When Matt Breen, the editor-in-chief of the 45-year-old LGBT magazine, The Advocate, came out to his parents in 1995, Ellen DeGeneres was still in the closet, Clinton's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy was in full swing and the notion of "gay marriage" was laughably unforeseeable. Despite the unwelcoming climate, the handsome 21-year-old mustered up just enough courage to confess his sexuality to his parents in what he calls "a clumsy letter."
"Then I sort of ducked and covered," he remembers, "waiting to see what would happen."
Despite the social pressures of growing up in conservative Salt Lake City, Utah, Breen's progressive parents handled the news pretty well. But it wasn't easy for them. "Their whole notion of what my life would be was suddenly upended," he recalls, "and they were afraid I'd get beaten up or become HIV positive."
A decade into his tenure at Here Media, the parent company of gay glossies, Out and The Advocate, where he's held editorial posts since 2003, he's no longer a novice in matters of coming out. In fact, Breen has edited and published so many stories on the topic one could say he's mastered the form.
So when The Slant reached Breen at his L.A. office, we had to get his take on Jodie Foster's surprising -- and puzzling -- Golden Globes' "outing" this past awards season.
He also shared his musings on the most influential out celebrities, why subscriptions to The Advocate still come (closeted) in opaque white wrappers, and how the Supreme Court might rule on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) later this March.
Read the Q&A at The Slant: There's Always More to the Story.