He was at home on Liberty Ave, but he also wanted more than that life, as in a home and a family. And in Michael he found that. The fact that he was HIV positive bought a whole new dimension to his character, and the way he dealt with this, not letting it take over his life and living each day to the fullest, was wonderful. He was friends with everyone and fought hard for everything he believed in. I think the storylines that he was involved, from his HIV, to rescuing Hunter from the streets, to his marriage to Michael and building a home with him, showcased the amazing acting ability of Robert.
I really thought that, though he had a principal role on the show Queer as Folk, he was slightly underused. Though he did have his time on the screen and it was those times that I enjoyed. While I don't think he fit as well into the Liberty Avenue group as Justin, or the others did for that matter, that was part of the charm. He had a place with them and he had a place with Michael, his husband. It felt like just the right mix of words, the right mix of places for his character to land and be. Robert did an excellent job with the portrayal of Ben and serious kudos are deserved.
Robert came out in 2002, in The Advocate magazine. Since that time, he has fought and continues to fight for the rights of the gay community. He has participated in numerous benefits, functions, and fund-raisers for such organizations as GLAAD, The Equality Forum, Project Angel Food, Lambda Legal, and the Democratic National Committee.
In 2003, Robert was presented with a special Civil Rights Award at City Hall in New York, and in 2004, along with other members of the Queer as Folk cast, was honored by The National Stonewall Democrats for creating, and presenting, positive and loving gay families in all their variations.
Robert has also spoken at numerous events for The Human Rights Campaign, and in 2006, was presented with the National Equality Award at the 11th Annual Nashville Rights Campaign Equality Dinner.
His champion cause is the gay, elderly community and, to that end, he is an avid supporter of such organizations as SAGE, (Senior Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and GLEH (Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing). He is in the process of developing a website devoted entirely to gay elders, and all matters that affect them.
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