Zac Efron is Flattered By His Gay Fans
By Shaun Knittel
Best Gay News Staff Writer
It’s not just millions of women around the world that love Zac Efron – and nobody knows that better
than Efron himself. Only, the 24-year-old actor who came to prominence in the Disney Channel's High
School Musical, and stars in the upcoming southern thriller The Paperboy from director Lee Daniels, told the gay glossy The Advocate he doesn’t mind the attention at all.
“It’s very flattering,” he said, acknowledging his gay fan base in his first interview with an LGBT
“After High School Musical and Hairspray, I’ve always felt embraced by the gay community,” he continued. “And I feel incredibly grateful.”
"I think the gay audience related to my character Troy,” Efron said, referring to the character he played in the 2006 High School Musical film. “Because it really was a story of embracing who you are, no matter how different you might be, and not being afraid to show it. That's a universal theme for everyone, but it specifically resonated with the gay community, and I felt very proud of that."
Efron told The Advocate, “This is actually a very special interview for me. I'm extremely aware of the support I've gotten from you guys over the years and it's amazing that it's taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn't gone unappreciated. I'm so excited to be talking to you.”
In the interview, Efron recalls his time as a young musical theater kid and how being gay was never taboo in his social circles. “Being gay was just another way you can be. I never really had time to think about it or have any preconceived notions. I don't judge anyone and I never have."
"I might've been less aware of it back then,” he adds, "but without question I had gay role models."
He says he would never take a role just for the sake of playing gay but is always looking for a role that's challenging, different, and entails some risk, “so there's no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future.”
Efron, who identifies as straight, has had his sexual orientation questioned but maintains that he is not the least bit bothered by the rumors. “I don't like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with – that’s the way I was raised – but I just can't see what's so wrong about being gay.”
Efron even came out in support of same-sex marriage, telling The Advocate, "It's an issue that affects so many people in my life – a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do."