Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chad Allen

Chad Allen, born in California in 1974, currently resides in New York and Los Angeles. He came out publicly in the October 2001 issue of The Advocate, when he also acknowledged his drug and alcohol addictions. He was raised within a strict Roman Catholic household and regards himself as a deeply spiritual person because of his upbringing. Controversy surrounded Allen's casting as real-life Christian missionary Nate Saint in the 2006 docudrama film “End of the Spear,” as some conservative Christians lashed out at producers for putting an openly gay man in the role.

Allen's first television appearance was at age four in a McDonalds commercial. At age six, he landed his first dramatic role in a pilot for a television series, and by the age of eight, he captured the hearts of the viewing public as the autistic Tommy Westphall on the cast of "St. Elsewhere." Allen has guest starred in several television series: Webster, Our House, My Two Dads, Airwolf, Hunter, The Wonder Years, Star Trek The Next Generation, In the Heat of the Night, Highway to Heaven, Simon and Simon. Chad made his transition to an adult actor as Matthew Cooper on Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, NYPD Blue and Charmed.

In 1996, at age 21, Allen was outed as gay when tabloid The Globe published photos of him kissing another man, Alex Hannaman, in a hot tub at a party. The photos had been sold to the paper by Allen's then-boyfriend. Allen has since become an activist for the LGBT community in addition to his continuing acting and producing career. In 2006 Allen appeared on Larry King Live with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to represent his viewpoint in a debate over same-sex marriage. Allen thanked Newsom for his attempts to legalize same-sex marriage in the city.

In 1995, Chad Allen co-founded The Creative Outlet theater company. He considers theater to be his "first love, without a doubt." Allen has appeared in the stage productions of "Change at Babylon" (Los Angeles), "Temporary Help" (Seattle, Westport, Connecticut), and "Sons of Lincoln" (Los Angeles).

Allen's then real-life partner, actor Jeremy Glazer, was also in the film “Save Me” (2007, trailer below), a film exploring the ex-gay movement; it premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and Allen was the star, developer and producer of that film.

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