A headline in my yahoo! newsfeed caught my attention yesterday, as it said “Nickelodeon Star Lucas Cruikshank Comes Out as Gay, Surprises Very Few.”
As I contemplated whether I knew who +Lucas Alan Cruikshank was, I clicked on the story. According to Jeremy Blacklow who writes for the omg! blog, Lucas is a 19 year old Nebraska native who is “one of the biggest original YouTube stars of all time.”
Googling Lucas’ name helped me discover that he’s a bright, talented, and ambitious kid. He produced and starred in a successful television series called Fred in 2008, about a 6 year old with anger management issues, that was a hit on YouTube. His popularity and success led to a professional relationship with Nickelodeon, and three Fred movies, and 20 episodes of Fred: The Show.
In 2012-2013 Lucas was the star of Nickelodeon’s sci-fi sitcom Marvin Marvin, and he was nominated for a Kid’s Choice Award for favorite TV actor.
Lucas has a highly subscribed personal YouTube channel, where he releases 2 videos a week, and communicates with his legion of fans. And that’s where he decided to share with the world that he’s gay. In the video “ARE YOU GAY?!?,” the young star is in bed with his good friend Jennifer Veal, an English actress (Disney’s Jessie).
Sharing a bed with a woman seems antithetical to coming out, but these 2 pals are clearly comfortable with each other, and it’s obvious that they aren’t shagging. After Jennifer asks the million dollar question, Lucas laughingly says “I’m gay.” Lucas said that his family and friends have known for over 3 years, and that he didn’t feel the need to share it on the internet.
What was so refreshing about watching Lucas make his “gay” announcement was that he was honest. After he made his revelation, he blushed and said he felt awkward, and the video was edited at that point. It’s never easy for anyone to publicly come out, whether they’re famous or not, and I think that Lucas illustrates that point perfectly.
Both Lucas and Jennifer are adorably funny, and their laughter is infectious, and Jennifer’s presence keeps things light hearted. My favorite Jennifer-ism was when she said that she “prayed for a gay friend for 5 years.” I look forward to seeing what future projects these budding stars attach themselves to.
I’m sure that there are kids around the country who look up to Lucas, and he’s a great role model for LGBTQ students to emulate, even if no one was surprised by his news. Lucas doesn’t have to hide and can be authentic, and there will be many others who will follow his example, and that’s clearly a good thing.
Bravo and congratulations Lucas! You have a bright future, and I’m sure that your family and friends and fans are proud of you.
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