AGE: 21. OCCUPATION: Actor best known as Rickie Vasquez, the gay high school student on My So-Called Life. One episode re-created Cruz's own experience of being thrown out of his house on Christmas Eve after revealing his sexual orientation to his father (they've reconciled). WHAT'S NEXT: Will appear in Oliver Stone's Nixon as a J. Edgar Hoover party guest, and as a gay fashion student in On Seventh Avenue, an NBC movie. PROSPECTS: ''If I were a closeted actor coming off a successful series, I know I'd [easily get] work. But as an openly gay actor, I'm really at the mercy of the industry. People say I'm a test case. But if more of us come out, it'll be a nonissue.''