PRIDEChicago Announces Special Guest

Fri. May 13, 2005 12:00 AM

PRIDEChicago, the parade organizers, has named the opening gay actor as Grand Marshall

Chicago, IL - Wilson Cruz, openly gay actor and gay youth advocate, is the Special Guest (Grand Marshal) for this year's 36th Annual Pride Parade on Sunday June 26 at 12 Noon.

Wilson is perhaps best known for his portrayal of "Ricki Vasquez" one of the main starring characters on the television series, "My So Called Life." His character was the first gay teenager to be featured on a regular series. At the same time, he came out publically while co-starring on the show.

In addition, his other television credits include the role of "Victor" on "Party of Five,"
plus appearances on "Ally McBeal", "ER" and "Sister, Sister." He also appeared in numerous feature films including, "Nixon", "Johns", "Joyride", "All Over Me", "Supernova" and "Party Monster" with MacCauley Caulkin and Seth Green. His theatrical credits include the Broadway show, "Rent." In 2003 at Chicago's Shubert Theatre, he starred with Christian Campbell and Nicole Snelson in the musical, "Tick...Tick...Tick...Boom !" written by Jonathan Larson, the 1996 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for "Rent."

In addition to his acting credits, he is a gay youth advocate and was a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Gay Community Center's teen program, where he worked regularly with homeless gay teenagers. He knows the territory full well because as a teenager, he was thrown out of his home for being gay.

Wilson is a strong voice for compassion and understanding. Currently he is busy making personal appearances and doing speaking engagements at colleges around the country. His presentation includes talking about his professional life as an openly gay Latino actor, as well as his personal life and coming out issues he faced in a Latino culture. In his presentations he also talks about his volunteer life where he devotes his time to working on homelessness and bringing to light the specific problems youth face today. With his volunteer work and his career in television, movies and the theater, he is a very dedicated and busy individual.

Wilson will be riding in the front vehicle in this year's parade.

Related: Pride Guide
On the Web: (Parade Organizers)