Matt McGorry is a rising Hollywood star, with leading roles in Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" and ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder." He also happens to be a vocal feminist.
McGorry's publicly-documented feminist education began in March, when he posted the definition of "feminism" on his Facebook wall. "I'm embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of 'feminism,'" he wrote. "The fact that the term is sometimes clouded with anything other than pure support and positivity in our society is very tragic."
Since then he's shut down people who think the wage gap is a myth, read Lean In, coined the hashtag #FeministBeastMode and educated his Twitter followers on the right (and wrong) way to talk about Caitlyn Jenner.
He recently spoke with Jezebel's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd about feminism, how he became so invested in the cause of gender equality and the potential allies he's trying to educate by speaking up.
There's no question that he's damn enthusiastic about spreading the feminist gospel -- and that he recognizes the platform he has as a famous white man.
"The definition of feminism is so simple, and this many people are this excited and stimulated by it," he told Jezebel. "I have a unique position as a heterosexual white male, also, and there aren’t a lot who make this their thing, and this needs to be. The Emma Watson speech was huge, and now I’m, for lack of a better term, I’m balls-out."
McGorry urged people to allow others the ability to "f**k up" a little when it comes to feminist activism -- and then do better the next time. McGorry said that as he learns more about intersectionality he approaches friends of his for feedback before he posts things so that he can continue to learn, and be as sensitive as possible.
The actor also made it clear that the people he's targeting with his Facebook posts and tweets are men who aren't feminists out of ignorance.
"The people I feel like I’m trying to go after are the good people who just maybe have blind spots about gender inequality like I did," McGorry said. "You know, a guy who’s a bigot who hates women is not gonna care what feminism means anyway, so I don’t need to go after him. But I’m trying to incorporate an easy way in for those people that don’t know a lot about it."
And best of all, he seems to really appreciate the badass women in his life. "I am surrounded by so many really strong, powerful, empowered women and that’s really wonderful and refreshing."
We're just glad to have you as a part of this conversation, Matt.
To read the full interview, head over to Jezebel.