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Allen, Chad (b. 1974)  
page: 1  2  

When Allen told the producers that he was concerned that the Saint family might object to having a gay man play their relatives, he was surprised to learn that Saint himself had already approved the casting after being shown a 2003 article in The Advocate in which Allen talked about the importance of doing good works and serving others.

Allen recalled, "Steve Saint said that the same things that I talked about in The Advocate were the same things he fought his whole life for, and it would be wrong for them not to ask me to do it," adding, "That's an amazing story, right?"

Although Allen has continued to demonstrate his versatility by playing a variety of roles, he was eager to bring more gay characters to the stage and screen. In 2001 he produced the Los Angeles premiere of Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi, and two years later he joined with producer Christopher Racster and actor Robert Gant (best known for Queer as Folk) to form a production company, Mythgarden.

"Our company is entirely dedicated to turning the page on gay and lesbian storytelling in film, television, and theater. We believe that it's time that our stories can be told fully: good relationships, real relationships, honest characters, in all of the genres of storytelling--fantasy, fiction, fairy tales, great mysteries, adventure films, and honest drama," he stated.

Allen has been involved in projects with the three recently-formed glbtq television networks, Logo, Q Television, and here! TV. His work for the last includes a starring role as gay detective Donald Strachey in Third Man Out (2005) and Shock to the System (2006), based on novels by Richard Stevenson. Allen is hopeful that more of the books in the Strachey series will also be turned into movies.

Allen was delighted to present the "really powerful, loving gay relationship" between Strachey and his partner, Timothy Callahan. He also relished the opportunity to play a love scene with another man (albeit, as it turned out, a straight one).

Another film that focuses on gay issues is Save Me (2007, directed by Robert Clary), which was first shown as the Sundance Film Festival. Allen plays a young gay man, Mark, who turns to drugs and sex to compensate for the emotional emptiness of his life. When he overdoses, his family puts him into an "ex-gay" Christian ministry run by a woman (played by Judith Light) whose beloved gay son died of a drug overdose when he was seventeen.

At the ministry center Mark befriends and then falls in love with another man in the program, Scott (played by openly gay actor Robert Gant). As a result, both men must question the attitudes of society in general and religion in particular toward glbtq people in order to discover and embrace their true identities and experience the healing redemptive power of love.

Save Me has been hailed for its sensitive depiction of both gay men and evangelical Christians. Instead of portraying Light's character as a one-dimensional oppressor, the film presents her as a sincere and complex person who wants to help gay men and believes that "curing" them of their homosexuality will bring them happiness, although by the end of the story, she finds her own attitudes challenged.

Off-screen Allen has worked for many charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the Autistic Children's Foundation, but his special focus has been on glbtq causes. He has supported the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund (which assists glbtq candidates for political office) and AIDS projects in Los Angeles and Arizona. He joined with Olympic champion Greg Louganis to call attention to the problem of depression among glbtq youth, who are at particular risk for suicide. Allen has also volunteered with the Trevor Project, whose hotline (866.4.U.Trevor) has saved many glbtq young people so desperate that they were considering taking their own lives. He has recently accepted an honorary position on the board of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Allen appeared on the Larry King Live show in February 2004 to speak in support of same-sex marriage. He expressed indignation that George W. Bush favored an amendment that would "turn the Constitution around and make it a document of exclusion and tell me that I'm a second-class citizen."

Although conservative speakers voiced strong opposition to equality in marriage laws, Allen remained optimistic and said that he expected eventually to be able to marry. "I think that this country has a great tradition of ultimately doing the right thing," he commented.

Allen stated in a 2002 interview that he knows of many people in the entertainment industry who have remained in the closet and that he has "absolute respect for those individuals and their decisions." He, however, has chosen another route.

"It's important, I believe, to stand up and say 'I'm gay' because people get hurt for doing that," he stated. "And until that's not the case any more, I and hopefully a hell of a lot more people will continue to do so."

Linda Rapp

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, Drama

American television has made significant strides in its portrayal of homosexuals in dramatic series and movies, but cable networks have been more daring than the "big three" broadcast networks.

social sciences >> Overview:  Circuit Parties

Circuit Parties refer to an ongoing series of gay-themed events that take place in major metropolitan areas throughout the year.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Gay Male

Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.

literature >> Overview:  Mystery Fiction: Gay Male

In the decades since Stonewall, gay male mystery fiction has burgeoned in United States, both in quantity and in quality, and has increasingly been issued by mainstream presses.

social sciences >> Overview:  Outing

First used by homophobes and then by glbtq activists, outing is the public revelation of a person's sexuality without the consent of that person.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

arts >> Overview:  Stage Actors and Actresses

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual actors and actresses are among the elite of contemporary theater, but only recently have many come out publicly.

literature >> McNally, Terrence

Texas-reared Terrence McNally, whose first play, And Things That Go Bump in the Night, was one of the great scandals of the 1964 New York season, emerged in the 1990s as America's most important gay playwright since Tennessee Williams.

social sciences >> Suicide

In addition to the general risk factors for suicide, such as depression and substance abuse, glbtq people also face stressors such as discrimination and harassment, which put them at an increased risk for suicidal behavior.

social sciences >> The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project, a Los Angeles-based educational organization, operates the only national 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention hot line in the U.S. aimed at glbtq youth.


"Debate over Anti-Gay Marriage Constitutional Amendment." Transcript of Larry King Live (CNN) (February 24, 2004).

Padget, Jonathan. "Chad Allen: the MW Interview." Metro Weekly (May 11, 2002).

"Raising the Profile of Depression." The Advocate 931 (February 1, 2005): 17.

Vary, Adam B. "Chad's on the Case." The Advocate 945 (August 30, 2005): 58-62.

_____. "His Grown-up Christmas List." The Advocate 903 (November 25, 2003): 41.

_____. "Missionary Man." The Advocate 945 (August 30, 2005): 62.

Vilanch, Bruce. "Chad Allen: His Own Story." The Advocate 848 (October 9, 2004): 42-47.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Allen, Chad  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated February 2, 2007  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  


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