By David-Elijah Nahmod, July 2015 Issue.
Kit Williamson is a young, handsome and openly gay actor who has found steady work in the often-cutthroat world of Hollywood. He’s also engaged to his partner and currently preparing for their wedding.
Despite ending and eight-year run as Ed in AMC’s wildly popular series “Mad Men,” the role Williamson is best known for, the actor said his dreams have true.
“I played Ed Gifford, a copywriter working under Peggy,” Williamson said. “Ed’s sexual orientation is left kind of ambiguous. At one point Stan gets confused by Ed’s interest in Pima, a bisexual photographer. That’s about as deep into his personal life as we go, but it’s an interesting moment that shows the evolution of the times.”
The actor noted the difference between the early-mid 1960s, the era the show was set in, and today’s world.
“Stan and Peggy probably wouldn’t have an issue with a gay copywriter, but many other people in the office undoubtedly would have,” he said. “There weren’t protections against discrimination the way there are now. It’s really important that we continue moving forward towards equal rights – not just marriage equality – and make sure that we don’t backslide under the auspices of religious freedom. No one should be allowed to discriminate.”
There was a time, Williamson shared, that he didn’t think there was any possible way he could be a professional actor without staying in the closet.
“We live in such an exciting time in history,” Williamson said. “I hope that LGBT people everywhere are energized to make their voices heard – we’ve made a lot of progress but this is not the time to be complacent.”
Williamson, 29, said he’s seen a great deal of change during his own lifetime and recalled a difficult childhood growing up in a conservative religious home.
“The world has changed so much since I was a gay kid growing up in Jackson, Mississippi,” he said. “I didn’t ever imagine that could get married, start a family.”
His parents are now very supportive, he said, adding that they get along great with his partner. Naturally, we wondered who the lucky guy is.
“John is amazing,” Williamson said proudly. “He’s handsome, smart and the kindest person I know. We have literally been together since the moment we started talking.”
That was eight years ago. John Halbach, we’re told, is also an actor who sidelines by doing digital campaigns for Broadway shows.
Between making wedding plans and new career moves, Williamson has quite a full plate. Not only is he embarking on his directorial debut, but he’s also working on the second season of “Eastsiders,” his web series.
“Eastsiders is a dark comedy about a gay couple trying to stay together through infidelity in Silver Lake, California,” Williamson said. “The reaction from viewers was incredible.”
The first season of “Eastsiders” was picked up by LOGO and a DVD was released through Wolfe Video, he said.
“We were able to raise $150,000 to shoot a second season,” he said. “The power of the internet is incredible.”
Williamson serves as the star, writer and director of the series. Halbach, his fiancé, and Van Hansis, who made a splash a decade ago by playing a gay character on the now cancelled soap opera As the World Turns, co-star.
For more information on “Eastsiders,” visit eastsiderstheseries.com.