Equity, the trade union for actors, stage managers, and models in the UK, will survey its LGBT members about how comfortable they are about being out of the closet in their professions, The Stage reports:
A new Equity survey will ask gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members a series of questions about working in the profession, including whether or not they are ‘out’, what the positive or negative aspects of this have been and whether they have ever experienced homophobia in their careers. Equity devised the survey after members of the union’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Committee raised concerns that, contrary to common assumption, the industry is not one in which it is easy for performers to be open about their sexuality. In particular, the committee believes some performers may not feel comfortable to be open about their sexuality in case it damages their careers or denies them certain casting opportunities.
Added Martin Brown, assistant general secretary for communications and membership support: “The LGBT Committee’s experience of working in the entertainment industry is not the one that is commonly assumed, which is that it’s easy to be straightforward about your sexuality. They have the opposite experience – that within training it’s difficult or feels difficult to reveal you may be gay or lesbian, or that, at the start of careers, people think [being out] might damage them. The obvious example is that if a young male actor reveals he is gay, he may fear that he will not be cast in the romantic leads.”