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The GoPride.com Interview

Dan Williams


by Matt Inawat
Last week, the SCI FI channel aired the second season's premiere episode of the hit reality show Who Wants to be a Superhero. Dan Williams, a 28 year old college department head from Orlando, Florida competes as the heroic [gay] Parthenon whose powers originated from his discovery of his "Armaguard," a powerful bracelet with magical qualities which was found on an archaeological dig.

In the show Who Wants to be a Superhero, each contestant begins with an original idea for a superhero, a self-made costume and their best superhero mojo. From thousands of hopefuls, Stan Lee chooses 11 lucky finalists, who move together into a secret lair. There they begin their transformations - and their competition for the opportunity to become real-life superheroes. Over the course of the series, they test their mettle, try to overcome their limitations and do what it takes to prove that they truly are super.

Recently, I caught up to Dan just before he donned his costume to save the world!

RMI: What was the inspiration for Parthenon's character?

DW: I have always had a love of superheroes and comic books ever since I was 9 years old and got my first two. I came up with the idea of Parthenon's gauntlet first and the character grew out of that. I really like the idea of my hero being on a quest to find more of the Atlantian gemstones and thereby getting more super powers as well. This would mean that he would always be growing as a hero and as a person.

I created my super suit next to show off the gauntlet by using an off the shoulder cape. I have always loved the look and you don't see it much in comics. The rest of outfit I based on the uniform of an ancient Greek warrior, plus showing a little leg could never hurt! [smiles]

RMI: What do you like about your character?

DW: I really like everything about my character, but the thing I like the most about him is that he would be a great role model! I think positive gay role models are often hard to find in the media today, not even just for kids but for all ages! I would hope I set a great example that people can follow. So next time you see a guy struggling with some boxes, help him out! Not just because Stan Lee is going to say "Great job", but it is the right thing to do.

RMI: On last week's episode of Who Wants to be a Superhero, we saw the gauntlet (much more blingy than Wonder Woman's bracelet) that gives Parthenon his powers. Would you tell us a little more about it?

DW: I did always love Wonder Woman, maybe she did subconsciously inspire me! Parthenon gets all of his powers from the ancient Atlantian Armaguard. It is a bracelet that houses the Allstone, the main gemstone in my gauntlet which you will see on TV changes colors. It acts as a sponge to absorb all of the other abilities and powers of the other Atlantian gemstones that he finds. The Allstone also give some basic superhero abilities such as Flight, Super Strength and Invulnerability. He also posses 3 gemstones so far. They are:

The Echo Emerald which emits a sonic blast.

The Muse's Moonstone which allows him to cast illusions.

The Eye of Apollo Diamond which protects him with a protective barrier.

A little known fact is that there is actually another Armaguard which Parthenon's arch-nemesis Victorious posses. He is on the same quest for the gemstones as well. So they are constantly in battle!

RMI: Does Parthenon form a bond with any specific superhero(es) on the show? What made things "click?"

DW: I actually clicked with a lot of the heroes on the show. Each of them brought something different which I could really appreciate. I love musical theater and man could Braid sing! She was one of my favorites and I was extremely sad to see her leave so soon. Hygena always kept me laughing in the lair! She is very witty and I think people are going to love her.

Ms. Limelight is extremely sweet and so caring, plus I never met anyone who could talk faster than me! Basura was an artist and made clothes, two of my passions! So we immediately clicked.

The Defuser seems like a big tough bossy guy, but he is reality very sweet and would help anyone out no matter the cost. He always had my back in house figuratively and literally! When I slipped and fell during the wind tunnel challenge he was right there to pick me back up.

Hyper-Strike surprised me because I thought I was going to be the energetic one in the house, but he never stops moving!

Whip-Snap and I got along wonderfully! I also loved that there were two gay contestant in the lair this time. I wished she lived closer to me so that we could actually hang out more!

They all have great hearts and truly believe in what they are fighting for.

RMI: Just this month, one of the biggest online games of all time, City of Heroes, was written up on Gay.com. The game championed a huge virtual rainbow prom where hundreds of its gay and lesbian players gathered for the first of its kind.

As comics, blockbuster superhero movies, and now online gaming increases in visibility and interest, what is Parthenon's message to young (or young at heart) gays and lesbians who look up to superheroes?

DW: I feel looking up to superheroes is great for anyone. I have admired superheroes since I was a kid and I think that in some way they instilled a sense of right that I still follow. Gay people usually identify with heroes, because some of them lead a double life or are a mutant and show as being "different" than everyone else. I believe that your differences are often your strengths.

Specifically as Parthenon I want young gays to know that it is ok to be who they are and they do not have to hide themselves from the world. Get out there and be fabulous!

RMI: Okay, now let's talk about your secret identity, per se – the man beneath the spandex! ChicagoPride.com readers will be happy to hear that you're originally from up here in the Midwest and you've always considered Chicago your "home." What do you miss most about Chicago?

DW: I was actually born and raised in NW Indiana. Schererville, to be specific. Which is right across the border. I was in Chicago a lot growing up, so I do consider it to be my home. I usually go back at least 3-4 times a year. I really miss the big city feeling in Chicago. They have so many great museums and theaters up there. Down in Orlando I am lucky if I get to see four theatrical productions a year. I must admit I do miss Boystown as well.

RMI: What are your ultra-favorite hangouts in Chicago?

DW: When I go back to Chicago you will usually find me shopping around in Water Tower Place, eating at Nookie's Tree or dancing the night away at Sidetrack or Roscoe's. I do occasionally like to stop by Gentry and sing a little as well.

RMI: Tell us a little about the [real-life] Steve Trevor/Lois Lane in your life. How has this TV experience been for the both of you?

DW: I have been with my partner Derek for almost two years now and life is grand. He use to be on TV himself when he was a kid, so Derek is used to all of this kind of stuff. Me on the other hand, I still get all excited when I see a commercial for the show come on.

RMI: Growing up, what people or superheroes inspired you the most? What qualities did you admire?

DW: Growing up I really looked up to my parents. My mom is super talented and never stops. Right now she is on a camping trip to Alaska! My dad has a work ethic that can not be matched and has an artistic side as well. They both have taught me the value of a dollar and what fabulous things I can buy with it!

RMI: If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would that advice be?

DW: Do you mean besides, "Hey, go rescue that lost dog on the street corner?" [laughs, in obvious reference to the premiere episode]

Honestly, I don't really have any regrets or things I would change. I believe that everything happens for a reason, like some big Rube Goldberg machine. If I take out or change one little thing, the big machine will never be the same.

RMI: After this season of Who Wants to be a Superhero, what's next for Dan?

DW: After this season I would love to stay in the entertainment circle. I am currently working on a concept for another reality show, which is still in the development stage.

RMI: Thanks for your time Dan! We hope to see alot more of Parthenon through the season and we'll be cheering you on to the final episode!

Who Wants to be a Superhero airs on Thursday nights on the Sci Fi channel.
 
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Great work on the show last night Parthenon! The new costume looks faaaabulous.
Posted by CPMatt on Fri, 8/3/2007 12:11 PM
{ts '2017-08-22 11:59:21'}