EastSiders creator Kit Williamson: Queer TV ‘saved my life’
The creator of hit LGBT+ television series EastSiders has revealed that watching queer TV shows growing up saved his life.
The writer and actor opened up about the importance of queer representation on-screen in an interview with Digital Spy.
“I’m a huge supporter of pretty much anything queer that makes it to television,” Williamson said.
“I am so grateful for it, because I know what it would have meant to me as a kid growing up gay in Mississippi, which, if your readers don’t know, is the Southernmost Southern state,” he laughed.
“Well, not literally – Florida goes further south. But we’re the most stereotypically Southern state.”
EastSiders creator Kit Williamson ‘didn’t know any gay people growing up.’
He continued: “I didn’t know any gay people growing up. The first gay people that I ever encountered were characters on television. In many ways, I think it saved my life to just know I wasn’t alone, and that eventually I could live a life like the one that I have now, with a husband and friends and a job that I love,” he said.
Furthermore, Williamson said that the current generation of TV and film creators are “part of this movement that has happened over the last decade towards increasing LGBTQ representation.” He said that queer voices have started to make it into the mainstream.
In many ways, I think it saved my life to just know I wasn’t alone, and that eventually I could live a life like the one that I have now, with a husband and friends and a job that I love.
He also said that it is important that there is a wide variety of television shows telling LGBT+ stories so that individual shows don’t feel too much pressure to represent the entire community.
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Williamson also told LGBT+ EastSiders fans: “Know that you’re not alone, and that everybody out there is as f**ked up and flawed and messy as you are. Nobody is perfect.
Williamson married actor John Halbach in 2016.
“No matter what you’re going through, there’s somebody else out there who can relate to you.”
As well as being a writer and television creator, Williamson is an actor and has starred in Mad Men as well as in EastSiders.
He debuted EastSiders in 2012 with two episodes uploaded to YouTube. He later crowdfunded the remaining episodes on Kickstarter.
In 2016, the show was sold to Netflix. It recently returned to the streaming platform for a fourth and final season.
In 2015, Williamson got engaged to his long-term partner and fellow actor John Halbach. The pair got married in 2016.