Actor Wentworth Miller comes out as gay in a letter to the Russian government: "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."
If you thought Jodie Foster's Golden Globes pseudo coming out was unique, "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller has seen her effort and raised her one.
Miller, 41, declared his sexual orientation in a letter to the Russian government. In the Aug. 21 letter to the St. Petersburg International Festival, the actor declined an invitation to attend citing his distress over the government's treatment of gay people.
"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," Miller wrote in the letter posted on GLAAD's site and was first reported by E!. "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," he concluded.
Miller was objecting to a law that went into effect on July 3rd which bans promotion of gay, lesbian or bisexual lifestyles and makes foreign tourists who are members of the LGBT community subject to arrest. The law, signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, has been subject of much criticism around the world.
Miller, who starred on the Fox drama "Prison Break" from 2005 to 2009 has recently turned to screenwriting and is using the pseudonym Tom Foulke. Although his sexuality has been questioned for years, Miller had denied reports flatly, saying in one interview that he wanted to have a wife and kids someday. In another interview, he said, "I'm not gay. I know these rumors are out there ... I'm cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy. Certain people are going to have certain fantasies."
GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz praised Miller's turnabout in a statement on the GLAAD site.
"Wentworth's bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians: You are not alone," Cruz said. "As people from across the globe continue to speak out against this horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia's anti-LGBT law."
First published August 21 2013, 3:47 PM