Does Kevin Smith
have a GLAAD media award in his future? The ribald writer/director of Clerks
reveals that his brother's homosexuality has helped him become a more enlightened filmmaker.
"Contrary to popular belief, I don't think we're 100 percent one thing or the other," he tells The Advocate. "You always have a degree of curiosity, whether you're straight or gay." But Smith didn't always feel this way. "I grew up in suburban New Jersey where [homosexuality] wasn't the thing to talk about ? it was a clamped-down culture."
When Smith found out his brother, Don, was gay, he questioned their closeness. "My mother told me before my brother had a chance, which always bugged me," he says. "I was filled with a sense of sadness that he hadn't told me because he thought I was a homophobic moron."
Discussing Don's past helped Smith come to terms with his sadness. "Here was a dude on the inside who could tell me about all sorts of stories ? ranging from hard-core bathroom sex stories to relationship stories. It was just like talking to your friend about sex, except your friend happens to be talking about f---ing the same gender."
At Don's 1994 same-sex wedding, Smith gained new respect for his older brother. He witnessed the "hard-core best wedding I've ever been to. They just threw a hell of a bash," he says with pride. "Just at that point in the wedding when things start slowing down and it's kind of like 'Let's get out of here,' boom, there was a drag show. He's a dude who knows how to do it with style and class."