What was it like to have such a groundbreaking role like that and see how far we’ve come since then?
Van Hansis: It’s incredibly amazing to see how far we’ve come since then, especially since it wasn’t all that long ago.
I was completely green, fresh out of college, and honestly, I was scared.
Hansis is also asked if he has felt pressure to act differently "to fit into someone's preconceived notions:" I think this is part of the reason I connect with a show like “Eastsiders” so much.
But especially with the gay rights movement, I think a lot of it has to do with the Internet and how connected people are now.
At the time, I’d never watched soaps growing up or anything, so I didn’t know how groundbreaking it was.
In retrospect, I do and I’m so honored to be a part of it. Did you watch or any other gay TV shows at the time?
I went to boarding school and then I went to college, so I kind of missed all the late ‘90s, early 2000s television cause I didn’t have a TV.
Now, I think every remaining soap has a gay storyline.
And that was kind of before you could watch things online so I actually haven’t seen also has a ton of super talented LGBT actors.
It, along with so many other really remarkable shows—whether LGBT focused, or just including some really great LGBT characters- are changing the narrative on preconceived notions.
While for decades LGBT characters in cinema could be the villain, victim, or asexual comedic relief—shows like what you have created have characters so well rounded that you can be all three, and so much more.
Culturally, how far we’ve come in such a quick amount of time is really amazing.
It kind of seems like with every rights movement, the amount of time gets shorter and shorter before people start getting recognized for who they are and what they deserve.