Eleven years after costarring in one of the most beloved and frequently-quoted comedies ever made, Mean Girls‘ Daniel Franzese and Jonathan Bennett got together for a special fundraising screening of the 2004 hit. Bennett, who played high school heartthrob Aaron Samuels, and the openly gay Franzese, who costarred as “too gay to function” Damian, attended Street Food Cinema’s outdoor screening of the movie this past weekend in L.A., which raised money for The Trevor Project through a text-to-donate campaign.
In an interview with Queerty earlier this year, Franzese, who’ll soon be seen in HBO’s two-hour Looking finale, discussed his character in the 2004 comedy and the positive impact Damian had on fans.
“The best thing I’ve ever heard was ‘Thank you for making it OK to be a chubby gay kid right when I went into high school,’” Franzese told us. “He said that all the popular girls wanted to be his friend because he reminded them of Damian. That actually brought a tear to my eye because growing up as a chubby gay kid I wish I had something like that. That comment is what drove the need in my deciding to come out publicly. I knew that if it was reaching people on that level that I needed to be true to myself.”
It was this and other similar stories from fans that led Franzese, already open about his orientation among friends and family, to come out publicly in an open letter last year. Since then, he’s become a very visible and vocal champion for LGBT rights and an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.