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Butler, Dan (b. 1954)  
page: 1  2  

Butler was among the public figures to speak out in 2000 against California's Proposition 22 (also known as the Knight Initiative) that sought to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Butler has participated in fundraisers for AIDS charities, among them one in his native state of Indiana in 2002 that brought in a record amount of money for the event. He has also done volunteer service, including working as a counselor on the Trevor Helpline, a telephone resource for gay youth in crisis or considering suicide.

Butler has been in a stable relationship with acting teacher Richard Waterhouse since the mid-1990s. Although they had known each other before, they cemented their relationship soon after Waterhouse lost a former lover to AIDS. At first they felt guilty for falling in love so soon after a bereavement and Waterhouse asked Butler to "slow down" a little. He did and the two have been together ever since.

Butler and Waterhouse were married--albeit without the sanction of the state of California--in a private ceremony in March 1999 on their fifth anniversary together. The families of both men were in attendance.

Butler showed courage by making a public declaration of his homosexuality. He realized that doing so might adversely affect his career, but he bravely took the chance. Happily, his career has not suffered, and he continues to appear in a variety of projects in film, television, and theater.

Linda Rapp

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arts >> Overview:  American Television, Situation Comedies

American television sitcoms have consistently reflected the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, often in distorted and stereotyped ways, but occasionally in ways that acknowledge our humanity and complexity.

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.

social sciences >> Gingrich-Jones, Candace

Candace Gingrich-Jones, the half-sister of former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, serves as a spokesperson and Senior Youth Outreach Manager for the Human Rights Campaign.

arts >> Harris, Neil Patrick

Child actor Neil Patrick Harris has made a successful transition to mature roles, showcasing his singing and dancing abilities along the way; he has also spoken out on behalf of glbtq causes.

arts >> Louganis, Greg

Widely regarded as the greatest diver in history, Olympic champion Greg Louganis has acknowledged both his homosexuality and his status as a person living with AIDS.

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.

arts >> Pierce, David Hyde

Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce, best known for his comic performance on the long-running hit comedy television series Frasier, belatedly acknowledged his homosexuality in 2007.


Brantley, Ben. "Familiar Attitudes on Gay Life Paint a Clear-Eyed Portrait." New York Times (April 3, 1995): C16.

Epstein, Jeffrey. "Acting Independently; Frasier's Dan Butler Takes Center Stage with a Return to His First Love, Theater." The Advocate (November 23, 1999): 73.

Guthmann, Edward. "Things Only Getting Better for Dan Butler; 'Frasier' Actor Is Out of the Closet and Proud of One-man Show." San Francisco Chronicle (September 15, 1996): 32.

Holden, Stephen. "Two Solo Performers Embrace Multitudes." New York Times (June 18, 1995): 2, 5.

Israel, Betsy. "Bulldog Barks." People Weekly 43 (April 24, 1995): 55-57.

Jones, Anderson. "Dan Butler and Richard Waterhouse." Men Together: Portraits of Love, Commitment, and Life. Essays by Anderson Jones; photographs by David Fields. Philadelphia: Running Press, 1997. 110-113.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Butler, Dan  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated March 9, 2008  
    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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