The Truth About Billy Eichner's Sexuality

Billy Eichner has been an industry mainstay for a long time, appearing in the cast of "Parks and Recreation" and "American Horror Story" alongside headlining his own show, "Billy on the Street." Eichner is also a prolific writer, having created the concept for his breakout show — a cult hit, which sees Eichner running around the streets of New York, yelling at unsuspecting denizens, to increasingly hilarious effect — and penning dozens of episodes, too. 

However, "Bros," his feature debut as a screenwriter (alongside co-writer Nicholas Stoller), in which Eichner also has a starring role, is notable not just because it's introducing Eichner to the mainstream in a major way. As Entertainment Weekly points out, as a Universal property, "Bros" is the first gay romantic comedy to be released by a major studio. Further, Eichner himself admitted, "The whole cast of 'Bros' is openly LGBTQ. I've never had that experience." 

Per IndieWire, the movie is described as an "R-rated romantic comedy about two men with commitment problems falling in love and attempting a relationship." It's a major moment, not just for Eichner himself, but for all the queer people who will see themselves (rightfully) represented. 

Unsurprisingly, then, the movie's lead and biggest cheerleader is loud and proud about his own sexuality — and always has been. 

The prolific comedian made rom-com history with Bros

As Variety notes, in a profile of Billy Eichner, he's the first openly gay man to write and star in a major studio movie, which is as exciting as it is shocking. 

"I'm honored that it's me, but it should have been someone else 30 or 40 years ago," he said. "I hear people talking about diversity and inclusion, but I often see gay people left out of those conversations. The comedy community, which has always been such a straight man's game, has not been kind to openly gay men."

Likewise, the "Billy on the Street" star argued that there's still homophobia inherent in the casting process, too. Eichner is politically engaged on social media, often encouraging his millions of followers to get more involved and make their voices heard. As for "Bros," he informed GCN that, as a lifelong rom-com fan himself, it felt like a must to spearhead a movie that could go toe-to-toe with the greats of the genre.

"I'm a middle-aged gay guy. I've been openly gay my entire career. I started over 20 years ago in comedy," he said. Thus, despite all the progress that's been made over the years, there's still more to be done, so Eichner felt a responsibility to step in.

Billy Eichner frequently challenges Hollywood homophobia

Aside from making history with "Bros," Billy Eichner also wanted "to correct an imbalance" that's long been widespread in Hollywood. As he told Variety, "A lot of the great LGBTQ roles historically have gone to straight actors, and they win awards for it. And they get a lot of acclaim and they use it to show people their range." 

Queer people weren't cast in "Bros" to prove straight actors shouldn't play those roles, but rather to demonstrate that LGBTQ+ performers should be given a proper chance. Queer actors also tackled the straight and cisgender roles in "Bros," making it even more groundbreaking. 

Eichner explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "On a cultural level, it's a powerful statement to make. But on a practical level... I want to give other openly LGBTQ actors these opportunities." He added, "You don't realize what you haven't gotten until you finally see it. This is an event. It's the first of its kind. You can feel that in the theater when you're watching it." 

As if any further proof were needed, Eichner made it clear how he feels about his sexual orientation following Colton Underwood's big coming out moment, by tweeting, in response to a since-deleted message, "I'm happy for @colton. If you're gay, be gay! I've been gay forever & I love it!" As the Los Angeles Times points out, the comedian seemingly hinted that Underwood might be gay when he met him years prior.