For LGBTQ people of a certain age, coming out of the closet was a major, if not the defining event of your life. So, I especially appreciate the very casual way young gay celebrities these days break the news by casually mentioning it in paragraph seven of a magazine profile. Thank you, Luke Evans, Sarah Paulson, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Stewart, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer. That is real progress.
In October 2011, 34-year-old Zachary Quinto came out while discussing his role in the Tony Award-winning 2012 Broadway production of Tony Kushner‘s modern masterpiece, Angels In America, in which he played a gay man who leaves his AIDS-afflicted boyfriend, simply tossing off to a journalist:
And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done.
Quinto is famous as Star Trek film franchise’s logic-driven Mr. Spock. His breakout role was in the mid-aughts hit Heroes on NBC, playing Sylar, a serial killer who tore out the brains of superheroes in order to steal their powers. Quinto played the quietly deranged Dr. Oliver Thredson on American Horror Story: Asylum (2017) and he now he returns to television after his run last year on Broadway in The Boys In The Band. He now stars in AMC’s horror miniseries NOS4A2, playing a demonic drifter by the name of Charlie Manx. Though seemingly immortal, Manx is not ageless, as you can see by Quinto’s shriveled appearance in the show’s trailer, and Manx must periodically restore his youth by feeding on the souls of kidnapped children. Quinto excels as creepy, although in real life he is supposed to be a real sweetheart according to my sources. I also hear that The Boys In The Band is being made into a film by Ryan Murphy with the 2018 Broadway cast. That production, staged for the 50th anniversary of the play’s original premiere, starred Quinto with Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, and Andrew Rannells. Quinto portrayed Harold, whose birthday sets the premise of the play. All of the actors who were in the 2018 production are openly gay.
Quinto once dated Colton Haynes and Jesse Tyler Freguson, and went steady with cutie-pie Jonathan Groff, star of the much-missed HBO series Looking. In 2017, Quinto purchased a loft in the NoHo neighborhood of New York City with his boyfriend, artist/model, Miles McMillan. World of Wonder writer Trey Speegle wrote earlier this year that the couple has split.
Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller came out in 2013 in a letter declining an invitation to St. Petersburg Film Festival because of Russia’s crackdown on LGBTQ Rights. He was 41-years-old when he flung wide that closet door.
Wentworth was born in England to American parents, a white mother and black father who was a Rhodes Scholar. In addition to his acting career, Wentworth writes screenplays, most recently Stoker, starring Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Matthew Goode.
Wentworth is most recognized for his role on Prison Break, a Fox television crime drama action thriller that originally ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2009, and later returned for a fifth season in 2017. The series revolves around two brothers, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) and Michael Scofield (Miller); Burrows has been sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and Scofield devises an elaborate plan to help his brother escape prison and clear his name.
When Miller came out as gay in 2013, he cast his celebrity and the series in a new light. The 2017 season of Prison Break focused on a prison escapee who happened to be gay and Muslim, and the series has three openly gay actors in leading roles: Miller, Amin El Gamal, and Augustus Prew. It was announced by Fox in May that there will be a Season Six of Prison Break.
Before Miller came out publicly, the actor was out privately to friends and family, but his sexuality was something of a mystery to fans. While shooting early seasons of the series, Miller struggled with all the things you would expect a closeted actor working on a network action show might face.
After an emotional and widely shared speech at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle in 2013, in which he opened up about his coming out, Miller became an inspiration for young queer actors in an industry that has long silenced gay performers by revealing his struggles with suicide, depression and even body-shaming. Miller said he had attempted suicide multiple times as a teenager. He said:
When someone asked me if that was a cry for help, I said no, because I told no one. You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for.
He also discussed struggling in Hollywood as a closeted actor and talked about how his involvement in the ManKind Project helped him learn about brotherhood, sisterhood, and being part of a community.
In 2016, Active Minds, a mental health charity, announced that Miller would serve as an ambassador for the organization.
Miller seems secure in the knowledge that, unlike many of his openly gay predecessors, he is eminently employable:
When I’m on set, I’m there to do my job. I’m there to color in my little corner of the ‘Prison Break’ universe, I’m not really thinking about sending messages about queer visibility. Which doesn’t mean messages aren’t being sent. I think just my presence, on-screen, as an out actor, for some viewers, that’s meaningful. It’s meaningful to see a gay male lead in this kind of macho-retro universe.
June 2 is also the birthday of Andy Cohen, the impossibly cute radio and television talk show host, producer and writer. He is the host and executive producer of the Bravo’s late-night talk show, Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. Cohen also has a pop culture channel on SiriusXM Radio named Radio Andy. Cohen served as Bravo’s Executive Vice President of Development and is now Executive Producer on the Emmy Award–winning Top Chef and of the Real Housewives franchise.
Cohen was honored with the Vito Russo Award at the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards earlier this month. The award is presented to an openly LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance. Cohen:
To be gay today is something that I am so thankful for, but it’s a fight that’s not over and it’s a fight that I’m committed to even more so now that I’m a father. When my son Benjamin was born three months ago, I looked into his eyes and I saw there was no hate, no bias, no bigotry, just love. That’s how we come into this world, and that is how hopefully one day we will all live in it.
There you have it, three handsome men with a birthday today. Do you think they might have a party together with guests Sandra Bernhard, Anderson Copper, Kelly Ripa, Dominic Purcell, Ryan Murphy, Jim Parsons and the producers at World of Wonder? I’d love to be invited to that celebration!