It is unlikely you have ever asked yourself “I wonder what Thomas Dekker is up to in 2016?” but if you’ve seen his work you’ve probably asked, “Is that guy gay?”
The answer to be short is a yes. While at the peak of his career Dekker masked his sexuality, while never referring to himself as straight, but as his star has waned he has become a lot less resistant to his label.
The actors biggest gig to date came in the form of Claire’s sidekick in Heroes. Though he played the role as straight, tongues began wagging as to wether or not the character and actor were gay. These assumptions were confirmed by producers, but not the performer as a messy media storm saw him leave the role.
Some speculated that he did not want to be tarnished with a gay role before his big John Conner debut in an upcoming series, others believed he was angry the producers changed his sexuality midway through the show while some chalked the drama up to bad timing.
In a lengthy essay titled “The Truth About Heroes” Dekker wrote: “I would like it to be known by everyone, that I have played a gay character three times before in my career, one when I was twelve (which is on youtube), one when I was fifteen, and another when I was seventeen. I, nor my management have ever had any kind of problem with creating a gay character. To me acting is about being prepared to play all kinds of roles and it is an honor and a challenge to portray ANYTHING that comes my way. What transpired on heroes is something far more complicated than anyone being “afraid” to make Zach homosexual. The character that I created in the beginning of the show, a process I take very seriously, was based on Zach being an outcast who had a burning love for Claire, a crush that drew him to her and effected every ounce of his self esteem around her. I created the character that way because it was WRITTEN IN THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT that he was in love with Claire.”
Several years later Dekker added a follow up statement regarding the controversy: “I went through the f**king roof! If you’re going to have a gay character on your show come out and be a pioneer for kids, I would’ve liked to play that from the get-go from my perspective. I went to set and said to the writers, ‘I really wish that it wouldn’t have been five hours before I come into work that I get this news that [the character] I’d been playing for the last 12 episodes knows and is comfortable with the fact that he is gay. Because I would’ve played this very differently.’ But I said I’d do it, and then a couple hours later the creator, Tim Kring, showed up and said, ‘No, no, no. We’re going to change it [back to him being straight].’”
This role aside, Dekker often portrays gay characters such as in the popular movie Kaboom, gay icon Lance Loud in HBO’s Cinema Verite, and tv shows Grosse Pointe, and Backstrom.
In 2010 he also appeared in a ‘Love is Louder’ campaign alongside fellow friends to the glass closet: Colton Hayes, Shawn Pyfrom, Lucas Grabeel, and Simon Curtis.
When questioned about his sexuality years ago Dekker admitted:”I’ve only really had relationships with women, but I’m certainly not closed to it. If there are possibilities of being able to do anything in life, why would you say you would never take any up?”
“In the later chunk of my teen years I was so all over the place with sex. It was terrible. I never really had a real relationship at all. During puberty, it’s all about sex, and it’s all about figuring yourself out. I think I overdid it when I was younger.”
Since then the star has all but vanished from our screens, performing at drag shows and other independent projects, leading to a more lax attitude to his sexual preference as his Instagram is rife with Mommie Dearest quotes and sultry pouts. Just take a scroll through and all your proof will be there.