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For Chad Lindsey, Being a Subway Hero is Just Another Day at the Office

18subway650

New York off-Broadway actor and sometimes proofreader Chad Lindsey was on the C train platform of Penn Station on Monday, when he saw an elderly man fall onto the tracks below. With a train fast approaching, Lindsey jumped down, pulled the man to safety and got out just a few seconds before the train whizzed by. After calling for help, Lindsey boarded the next train and went on his way; just another New York City day.

That is, until the news caught wind of the year’s first “Subway Hero.” New York magazine crowed, “The Mystery Subway Hero: Revealed! And HOT”. The New York Times ruminated, “Subway heroes, as they are inevitably tagged even before the grease from the tracks is rubbed off, come along every now and then — indeed, as the story of Chad Lindsey suggests, perhaps more often than we know.”

Here at Queerty headquarters, we received dozens of emails about Chad, who has appeared in a bunch of gay short films. But would you believe that a day after his story breaks, when we catch up with him, Lindsey isn’t basking in fame? Instead, he’s running crosstown trying to make it to his latest audition.

Lindsey spoke with us, while navigating rush hour traffic, about what it’s like to be an instant celebrity and what he thinks about all the gay blogs asking, “Is he or isn’t he?”

chadlinsey1

QUEERTY: It’s been a crazy couple of days, I take it.

Chad Lindsey: Oh god, yeah. I had no idea all of this would happen. But, you know, I guess this is what happens.

The New York Times said that one of your friends identified you as the “Subway Hero.” Was that the first thing you saw where you realized the cat’s out of the bag?

Yeah. There was a guy on the train when I did this and he handed me a card and said, “Call the New York Times” and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever.” So, they knew the story existed, but they didn’t know who it was because I didn’t call. Then, I told my friend at work and she told my friend in Chicago, Vasillica, and she called me and said, “I called the New York Times; get ready.” And I was like, “Oh, man.”

And next thing you know, you’re on Rachel Maddow.

Yeah, that was awesome! She’s great!

How did that happen?

Her producers called me and said, “We’d love to have you do a little segment, because it would be a story that wasn’t about AIG. And I said, “I accept,” and that was that. God, I’m trying to run to this audition and I don’t know where I am. Sorry.

So, you’re still doing auditions?

Yeah, that part hasn’t changed so drastically. I’m still going to work and doing auditions in between, and I got the show I’m doing – oh, I just got dripped on – and we run for another two weeks. And after this, I have to run to start warming-up.



Chad Lindsey’s acting reel

What’s the show?

It’s called Kaspar Hauser. It’s a musical by Liz Suede at the Flea Theater. I was actually on my way to a reading of a new play when all this stuff happened that changed the course of my week.

Is it strange to be “The Subway Hero”?

It’s ridiculous. I mean, come on. It’s ridiculous but very New York-y.

What makes it New York-y?

Look, people do amazing things for people all the time, every day. I think everybody who rides the subway fears the dirty, electrified, creepy tracks. So I think they particularly like stories about someone who jumps down there. It feeds into New York.

So, all the major gay blogs have been speculating about your sexuality. Towleroad bases its suggestion off of a comment on your IMDB profile, for instance. Is that something you’re aware of? Does it bother you?

I haven’t even gone on them yet. Someone mentioned that was happening, but I haven’t looked at any of the blogs because I haven’t had time. Also, it’s a little weird reading about yourself. It doesn’t bother me that people are [speculating about my sexuality]; it’s just what people do. I think. I don’t know. It doesn’t bug me. Look, I’ve tried to look through my Facebook messages and there’s some hilarious ones, from women and men. It’s just silly and everybody knows it. People just want to dig a little deeper.

I have no idea where I am. I’m in the middle of New York, but I have no idea where I’m going.

chadlinsey2

Well, do you think some of these sites are looking for a gay hero?

Hmm. That hadn’t occurred to me. It seems we live in a world where we’re past that. I know we’re not and I have a good idea that we don’t, but I don’t know. I’m trying to be judicious about how much I even talk. You know what I mean? I mean, “Look dude, you jumped in the train and got someone out, now shut up already.” You know? It’s enough to say I’m an actor. People are already rolling their eyes.

Well, the opposite side of this is that you have sites like Gawker saying, “Hey, give this guy some roles already!”

Who is?

Gawker. They put up your actor’s reel and urged people to cast you immediately.

Oh no. See? That’s just nuts.

But, whether you see it or not, people are desperate for heroes. I mean, there were other people standing on the platform. You were the only one who jumped in and did something.

Yeah, I guess so. This is uncomfortable. It’s been rough. I don’t know how to ride the line between tooting my own horn and saying, “Look, it’s just what happened.” You know what I mean?

Well, if there’s anything people should take away from your story, what should it be?

*car honks* Oh, God, I almost got run over.

Are you okay? That would be terrible.

It would be very ironic. OK, takeaway. Here we go. Ready? I think, ultimately, you got to do something. Most people do. Most people are good people. When I finally did get on the train and went downtown, everybody was trying to help me. There were women going into their purses to hand out Handi-Wipes and hand sanitizer and trying to get the blood off me. I think the message is that if you see something that needs to be done, do whatever you can to do it. Not everybody can jump off a platform and get back up. I’m six feet tall and in okay shape, so I can do that part, but as long as people can do whatever they can do, you know? That I think, is the point.

Photo: Fred R. Conrad/New York Times

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Mar 20, 2009
Tagged: , ,
  • 25 Comments
    • Nick
      Nick

      Great Interview, Japhy!

      Frankly, outside of the fact that he’s handsome, I think it is fantastic that he is taking all of this in stride. I hope he never loses the humility, because it is absolutely the most attractive quality he has, well, outside of the death defying thing. :)

      Mar 20, 2009 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      He seems like a genuinely nice guy. I could tell from the Times photo he wasn’t gay. Zero gaydar.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marc
      Marc

      He’s a herol, GREAT!

      Who cares about his sexuality?

      Mar 20, 2009 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre
      Ogre

      He’s most likely straight based on the simple fact that there is not one gay New Yorker who would risk his life to save another human being, so much as an elderly man.

      Most likely, they’d get to work late and bitch about how someone’s death screwed up their day; or make themselves a victim just because they happened to be standing on the same platform.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre
      Ogre

      There’s a brilliant comment over on AKA William’s blog regarding Queerty’s interview:

      “Balthazar Says:

      You expected Japhy Grant or Queerty to do an actual interview instead of just throw rumors and lies around?

      Keep waiting.”

      HA!

      http://www.akawilliam.com/subway-hero-chad-lindsey-asked-if-hes-gay/

      Mar 20, 2009 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew W
      Andrew W

      So I take it you didn’t want to just ask him? I hope he is straight. There’s nothing very heroic about yet another closeted actor.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      @Andrew W: Oh absolutely. He would be so much more heroic if he had come out but left the guy to die on the tracks.

      @Ogre: You and your alter ego really are the most tiresome and obnoxious posters here on Queerty, but you are at least frequently good for a laugh.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rsquared
      rsquared

      Is he or isn’t he…a hero? Yes. Charming? Yes. Good looking? Yes. That’s all we need to know. No. 4’s comment is sadly (but also hilariously) spot on.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dizzyspins
      dizzyspins

      I really hope that stereotype that New Yorkers would walk over a dead body is gone for good. What Lindsay did was above the call of common decency, but I see people reaching out to others in need all the time–in big and little ways. Once, when I was riding the elevator in H&M, the girl in front of me passed out and fell backwards. I caught her in my arms, carried her up the steps (which was a bitch because she was dead weight) and brought her over to a bench, where a doctor, who was shopping there, examined her.

      I believe if anything New Yorkers are more compassionate than folks in other parts of the country because we interact so intimately on a daily basis. How many commuters in suburbia are going to pull over to help if they see someone on the side of the road? Hell, how often do you encounter strangers when you live in the suburban bubble (car, office, home)?

      Mar 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew W
      Andrew W

      @Alexa: That’s an interesting position to take. I have to assume it is your sincere position; you wouldn’t be blithely and inaccurately trying to put words in my mouth, after all?

      Mar 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      he is cute and heroic. that is all. What do you want him so say: “I am heroic and gay, heroic because I am gay, be like me”
      he probably isn’t, and he orientation has nothing to do with saving someone off the tracks.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • junior
      junior

      I just had to comment because I’m annoyed by something.

      If I, a gay (technically bisexual but no one cares) man did something like this, which I only wouldn’t because my extreme clumsiness would probably make the situation worse, and people were like “You’re a hero! Are you gay?” I would say, “Thank you, and yes I am.” Because I have no problem talking about my sexuality BECAUSE IT’S NOT BAD!

      All this incessant is he or isn’t he not just with Lindsey but many other people is so frustrating because it perpetuates the belief that being gay is literally the Thing That Cannot Be Said and does nothing to further acceptance and understanding from both the gay and straight communities. Lindsey can say whatever he wants, that’s not my point but no one should feel weird about nicely asking if someone is gay.

      It’s the same thing as if you asked someone if they’re married which happens to me all the time! I can’t get married to a man in NY so you can imagine how annoyed that question makes me!

      Sorry, this is long, but I got mad…

      Mar 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffrey
      Jeffrey

      @Junior– you are spot on.
      My beef is with all the guys on the gay blogs who keep talking about how ‘Hott’ he is or saying “he’s mine”, or “he can come up and stay with me in Connecticut for the weekend” etc, etc.
      He does this great heroic thing and so many of ‘the gays’ reduce him to a piece of meat. It’s kind of sad. Makes it hard to identify with the gay community sometimes.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cruiser
      cruiser

      Godd for him, this world needs more heroes, more people who are NOT afraid to lend a helping hand or help someone in a situation like this young man did. Congratulations & I wish him the very best life hasto offer him & BTW it really does NOT matter if he is or if he isn’t, the fact remains he did something extraordinary and saved another human beings life, THAT is what matters most.

      Mar 20, 2009 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cruiser
      cruiser

      That should read good for him…

      Mar 20, 2009 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben
      Ben

      @Ogre: why so bitter, sourpuss?

      Also “gay New Yorker” includes lesbians, no?

      Mar 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon Whiteside
      Brandon Whiteside

      Holy crap… I had no idea he was the guy from the Best Buy commercial. I was so crushin’ on him when I saw that ad the first time.

      Mar 21, 2009 at 1:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      Sounds like he ducked the question that should have been asked straight out…Are you gay? It takes nothing away from his heroism, but it would have been nice to know.

      Mar 21, 2009 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • glennmcgahee
      glennmcgahee

      I have to say its true about New Yorkers being compassionate and willing to get involved with strangers. I was there as a visitor from Tennessee, young and ridiculously naive. I could not beleive the total strangers that were willing to give me a hand, give directions and actually walk me to destinations when I was lost and confused. It was everything opposite of what I had been lead to believe about New York. A wonderful city full of wonderful people. As for being gay or not, who cares, he’s obviously a great guy.

      Mar 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CONFESSIONS OF A BAD BOY
      CONFESSIONS OF A BAD BOY

      That’s so great of him what a hero!

      Mar 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Alexa:

      Spot on. I agree.

      Mar 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boris
      boris

      @Jeffrey:

      lighten up honey! isn’t if fabulous that so many gays are willing to openly express their love for Chad. look how far we’ve come! I’d still love Chad even if he had a vagina, so there!

      Mar 21, 2009 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      @Ogre:

      Point taken about the culture Ogre. But there are gay men, just like straight ones, everywhere who would’ve done it. Few of anyone of any kind have that presence of mind to be sure, but some do.

      Mar 22, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles J. Mueller
      Charles J. Mueller

      A little off topic, but here is a post from another thread from someone who doesn’t seem to think much of gays.

      No. 146 · Matt

      @gayvirgo: It is nice to know that some in America still have some sort of moral values. Gay people are disfunctional people. You Can’t honestly say that they are normal. It is also proven that many gays are child molesters.
      Posted: Mar 22, 2009 at 6:39 am · @Reply · [Comment already flagged. Email holla@queerty.com for help.]

      First the homophobes took over Gay.com (and my $89.00 annual Premium Subscriber fee. Now they are taking over Queerty.com. as well.

      Mar 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      I live in New YorK (100% born and bred), and have not even heard this story until I decided to click on this topic…..I rarely watch the local news these days.

      Anyway, this is a great story about a human being who helped out another human being, and that’s always good to hear about. Having said that, the “interview” was pretty lame, but so are most queerty interviews. Japhy should have just come out and asked the guy if he was gay, but that might have dulled his potential straight guy awesomeness. Whatever…he’s cute though.

      Mar 22, 2009 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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