“Prison Break” star shares heartfelt story behind coming out decision
WASHINGTON – Over the weekend at the Seattle dinner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, actor, writer and HRC member Wentworth Miller shared his heartfelt story of triumph in a speech about his journey to coming out as a gay man. In the remarks, Miller discussed the hardships of living in the closet, and the reasoning behind his decision to publicly come out as gay. In August, Wentworth Miller came out as gay in a letter declining an invitation to attend a film festival in Russia. The actor cited a newly-passed law outlawing even the most modest gestures of support for LGBT equality.
“Wentworth Miller’s decision to come out publicly sends a powerful and inspirational message to LGBT youth across the country that it’s okay to be open and honest about who you are,” said HRC president Chad Griffin. “We are incredibly grateful to Wentworth for his courage and honesty, and for using his voice to expose the abhorrent situation LGBT people are facing in Russia.”
Miller is a Golden-Globe nominated actor, screenwriter and producer, who rose to fame following his role as Michael Scofield in the Fox television series Prison Break.
In 2012, HRC released a groundbreaking study of LGBT-identified young people and a corollary study of straight teens that shows tremendous disparities between the two groups. With more than 10,000 respondents ages 13-17, “Growing Up LGBT in America” is the largest known survey of LGBT teens and shows how critical the work of achieving equality is for future generations. Among the report’s key findings:
- Over one-half of LGBT youth (54 percent) say they have been verbally harassed and called names involving anti-gay slurs;
- Nearly half of LGBT youth (47 percent) say they do not “fit in” in their community while only 16 percent of non-LGBT youth feel that way;
- 67 percent of straight youth describe themselves as happy but this number drops to 37 percent among LGBT young people;
- 83 percent of LGBT youth believe they will be happy eventually, but only 49 percent believe they can be happy if they stay in the same city or town;
An official, HD video of Miller’s remarks is available online here.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.