Three weeks ago, Sean Maher (Firefly, The Playboy Club) came out of the closet; over the weekend, Zachary Quinto – arguably the more famous of the two — did the same. It’s really interesting to note the differences in how it happened: Sean sat down with EW for a probing interview, while Zachary slipped that rather significant reveal into a larger profile piece with New York Magazine.
Then again, there’s been a lot of debate over Zachary’s sexuality in the last few years, so it’s as if he were already halfway toward admitting that he’s gay. For the longest time he wouldn’t comment either way, but then Jamey Rodemeyer‘s suicide changed everything. The 14-year-old recorded an “It Gets Better” video on YouTube sharing of his experiences being bullied for his sexuality, but about a month ago he took his own life.
That was when Zachary knew that he needed to be clear about his sexual orientation:
And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say “Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?” We’re terrified of facing ourselves.
He clarified on his personal blog that what most upset him was that Jamey had made an “It Gets Better” (as Zachary had, too) yet that couldn’t be enough:
it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality… i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.
If ever someone needed a “coming out” role, Zachary has it: Days after he wrapped filming on his new financial-crisis drama Margin Call, he started rehearsals for Angels in America in New York. (He plays Louis, who abandons his boyfriend Prior when the latter develops AIDS.) “Doing that play made me realize how lucky I was to be born when I was born,” Zachary said, “and to not have to witness the decimation of an entire generation of amazingly talented and otherwise vital men.”
Here’s hoping that his kind of bravery will help, as he also said on his blog, act as a catalyst for the next generation of gay men to keep the hope alive, be proud of their identities, and know that someday they’ll have equality.