The November issue of Diversity Rules Magazine features prolific character actor and stand-up comic Jason Stuart, reflecting on his 30 year anniversary of coming out.
Born in the Bronx and raised in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, he resides in Palm Springs and lives next door to his 85-year-old Jewish mother, Gloria, but does not live with her! Stuart is a self-described insecure Jewish kid who turned to theatre and performing to mask his emerging sexual identity. He confesses, “Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl” saved my life”. Streisand inspired him in such a profound, indescribable way, and like many other gay men of a certain age, ironically found himself attracted to Omar Sharif. He has concurred type casting by playing “Joseph Randall,” a heterosexual, Christian plantation owner in 1831. A significant supporting role in one of the most talked about films in recent history is “The Birth Of A Nation” by filmmaker Nate Parker. The drama reflected the prejudice he’s fought against his entire life and gave him the kind of confidence that he has today. Stuart, an LGBTQ rights advocate through his subtle characterizations, reflects his enlightenment to his life’s calling by combining his humanitarian beliefs with his mastery of the craft of acting. As a teenager, he played Santa Claus in a play. Wearing a fat suit afforded him the insight that being a Jewish and closeted gay teenager was like wearing a Santa fat suit. As a huge fan of “I Love Lucy,” Stuart saw Ms. Ball get the biggest laughs when she was pregnant. He realized the key to great acting is doing the unexpected, and performed the role as if he was “Lucy” pregnant! A formula that’s worked for him, and he hasn’t looked back since.