NEW YORK (WLNY) — A new film is taking a revolutionary look at what it means to be a celebrity in the gay community.

“Out in the Open” is a groundbreaking new documentary featuring some familiar faces. It made a big splash at Sundance, and its directors hope it also resonates with young folks struggling with their sexuality.

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Former Disney Channel actor Matthew Smith directed, co-wrote and stars in the flick with his partner, Solly Hemus. Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’s Carson Kressley, actor Eric Roberts, Olympian Greg Louganis and actor-singer Josh Strickland are also featured in the movie.

Smith, Hemus and Kressley all sat down on The Couch to talk about the film and their personal experiences.

Smith says “Out In The Open” is a fresh take on the issue of coming out and being a gay American.

“It’s funny, it’s upbeat,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be like every other depressing documentary out there, and there’s a lot of them in the LGBT community.”

So far, the response has been overwhelming, said those behind the film.

“It’s reaching not just the gay community, but also the straight people out there – the parents, the teachers, the friends,” Smith said.

“I think the thing that’s most hard for gay kids it’s that they feel this is this deep, dark secret that they can’t tell anyone including their family, and that’s what’s so difficult,” Kressley said.

“Films like this…show kids out there that it’s okay to be gay,” said Kressley. “You can have a meaningful life, you can have a relationship, you can have a career. It doesn’t have to be something that’s going to stifle you, and it’s not something you need to be ashamed of.”

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