The latest issue of The Advocate features icon Harvey Milk on the cover, but a minor icon of geekdom, Tom Lenk (who played Andrew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), also makes news by officially coming out in the issue.
It probably doesn’t come as that big of a shock to fans of Buffy that Tom is gay, which probably isn’t fair, as no doubt Lenk is capable of playing a wide-range of characters. Nonetheless, Lenk pinged quite a few gaydars including Buffy creator Joss Whedon, who told The Advocate that Andrew hadn’t been planned as gay, but when Lenk auditioned they decided to take the character that way since “Tom has a bit of a fey thing going on in his persona that, you know, you can’t really deny.”
Technically, Andrew was never gay, but when we included him on our list of the “Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters,” Whedon himself wound up weighing in on the topic.
Lenk says his coming out now was supposed to be timed to coincide with his first television same-sex kiss. The Buffy alum had been cast as the boyfriend of Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s character on Fox’s Do Not Disturb. Alas for Lenk, DNR didn’t make it past its second episode before Fox showed mercy on us all and canceled the sitcom.
Lenk also discusses his less-than-pleasant childhood growing up in Camarillo, California, a town north of Los Angeles, where he was “constantly tormented,” how theater was his escape, and how, post-Buffy, he learned his own management company was mocking him behind his back for being less than butch.
Despite the setbacks, Lenk stays optimistic about his future. And as Whedon says about Lenk, “He’s very, very f**king talented.” Here’s hoping Lenk finds the right vehicle to express that talent.
In the meantime, enjoy this Wendy’s commercial that Lenk did which is much more amusing now that he’s an out gay man. Hold the irony!