British-born American actor Wentworth Miller has revealed he tried to commit suicide as a 15-years-old as he struggled to keep his homosexuality under wraps. The Prison Break actor recently came out as gay in an open letter sent to St Petersburg last month, prompted by his concern for the well-being of gay Russians under the repressive Putin regime.
On Monday in Seattle, Miller spoke to an audience at a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinner about his struggles and the reasons for staying closeted at the height of his fame, saying he “chose a lie” to keep his career.
He told them, "Every day was a test and there were a 1000 ways to fail, 1000 ways to betray yourself to not come up to someone else's standard as to what was acceptable and what was normal. And when you fail the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay. Emotional, psychological, physical. And like many of you I paid that price."
"The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 15," he explained. "I waited until my family went away for the weekend. I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills. 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"
His action as no cry for help. "You only cry for help if you believe there is help to cry for and I didn’t need it, I wanted out… at 15."
He went on to discuss why he was reluctant to discuss his sexuality during Prison Break's four year run. "In that time, I gave thousands of interviews. I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth which is that I was gay. But I chose not to. I was out to family and friends and people I learned to trust but publicly I was not. I chose to lie - when I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear. Fear and stubborn resistance that had built up over many years. When I thought about kids out there who might be moved or inspired by me taking a stand or speaking my truth, my mental response was consistently, no thank you."
He explained that a "nagging voice" over the persecution of gay people in Russia finally inspired him to come out. Turning down an invitation to the St Petersburg International Film Festival, he wrote, "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."
Lustralboy welcomes Wentworth's courageous honesty. At least one good thing has come out of the Russian darkness.
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