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David Yost (born January 7, 1969) is an American actor and producer. He is best known for portraying Billy Cranston/The Blue Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, and Power Rangers Zeo.
Yost is openly gay and has talked about the harassment he experienced while growing up and on the set of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He has stated that he walked off the set one day and quit the show "because I was called faggot one too many times." As a result of these experiences, Yost contemplated suicide and attempted conversion therapy, but experienced a nervous breakdown. He describes his breakdown as "rock-bottom" and states that he made the decision in the hospital to move forward and start to come to terms with his sexuality. He came out in a 2010 interview with No Pink Spandex.
Yost is a supporter of The Trevor Project.
No Pink Spandex Interview
Quotes from Yost's 2017 guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, 'Power Rangers' Star: Why an LGBTQ Superhero Is a Big Step Forward:
On growing up:
Growing up, I lived in Montana and Iowa. I must have been in seventh or eighth grade when Rock Hudson died. He was one of the first famous casualties to AIDS. I remember listening to my peers talking about him and saying really horrible things about gay people. And that really affected me. I thought, "Wow, I'm like Rock Hudson," and, "They are saying all these things about me.” This caused me to cower and start hiding the truth of who I was.
On harassment on the set of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:
I was struggling so much with who I was and not wanting to be gay because of what society was telling me — that it's not a good thing, that it's against God, that you are somehow different. All I wanted to do was be a working actor. So I had to struggle with not being true to myself. When I was on Power Rangers, I never once was dating anybody. I was living a life that wasn't fulfilling and constantly filled with lies to cover my tracks. There were comments at work that were made about me in terms of being gay or "being a faggot," and as time went on it just got old and I was tired of listening to it. People always questioning me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend?” and all of the numerous rumors that went along with that. All I wanted was to go to work and do my job with no issues. But as time went on, more and more comments were getting made to the point where I couldn't keep going on like that, because it was really affecting my psyche and my ability to do my job.
On the announcement that the new Power Rangers film would contain a character who is questioning her sexuality:
Choosing the character of Trini adds a whole different dimension to what can be done with that character in terms of being a questioning youth or a lesbian and coming to terms with all of those feelings that you have when you are a teenager. I think that's awesome to portray. The more Hollywood puts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, questioning, intersex characters in a film or TV show, it helps people understand and see that people are just people. And that we're all the same. We're not deviants. We're not all these horrible things many people want to say. For people that don't get to experience LGBTQI people in real life, seeing these types of characters on TV or in films helps normalize us to them, which I think is necessary and vital.