Actor Zachary Quinto, of Star Trek and Heroes fame, has come out as a gay man in a new interview and accompanying personal blog post after his time on Angels in America and the news of a gay teenager's suicide.
Quinto, 34, best known as Dr. Spock from 2009's Star Trek and Sylar on the TV show Heroes, had just finished an eight-month run on Broadway in the revival of Angels in America, where he played a man who abandons his boyfriend after finding out he has AIDS. Quinto then saw the news that 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer had killed himself Sept. 18 after years of bullying by his peers and struggles with his sexuality.
When I found out that Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself, Quinto posted, I felt deeply troubled. But when I found out that Jamey Rodemyer made an 'It Gets Better' video only months before taking his own life -- I felt indescribable despair.
Quinto had himself made an It Gets Better video last year, one of countless testamonials by celebrities and citizens aimed at supporting LGBT youth who have been bullied for their sexuality. He had also, in contrast to other closeted celebrities, taken on roles as a gay man before coming out, including roles on Tori Spelling's So NoTORIous and FX's new series American Horror Story.
Struggling with the dark themes of Angels in America, devastated by Rodemeyer's death, Quinto decided that he needed to do more.
As a gay man, he told New York Magazine in an issue released Oct. 16, It made me feel like there's still so much work to be done, and there's still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.
In his personal post on blog ZacharyQuinto.com, the actor went further, declaring his intention to live life more openly.
It is my intention, he wrote, to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. Living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough ... our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for LGBT citizens.
He also expressed regret at not having come out as a gay man sooner. Still, Quinto feels that both Rodemeyer and Angels in America were catalysts for him, giving him the chance to pay that hope forward to someone else.
Now I can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one person in this world, Quinto wrote. That -- I believe -- is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.
Several other stars have been following his lead. Lady Gaga, who came out as bisexual to Barbara Walters in 2009, dedicated a song at a recent concert to Rodemeyer, and other celebrities have been moved by the rash of LGBT teen bullying to come out of the closet themselves, either by appearing in PSA videos or giving interviews. Here, see 10 more celebrities, from Anna Paquin to Sean Maher, who came out in 2010 and 2011-- some after decades of hiding their sexuality from Hollywood and from fans.