‘The Batman’ Actor Charlie Carver Receives GLSEN Game Changer Award

YouTube: GLSEN (screenshot)

Actor Charlie Carver has received the Gay, Lesbian And Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Game Changer Award in recognition of the impact he’s had on creating a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTIQ youth, Variety reports.

The actor who came out via Instagram in 2016 used his acceptance speech posted on www.glsen.org to speak of his desire to do something to address the feeling of shame LGBTIQ youth can feel.

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Pt 1: “Be who you needed when you were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular? Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license…. Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me. As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus… But the acting thing stuck. It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. Over time, this abstract “knowing” grew and articulated itself through a painful gestation marked by feelings of despair and alienation, ending in a climax of saying three words out loud: “I am gay”. I said them to myself at first, to see how they felt. They rang true, and I hated myself for them. I was twelve. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family…

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“I always knew I wanted to do something with my life that might help young people in their relationship to shame,” Carver said.

“I didn’t want spectacle. I just wanted to reveal this part of myself in a kind of way I wish I’d been able to share all those years ago in school as a simple wonderful fact of who I was. It was my hope that by writing this post and sharing why I’d arrived at the decision to come out professionally that some young person out there could feel the  change that I felt was coming and had been coming and would be coming—the change we all hope for and work for and wait for in our lives as LGBTQ folks,” Carver said.

Carver, who is starring alongside his brother in the upcoming The Batman film also spoke of his school years where he felt unsafe despite having a supportive family.

“There was just this abiding sense that school wasn’t safe or more than anything, if I let my guard down and if I fully relaxed into a state of belonging that something swift and terrible would come and find me,” he said. “And I recognize now that that thing I was so afraid of, the thing I was sort of running from and trying to manage, was my own shame,” Carver said.

He went on to say, “LGBTQ kids really suffer from the shaming they interject on the internet, often at school and sadly sometimes at home and it affects them for the rest of their lives. But I believe LGBTQ people are resilient and in some ways particularly special. I think we seem inherently capable at thinking compassionately, acting courageously, working creatively and living in community. But those qualities, those essential qualities can really only emerge in an affirmative, safe and encouraging environment.”

The usual gala ball was not held this year due to the coronavirus so instead several of Carver’s co-stars from Netflix’s The Boys In The Band virtually presented him with the award.

“Throughout his entire career, Charlie Carver has used his platform to galvanise the LGBTQ community, especially the next generation,” Andrew Rannells said.

The Batman also stars Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne / Batman, with Zoë Kravitz, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis and Colin Farrell.

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just because it’s JUNE 🌈 #TonyAwards

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dog day afternoon

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