One Equal World

Actor Comes Out Publicly in an Act of Protest Against Russia

Posted on: August 26, 2013

Wentworth Miller

Wentworth Miller came out as gay, protesting Russia’s deplorable laws.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

It seems as though every day there are new, disturbing developments in Russia’s aggressively anti-gay culture. More and more we learn about brutal hate crimes, homophobic legislation, and violence targeting the LGBT community in Russia as well as abroad. The increase in systemic discrimination against gay and lesbian people in Russia has motivated an equally growing amount of people who are standing in solidarity against the horrific crimes against humanity that are taking place in that part of the world.

Politicians, athletes, celebrities, and LGBT rights groups around the world have been speaking out against the terrible social and political treatment of Russia’s gay citizens, and the brutality there has even inspired some coming-outs. Most recently, screenwriter and leading actor of “Prison Break,” Wentworth Miller, came out publicly as a response to the danger and oppression Russia’s LGBT community faces. Miller came out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, in which he declined an invitation to the event, citing Russia’s anti-LGBT laws as his reason.

Miller is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which posted his rejection letter to their website. Miller, a gay rights activist who is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign and the ManKind Project, is passionate about the importance of standing up against gross human inequalities like the world has watched unfold in Russia. In his letter he said:

“Dear Ms. Averbakh:                                                                 

Thank you for your kind invitation. 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.

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. 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 systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.

Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.

Until then.                                                                               

Wentworth Miller”

The actor was invited to be the Guest of Honor at the Film Festival, but simply couldn’t justify attending such an event in a country where he faces very dangerous implications for being openly gay. Instead, Miller took the opportunity to bravely come out, as a gay man, and in protest of Russia’s deplorable treatment of LGBT people.

What do you think of Wentworth Miller’s way of coming out, and of Russia’s anti-gay laws?

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