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In 1992, Ryan Phillippe Played Daytime TV's First Gay Teenager

"Kids who'd never seen themselves represented on TV or in movies would write to say what a huge support they found it to be."

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Ryan said of the role:

Me and the guy who played my boyfriend might've held hands once or twice, but that was it. The age of those characters had something to do it, but things also weren't as liberal in 1992. Still, I felt lucky to play the first gay teenager on television —- not just daytime but television, period. What was so amazing about that for me was the response I got through fan letters that my mother and I would read together. Kids who'd never seen themselves represented on TV or in movies would write to say what a huge support they found it to be.

One kid said he'd considered suicide before seeing a character like him being accepted. I also heard from a father, a mechanic, who hadn't spoken to his son since he came out. When our show came on in his shop, it gave him some insight and understanding as to who his son was, so it opened up communication between them.

Watch Billy come out to his parents:

View this video on YouTube

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Watch Billy talk about being gay with his friends:

View this video on YouTube

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