Playing gay porn star Brent Corrigan in King Cobra has inevitably led some to ask former Disney star Garrett Clayton about his own sexuality. However, Clayton has little to say, other than to say why he’s keeping shtum.
Talking to Pridesource, he says, “This is my job. And I’m happy to promote my work. And I’m happy to stand up for things I believe in. If people can’t see the positivity in that, then I think that’s up to them.”
However, he knows some have been critical of his decision to keep things private, saying, “I mean, they probably would feel a lot differently if people were calling them and saying, ‘So tell me: What you do in your bedroom every day?’ You can have Mother Teresa giving food out and somebody will find something negative to say.”
He adds, “I moved out to LA to have a career where I got to play characters and focus on work and do all these awesome things, and I’m getting to do that now. I just don’t think it’s pertinent to talk about my personal life. I don’t think it adds to the work; it just distracts from it.
“I’m supportive of an open-minded lifestyle and letting people do what they want to do with their lives, so it’s nice to be able to do another, different type of role. Acting is about stepping out of body and getting to see different lives and experience different things, and I got to do that in this movie.”
The 25-year-old first came to many people’s attention in 2013 as Tanner in Disney’s Teen Beach Movie, and as well as King Cobra, will soon be seen in NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live!.
Although there is some logic to what Clayton is saying, at the same time it perpetuates a double standard, as straight people simply saying they have or would like a different gender partner isn’t seen as intrusive or distracting from their work. He’s also wrong that it’s simply about people asking what he does in his bedroom, as again that isn’t the presumption made about straight people expressing their sexuality. However, Clayton is also trying to forge a career in an industry that still has a major issue with pigeonholing gay people, particularly those who want to work in film, and that being open about your sexuality will close a lot of doors. He is slightly stuck between a rock and a hard place, but at the same time a response that almost seems to be ‘I am gay or bisexual, but I’m not saying it’, may be better than flat out denial, but it’s not a fully satisfactory way of dealing with things.