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Zac Efron On Gay Rumors, LGBT Fanbase And Same-Sex Marriage In 'Advocate' Interview

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Zac Efron has been the subject of many gay men's admiration (and speculation) in the blogosphere -- not that he minds, of course.

In a new interview, the 24-year-old heartthrob tells The Advocate that he feels "incredibly grateful and honored" by his gay fanbase, saying he hopes to return to musical theater and that "there's no doubt" he'll play a gay character in the future. "I’m extremely aware of the support I’ve gotten from you guys over the years, and it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn’t gone unappreciated," Efron, who will be seen opposite Nicole Kidman "The Paperboy" next month, tells The Advocate's Brandon Voss.

He went on to note that he first became aware of his gay fanbase during his "High School Musical" days: "I think the gay audience related to my character Troy, because it really was a story of embracing who you are, no matter how different you might be, and not being afraid to show it. That’s a universal theme for everyone, but it specifically resonated with the gay community, and I felt very proud of that."

The actor also once again addressed those pesky gay rumors, noting, "I don’t like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with -- that’s the way I was raised -- but I just can’t see what’s so wrong about being gay."

When Voss asked Efron about his stance on same-sex marriage, the actor (who has worked with gay directors Adam Shankman and Lee Daniels) replied, "It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do."

To read Zac Efron's full interview in The Advocate, click here.

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Check Out Zac Efron in His First Gay Interview ... - The Advocate