Matt Bomer is an actor. He's also gay, but he's not a "gay actor." His resumé boasts a diverse range of characters that aren't defined by their sexuality. Even his latest turn, despite being explored in depth by Out Magazine's Shana Naomi Krochmal, is not gay per se.
Bomer plays Felix Turner in HBO's adaptation of Larry Kramer's largely autobiographical play The Normal Heart. Turner, a closeted gay man during the height of the AIDS crisis, is diagnosed with the disease. Turner is not, however, a gay character — which is to say his everyman life, and his struggle with a disease that has become all too normal, are front of mind, not the particulars of his interpersonal relationships. "I’ve been playing exclusively straight characters for the first 10 years of my career," Bomer tells Out. "Whatever happens from this point on," he continues, referencing the effect his character and the surrounding story will have, "says a lot more about the business and society than it does about me."
Indeed, it wasn't even until the Fifty Shades of Grey movie frenzy began, with questions over who will play the coveted role of the dominating, kinky bachelor Christian Grey, that outlets began that contrived conversation of whether he, a homosexual actor, would be able to play such a robustly hetero character. Even we went there. With time, and the help of Out's profile, the answer is a (probable) yes.
Krochmal notes that White Collar ends after this season, leaving the doors wide open for Bomer to explore more roles. And, his sights are set on the stage. Even so, maintaining a normal life off stage (or screen) is Bomer's priority. "At a certain point in my life," he told the magazine, "my whole day would have been about this interview. Now it’s a small part of a day that also includes a drop-off at school in the morning and baseball practice and a lot of other things that take precedence."