“Nashville” star Kyle Dean Massey publicly shared his support for the LGBTQ+ community in an It Gets Better Project video 10-years-ago, and he is coming full circle.
Massey caught up with ET Canada about the video’s premiere and explained how his perspective on It Gets Better has changed over the last decade.
“It Gets Better kind of puts this idea that it’s going to be terrible for now, but in the future it’s going to be better,” the openly gay actor shared. “Now I’d modify that to say, find your crew now. You can be happy and you can be celebrated now. There are lots of outlets for people where they can feel that they belong or they are worthy now.”
“A lot of the conversation was about gay kids or transgender kids being bullied,” he concluded. “Now I’ve totally shifted. I’m like, ‘Wait a second. Who are these bullies? Who are their parents? Who are their teachers?’ Why aren’t we teaching kids now that that’s not okay? As opposed to telling people to be thick-skinned, toughen up and get through it.”
During the interview, Massey revealed he and his husband, Taylor Frey, are expecting a baby girl.
“I’m married, my husband and I are having a child. I wouldn’t have even imagined that 10-years-ago,” he admitted. “I think there has been some great progress there in terms of living in a society where that is possible. And where it’s celebrated. That wouldn’t have been the case 10-years-ago.”
“It’s taken years and years. When you’re two guys, you definitely need a lot of help. We’ve had a fabulous egg donor, a wonderful surrogate. A great of doctors and nurses and attorneys and psychologists. All those people it takes to have a baby. It’s been a great,” he shared. “We’re due in October.”
Massey’s husband portrayed Don Hagarty in “It: Chapter 2”. Frey portrays a gay man who is horribly beaten by three homophobic teenagers. Massey dished on watching the scene for the first-time.
“I think I had a very different experience watching it. We went to the premiere, which was really fun, and actually, at the premiere party they recreated that fairgrounds scene. We got to live it in real-life afterwards,” Massey said. “I heard from a lot of people who saw it that they felt really triggered by that whole scene. They thought it was gratuitous.”
“I watched it and the only thing I could think was, ‘He was so good,'” he shared. “I didn’t really watch it through the lens of a gay character being hate crimed. Maybe it’s because we’ve been doing self-tapes together for 10 years. We just kind of judge each other’s performances.”
A lot has changed over the past 10 years, and while Massey says the power of representation has come a long way for gay people, there is still much work to be done in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
“There is still a lot of hate towards people who are different: whether it’s how they identify as far as gender or sexual orientation,” he explained. “There is a lot of work to be done. Especially with women, people of colour. Transgender people are having a major fight these days.”
“The laws that have been passed in the U.S. this past year are ridiculous,” Massey asserted. “It’s a wave of anti-transgender sentiment. It’s sad. It’s ridiculous. These people aren’t hurting anybody. I think that’s the biggest thing I’d like to see change.”
Massey also shared his tips for how to be a good ally to marginalized groups.
“Vote. Vote! 100 per cent just vote,” he said. “It’s unbelievable how in the United States we have these federal laws, but at the local and state level it’s still all over the place. The restrictions they put in at a local level.”
“For people who want to be an ally, vote. Vote for equal rights. Vote for equal rights. Vote for people who are marginalized or minorities,” Massey concluded. “Let them know they are protected and worthy of being American citizens.”
The It Gets Better Project is an Internet-based nonprofit formed in 2010. Its mission is to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth around the globe.