Openly gay actor Russell Tovey is sharing his thoughts on playing a gay superhero on television and how it’s already affected some viewers.
In an interview with the New York Times, Tovey shared the story of a family who sent a message to him after seeing the gay kiss he had with his on-screen lover Citizen Cold (played by openly gay actor Wentworth Miller).
“Someone sent me a message… they are gay parents.”
“Their son was watching the show and ran in to them and said, ‘There are two superheroes who do what you do’, when they kissed each other.”
“He was so happy about it. So many people have been so supportive of seeing two superheroes who are gay played by two actors who are out.”
“It seems like it became a bit of a moment. I couldn’t be prouder to be one half of that moment.”
Tovey also shared that he’s proud to play a gay superhero character, and he's happy because his childhood dream of wanting to be a superhero has actually come true.
“So when this came up, it was an easy yes — especially for what the character stood for. It magnified my excitement in portraying him.”
He added: “Most of my acting mates — everyone wants to play a superhero. It’s definitely one of the boxes you want to tick. It feels wonderful to be ticking that box in a big way and with a big, pink triangle.”
He also added: “I’m just so happy that it’s out in the world.
“On prime time TV, you’ve got two superheroes that are gay kissing and who are played by gay actors — hopefully one day that will be normal.
“I want the Ray to become someone that gay kids watching TV — who might feel a bit out there and not accepted or who don’t understand themselves — can relate to.”
After taking part in the cross-over event between the four “Arrow-verse” tv shows, Tovey’s character The Ray will lead his own tv show, though this time in animation, called Freedom Fighters: The Ray.