Wentworth Miller recently came out publicly in a poignant open letter to the St Petersburg International Film Festival, in which he turned down their invitation for him to be a guest of honour at the festival, citing his homosexuality and Russia’s anti-gay regime as the reason.
Delivering a speech at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle this weekend, Miller continued to open up about his sexuality. He revealed that he tried to commit suicide as a teenager and that he stayed in the closet out of fear of damaging his acting career.
On attempting suicide “more than once": The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15. I waited until my family went away for the family and 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.
On the pressure to be straight: Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there was a thousand ways to fail. A thousand ways to portray yourself to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted.
On staying in the closet for Hollywood: I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth, which is that I was gay, but I chose not to. I was out privately to family and friends — 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.