Sex and the City star Willie Garson avoided publicly confirming his heterosexuality as he worried it would be interpreted as “offensive”.
On the long-running series, which was followed up by two movies, Garson portrayed Stanford Blatch, the gay best friend of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie. Around the time of the show’s airing, however, Garson, would downplay his real-life heterosexuality if he was ever asked about it publicly.
“For years I didn’t talk about it because I found it to be offensive to gay people,” Garson told Page Six. “People playing gay characters jumping up and down screaming that they’re not gay, like that would somehow be a bad thing if they were.”
When Garson was asked about his sexuality by the press, he would have an answer prepared.
“I would say, ‘When I was on [legal drama] White Collar, no one ever asked me if I was a conman, and when I was on NYPD Blue, nobody ever asked me if I was a murderer. This is what we do for a living, portray people.’”
He admitted, however, that playing such a famous gay character made dating women in reality difficult at times.
“At the beginning, you would approach someone at a bar and realise, ‘Oh, they want to be Stanford’s best friend’,” Garson joked. “They don’t necessarily want to sleep with you.”
Garson portrayed Stanford throughout Sex and the City’s run, with the character marrying one of the show’s other major gay characters, Mario Cantone’s Antony, in 2010 sequel Sex and the City 2.
Liza Minnelli, playing herself, performed at the couple’s wedding in the much-maligned film.