Actor Christopher Meloni recently
praised Michael Sam's coming out.
The 52-year-old actor is best know for
his memorable roles as detective Elliot Stabler on the NBC police
drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and bisexual
inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz. He also
played vampire Roman in the HBO supernatural drama True Blood.
Speaking with gay glossy The
Advocate, Meloni said he heard from many fans who identified
with his Oz character.
“I got a lot of letters and had
personal meetings where gay men of a certain age, usually men
slightly older than me, let me know how important seeing that
character was to them,” Meloni said. “It was important because
they lived in Matthew Shepard country. They lived under that threat.
They lived under this code of manliness in the middle of nowhere. I
think they really identified, or finally had a symbol of, not the fey
homosexual, but a man who happened to be gay. Even though that
character used his sexuality as a weapon, it was a secondary issue
for them. It was a guy who was fearlessly gay. It helped give them
a sense of power.”
Of Michael Sam, the openly gay NFL
draft prospect, Meloni said: “My son plays football, and I remember
when Michael Sam came out. I told him, 'That's a real man. That's a
guy with courage.'”
Meloni currently stars in Fox's new
comedy Surviving Jack.