Whatley has been playing a flamboyant gay character on the air for over two decades, but, he says he realized that at some point he realized it was more than just a character:
"Working with my friend Ron Bennington, we created an on-air persona for me. His name was Fez Whatley. Fez was eccentric, over the top, flamboyant and most of all, gay. Really gay. Fez took down celebrities, talked gossip, lampooned women, and did it all with a wicked gay tongue. I could say it was the part I was born to play, but back then I didn’t realize how true that was."Whatley says fans of the show often asked if he was gay, and he'd reply, “'Yes, 6 to 10am weekdays,' the hours our show was on. That was my little joke just to make sure everyone knew that there was a straight guy behind the feather boa and sequined jacket."
But he realized three years ago that he wasn't just playing a character, and he was devastated. The realization that he was everything that he "had joked about" led to his being treated for depression, stage fright, anger, and an inability to play the character on radio or public events.
Whatley came out to his co-host but didn't tell the public.
But, on February 24, Whatley came out live on the air, telling his fans that there are too many issues facing the LGBT community, and too many great comedians--like Wanda Sykes, Todd Glass, and Mo Rocca--who are out, for him to remain "an angry closet case."
He said, " I can’t be a part of 'It’s gets better' until I make sure things are going to get better for me. And that’s what I intend on doing."
Welcome out, Fez. Homo HQ will be sending you a copy of The Gay Agenda as well as the Welcome Out Toaster Oven. Use it in good health.