Role models of greatness.
Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Actor Wentworth Miller was in the headlines last month by declaring that he was gay, upon declining an invitation to attend a Russian Film Festival. His refusal was his way of condemning Russia’s anti-gay homosexual propaganda legislation. Now, the sexy 41 year old "Prison Break" star revealed that he attempted suicide as a teenager, unable to come to terms with his sexuality.
All this time I did not report on Miller’s coming out, because I resented his earlier (2007) statements on the matter. Long rumored to be gay, here's what he had to say:
"No, I’m not gay. I know these rumors are out there – I’m cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy," the actor said. "Certain people are going to have certain fantasies, if someone wants to imagine me with a woman, or a man or one of each, that’s cool with me as long as you keep watching the show."
Spineless (the above quote comes from a 2007 interview with the Australian Associated Press), I know. But I think he can now serve as a role model to those who face similar fears, so it’s time I get over myself and cut the guy some slack.
The New York Daily News reported that Miller was a special guest at the Human Rights Campaign Seattle Gala on Saturday, Sept. 7, and during that time he admitted that he had tried to take his own life "more than once," as he struggled to understand that he was gay.
"Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way...Every day was a test and there were a thousand ways to fail, a thousand ways to betray yourself, to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted, of what was normal...
...The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 15. I waited until my family went away for the weekend and I was alone in the house, and I swallowed a bottle of pills," Miller added. "I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school, pretending everything was fine. And when someone asks me if that was a cry for help, I’d say, ’No.’ You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for. And I didn’t need it, I wanted out." (Source: TMZ video interview)
His comments about refusing to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival:
"As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes," Miller wrote in the letter, posted on GLAAD’s website. "However, as a gay man, I must decline."
"I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government," Miller continued. "The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systemically denied their basic right to live and love openly."