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Welcome to his world.

The world turns, all right, but never smoothly--especially for fictional gay teens on daytime dramas. Poor Luke Snyder, 16 and gay, struggling with the closet and a drinking problem, has a crush on his straight best friend. On CBS's As the World Turns, that's just the start of his woes.

"He's coming out of the closet in a very soap opera way," notes a chuckling Van Hansis, 24, who plays Luke. "There's lots of twists and turns. Right now he's being blackmailed by a girl who may or may not be his cousin, and they're pretending to have a relationship."

Though Luke's been on the air for only five months, the role has already won Hansis a special spotlight. Like actress Eden Riegel, who became something of a queer youth role model when she played lesbian teen Bianca on ABC's All My Children--a role she reprises for a few weeks beginning May 25--Hansis has discovered a real-world importance to his role.

"I've gotten mail from kids who are also going through what Luke's going through, and they say [the new coming-out plotline] helps. I'm all for that. The cool thing about the story is that it's a family story. It can help families understand each other a little better, hopefully."
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Article Details
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Author:Behrens, Web
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 6, 2006
Previous Article:History repeating.
Next Article:Muddle in the middle.

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