Argentinian actor Fernando Dente spoke about his obstacles as a gay actor and his internal struggle against his own feelings of homophobia.
Dente, 32, rose to fame in the Argentinian incarnation of Disney musical high school series. He first beat 26,000 contestants to win Musical High School: La Selección, a Star Search-type of reality TV contest to find the new leads for the Latin American version of Musical high school. With his victory, he followed in Musical High School: El Desafío, playing the equivalent of the role of Troy, the character made famous in the United States by Zac Efron.
Since his time with the musical high school series, Dente achieved fame on tour in a South American production of Naughty boots. As promotion for the play, he sat down with radio journalist Catalina Dlugi to discuss the show. During the conversation, he also revealed his ongoing battle against internalized homophobia.
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“We all grew up in a society with mandates, thoughts, prejudices, being part of the minority does not exempt you from having been brought up in this society,” Dente explained. “I’m gay and I have homophobic thoughts, what I do is find out and say ‘that’s nonsense’, in the back of my head there’s a thought that doesn’t make sense.”
“Anyone who runs away from that norm is much more exposed and without doing anything, just by being who they are, ends up being criticized,” he explained. “I like being on this side of the line and being who I am, not having to talk about synonyms and saying my boyfriend is my boyfriend and not a friend.”
For Dente, this state of mind also allowed him to better understand Charlie, his character in Naughty boots.
“The backbone of the story is being able to be who you are,” Dente said. “It’s something that sounds very cheesy and very rosy, but it’s something that really moved me every time I saw the work.”
“When you see how all the characters come to accept each other, and accept each other… It’s something that’s very close to the surface in society right now: new ways of expressing themselves, new identities, and even new ways to call each other appear all the time. So tolerance is very much needed today, and really getting in a position to say: well, maybe I don’t know everything I’m thinking We are going to see what is the best way to live together and to be able to understand each other.
Well said. Fernando Dente came out publicly in 2018. In 2020, he introduced his boyfriend, actor Nicolás Di Pace, to the world. Since then, the couple have maintained an active social media presence in addition to their acting careers.
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