Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2018 Logo30. The powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to learn more about the series.
Matteo Lane is an out comedian and actor who has appeared on Comedy Central's The Comedy Jam, MTV's Girl Code, MTV2's Guy Code, and the IFC series Janice and Jeffrey, which he created and stars in. He will soon appear in a stand-up special for Netflix.
He tells NewNowNext that being a gay man in the comedy world can be difficult: "I play the line of people constantly wondering if I am stereotyped, or if I am using my minority as a chance to somehow get ahead. So I'm put on defense a lot, where people question me for what I'm doing in comedy."
But he also believes he and other out comedians, like Joel Kim Booster, John Early, and Solomon Georgio, are free to make the rules up as they go along, and the visibility they provide by bringing their true selves to the stage has a societal impact.
"I think for a long time it was difficult for gay men to even be out anywhere without feeling like they were treated like shit," Lane noted. "Because of social media and TV, we're changing the stereotypes of what it means to be gay in this country. So people are more open to seeing gay men in a raw form like comedy, and hearing their opinions and life experience without feeling 'threatened.'"
"Maybe they don't have a gay friend," he said of non-queer audience members. "Maybe they don't have somebody in their life that they can talk to about these things, and I'm shining a new light and perspective on it."
Watch Logo's full interview with Lane below.