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