Friday, November 11, 2011

Zachary Quinto Comes Out

On October 16th, Zachary Quinto announced to the world that he is a gay man, in a New York Magazine interview with Benjamin Wallace.  Speaking about his role in Angels in America, the 34-year old actor said “... as a gay man, 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.”

After that interview went "live", Quinto posted the following entry on his blog:

when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled.  but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair.  i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.  our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country.  gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying.  parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance.  we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world.  we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government.  i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society - and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.  jamey rodemeyer's life changed mine.  and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner - i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me.  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.  that - i believe - is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.

Suicides have always been higher amongst the LGBT community but especially amongst LGBT teens.  In the past year, North America has seen an explosion of such suicides from teens who feel they are unsupported in their communities.  The "It Gets Better" Project was started by Dan Savage so that LGBT persons can offer messages of hope to young people who are struggling.  The project's pledge: "Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better." is a wonderfully positive and inclusive message that is very much in line with the Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future where our diversity makes us stronger.

I applaud and thank Zachary Quinto for contributing to this cause and allowing himself to be a positive example for change.  It's a very compassionate and human response from our favourite new Vulcan.