Keir Gilchrist

Keir Gilchrist found himself a bellwether in the portrayal of alternative lifestyles on American television with his role as an assured, amicable, self-aware gay teen on Showtime's "The United States of Tara" (Showtime, 2009-11). A native of the U.K., Gilchrist showed an early predisposition for the stage, winning increasingly larger juvenile roles in mostly Canadian feature and telefilm productions until earning steadier work, if briefly, as an all-American next-door neighbor in Seth MacFarlane's abortive attempt at a sitcom, "The Winner" (Fox, 2007). He would show up in much more mature iteration two years later, playing the grounded Marshall Gregson, an openly homosexual young man whose coming-of-age is child's play compared to the issues of his mother, a woman with multiple personalities, in Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody's attempt at premium drama, "Tara." Though heterosexual himself, Gilchrist's rendering of Cody as unabashedly but unassumingly gay, earned him not only critical laud but waves of media buzz characterizing him as a new kind of role model for a young people whose sexual orientation had long engendered stigmatization and repression.