Hollywood reportedly has its first openly gay stuntman in Shawn Balentine, a professional stunt actor and stunt coordinator who’s worked in film, TV, and even music videos as a double for famous actors including Jack Black, Oliver Cooper, and Patton Oswalt.
Balentine described his journey to coming out and the fact that he knows it could hurt his acting career in a lengthy Facebook post last weekend, which Oswalt shared with his 461,000 followers the next day.
“He’s a top-shelf professional stuntman and an amazing person,” wrote Oswalt. “He’s also the first professional stuntman to come out of the closet. He wrote this smart, touching, and funny post about what’s he’s been going through and where he is now.”
“I could not be prouder of the guy. I’d walk through fire for him. Which is fair, considering he’s walked through explosions, walls and, on BROOKLYN NINE NINE, a kiddie pool full of tomato sauce. Read and enjoy.”
Describing his sexual identity as a “layer” of himself, Balentine said “it feels damn fine” to be able to share himself with the world and start living more openly.
“If this helps even one or two out there from feeling alone, being blackmailed, or told to your face that someone doesn’t approve of your spiritual practices then I’m here for ya and have one HUGE shoulder you can lean on because I’ve been in your shoes. You will NOT go to hell or get stoned to death; which I was told just last week,” he said.
Check out Balentine’s full post below: