For as long as he’s been part of young Hollywood, Ezra Miller has very confidently, unapologetically stood out. There’s his bizarre, daring fashion sense that brings to mind a young Johnny Depp, and his attitude recalling a young Jack Nicholson. Not surprisingly, he was an outcast in high school (which he left around the age of 16 to pursue acting full-time), so it makes sense that he would star in the upcoming The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It makes even more sense that he would play the movie’s gay role model character, because Ezra is queer.
I wouldn’t say he’s come out of the closet, because it doesn’t sound as if he were ever closeted. Six months ago, he candidly talked about having same-sex “happy ending sleepovers” in his youth and seemed unbothered talking about his sexuality. Still, his self-reflective interview with OUT magazine is an announcement of sorts—Ezra making it clear that he sees nothing wrong with who he’s attracted to.
“I’m queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I’ve been trying to figure out relationships, you know? I don’t know if it’s responsible for kids of my age to be so aggressively pursuing monogamous binds, because I don’t think we’re ready for them. The romanticism within our culture dictates that that’s what you’re supposed to be looking for. Then [when] we find what we think is love — even if it is love — we do not yet have the tools. I do feel that it’s possible to be at this age unintentionally hurtful, just by being irresponsible — which is fine. I’m super down with being irresponsible. I’m just trying to make sure my lack of responsibility no longer hurts people. That’s where I’m at in the boyfriend/girlfriend/zefriend type of question.”
What most impresses us from this quote is that Ezra didn’t out himself because of a relationship. It seems like when Hollywood stars finally admit they’re gay (whether we knew it or not), tied up in that announcement is the revelation that they have a partner of ten years and two kids. Like Neil Patrick Harris, or Matt Bomer, or Sean Maher, or most recently Anderson Cooper. In those cases, you get the impression that the actor felt the need to come out so as to justify his relationship. Here, Ezra is declaring his sexuality for himself, not for anyone else.
His comment on culture expecting young people to play at older, more committed relationships they’re not ready for brings to mind the recent Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson controversy. Twilight fans basically expected these two to not only be star-crossed lovers like Edward and Bella, but to basically follow those characters and get married in their 20s and never even look at anyone else. Even where you don’t have the added layer of fictional characters, we put that same pressure on young couples like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield when we really should just let them be.