Actor Tim Draxl has reflected on the moment he was outed on the set of an Australian film in 2011.
The openly gay actor, who’s also a dancer, singer, painter and model, had a role in Australian comedy A Few Best Men, released that year.
During filming, Tim recalled, a colleague unknowingly made a joke about him not being straight in front of the whole cast.
The 41 year old told The Australian he still remembers the way his stomach dropped in fear in that moment.
At the time, Tim had struggled with his sexuality growing up, as well as spending years navigating “an industry where I was told I can’t be gay”.
But reflecting on the moment in 2011, Tim said of the colleague, “He actually did me a huge favour.
“In hindsight, that moment of terror was the beginning of a new life for me. Because I was finally able to be myself on set.
“To see everyone else not really care about it meant, oh, I don’t have to worry about this anymore.
“It was such a relief and a weight off my shoulders. Since then I have never really looked back.”
Tim Draxl to appear in ABC AIDS crisis musical drama In Our Blood
Earlier in his career, Tim Draxl appeared in 2000s Australian movies like Dirty Deeds and Swimming Upstream.
More recently he’s been on TV in Foxtel’s A Place to Call Home and ABC comedy Summer Love and drama The Newsreader.
Soon, he’s appearing in the ABC’s highly-anticipated AIDS-era musical drama In Our Blood.
The four-part ABC musical drama series is inspired by Australia’s radical response to the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s.
Tim Draxl said working on the show was “completely the opposite” of TV and film sets earlier in his career.
“The directors, a lot of the crew, most of the cast, certainly anyone playing a gay role, were all gay, and it was just the most beautiful and liberating time,” he told The Australian.
“It was completely the opposite of a being a minority on a film set. It was genuine representation of people who are actually living that experience.
“Gay roles played by gay people, non-binary roles played by non-binary people. It is so important that these communities see themselves authentically depicted.
“It is so important that communities see themselves authentically depicted.”
Specifically, Tim Draxl wants young people to know “that it’s okay to be gay and be an actor or basically do whatever the hell you want to do.”
In the ABC’s In Our Blood, he plays a senior adviser to the Health Minister during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
The four-part series tells the story of how Australian governments worked together with AIDS-affected communities to save lives.
“The thing I really took from it was what happens when you empower people rather than dictating to them,” Tim told The Australian.
“When you empower people to take control of their own situation and then give them the support, they inevitably fly.
“The rate of success is so much higher, and that is what Australia did in the 1980s.”
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