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Eric Stonestreet: Cam’s sexuality doesn’t define him

Larry King NowMay 08 '17

Eric Stonestreet – who plays Cam Tucker on ‘Modern Family’ – discusses the responsibility he and co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson feel toward the LGBT community, and why Cam’s sexuality isn’t what defines him.

Larry King: How has playing a gay character on ‘Modern Family’ made you feel about the LGBT community and their struggles for equality?

Eric Stonestreet: It hasn’t made me feel much different than I did before. I grew up in Kansas, I didn’t really know gay people. My cousin was gay, we always assumed he was gay, but he wasn’t out to us, and then when I started doing theatre, I got to know tons of gay people. And it’s really one of the reasons I became an actor. I showed up, I was a fraternity guy, showed up to do a play, and I was blown away by how much I loved all the people involved. And those people, a lot of them were gay. So it hasn’t changed how I feel personally about them, but it’s definitely a responsibility that Jessie and I both take very seriously, that we love it when people see them on TV and can relate to us. Conversely, we hate it when people see us on TV and think because we’re sort of bigger than normal, or more passionate or over the top, that somehow discounts people who are like that. Because for years now, eight years, people have come up to me and said, “Oh my god, you’re my uncle. You’re my dad, you’re my brother, you’re my mom.” And I always wanted Cam to be person first, and their sexual orientation somehow shuffled down the list of what defines them.

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