Alexander Lincoln wowed in gay rugby drama “In From The Side,” and then revealed he’s playing for our team

Alexander Lincoln wowed in gay rugby drama “In From The Side,” and then revealed he’s playing for our team

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Alexander Lincoln | Photo Credit: Getty Images

This profile is part of Queerty’s 2023 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year.

Name: Alexander Lincoln, 29

Bio: Born in a town south of London, Lincoln’s family relocated to Abu Dhabi when he was young. There, he took up the trombone (“It was cool to be in the school band, I don’t know why,” he once told Attitude), which apparently made him stand out all the more when he moved back to Surrey in his teens:

“[I] was already six foot three, with quite a bit of stubble, and this huge trombone,” Lincoln recalls. “I remember walking into school and people being like: ‘What…?’”

Eventually, he took an interest in rugby—an activity deemed more suitable to his athletic build, and one that would come in handy later in life. But he never lost his interest in the arts.

In his 20s, Lincoln began acting professionally, racking up a number of credits in short films and indie productions. And, in 2019, his career took off in earnest when he scored a regular role in the small-town English soap opera, Emmerdale, a massively popular series that’s been consistently airing in the U.K. since 1972.

For a span of three years and over 300 episodes, Lincoln played Jamie Tate, and became a household name to soap fans. According to The Sun, he left the show after his character tried to poison his own mother and then drove his car into a lake, presumably never to be seen again.

Oh soaps, never change!

Post-Emmerdale, Lincoln was free to explore new opportunities, which is when he came across filmmaker Matt Carter’s In The From The Side. One of the few films about rugby, the former athlete couldn’t resist the chance to play again on screen, let alone in a story that emphasized the sport’s sense of community and inclusivity.

The feature premiered at the BFI Flare London LGBTQ+ Film Festival in ’22, and then played the international fest circuit, racking up plaudits and warm reviews along the way, especially for Lincoln’s breakout performance.

With the positive buzz for In The From The Side, the actor scored a U.S. manager and has already lined up his next film and television projects, so we can all look forward to a lot more Alexander Lincoln in our lives soon.

Coming Out: While Lincoln had been out to his friends and family for some time, it wasn’t until he began doing international press for In The From The Side that, suddenly, everyone was curious about his sexuality.

In an Instagram post promoting the film, the actor wrote that he was “truly honored” to be a part of the project.

“Infinitely proud of this film and what it continues to do and how it continues to resonate with audiences,” he wrote.

While plenty of fans shared their support in the comments, one in particular called the film’s authenticity into question, touching on the age-old debate over whether or not straight actors should be able to play queer roles: “I loved the movie and its actors are still very handsome but I still think that the actors are posing as gay but they are not. Is it my doubt?,” they wrote.

Though the commenter stopped just short of accusing Lincoln of queerbaiting, the actor—ever the class act—responded politely with a simple message:

“Thanks so much—really appreciate it!!!! And no, I’m not straight.”

And with one succinct Instagram comment reply, Lincoln nearly crashed the gay internet as outlets (including yours truly) breathlessly covered the fact that the In From The Side star was queer—he was playing for our team!

Months later, Lincoln gave an exclusive interview to Attitude in which he addressed his almost accidental “coming out” moment for the first time. And while he has no regrets over how it happened, he certainly wasn’t expecting such an outsized reaction:

“I often don’t think about what I’m saying, half the time! You say something in passing. I don’t like to be mysterious and vague about things… So, I felt this obligation to say something about it.”

Now, Lincoln just hopes that by being honest and open, he can inspire others to do the same—while stressing that no one should feel pressured to label anything that they don’t want to.

“I don’t prescribe to a label because I’ve never felt that that definition has offered me any clarity,” Lincoln told Attitude. “And to be honest, I’m not sure that any clarity is necessary… Had I seen people in the public eye wording things in the same way that I felt, I would have felt so much more confident with myself, and with everything. So that’s why [speaking] is so important—it’s a conversation.”

And we’re so glad he’s eager to keep that conversation going, becoming an inspiration both on the rugby field and on the screen.


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