Ezra Miller's 'Queer' Revelation the Latest Subdued Hollywood Coming Out (Analysis)

12:18 PM PST 08/16/2012 by Jordan Zakarin
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The "Perks of Being a Wallflower" star spoke about his sexuality with Out magazine in a matter-of-fact way that echoes a recent trend.

Ezra Miller self-identifies as queer, but that bit of news is almost beside the point.

It made sense that Miller and his Perks of Being a Wallflower co-stars spoke with Out magazine about their upcoming film, given its source materials' seminal place in adolescent literature and importance to a new generation of LGBT teens. That was the focus of the story; Miller, who grew up loving the Stephen Chbosky book, plays an openly gay student in the film adaptation, mentioned a youth spent "trying to kiss boys" and trapped in confusion, deep into the cover feature.

The 20-year-old actor never went further than saying he has "a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders" and is "very much in love with no one in particular."

The news made minor headlines on the web for the day but has largely faded. Perhaps, it's because this is becoming standard fare. Whereas in 1997, Ellen DeGeneres blazed a trail by announcing she is a lesbian on the cover of Time magazine, Miller is now the sixth celebrity to come out through the side door in the past year alone.

Just last month, R&B star Frank Ocean released a long letter about his sexuality on his Tumblr blog, detailing his first love, with a man. It made news, and Ocean received vast praise for his candidness, but he did not use a New York Times profile that came out that same weekend to make the announcement, and he did little press about it.

The posting came just two days after CNN host Anderson Cooper made his own admission, which also came on a smaller platform: a letter written to Andrew Sullivan, which The Daily Beast columnist published with his permission. Cooper was out of the country at the time of its publication and has largely stuck to his reporting duties since.

This spring, Big Bang Theory Emmy winner Jim Parsons was outed in an 1,800-word New York Times profile, which said he'd been in a relationship for the past 10 years. The mention was met with shrugs.

The same goes for Matt Bomer, who made his announcement by thanking his partner and kids while accepting a humanitarian award in February, and Zachary Quinto, who disclosed his sexuality in an interview with New York Magazine in October. He said he made the move in response to the suicides of gay, bullied students.

Oftentimes, these stars make the announcement well after rumors about their sexuality have taken root; their personal lives generally are open secrets in Hollywood. It's a new approach for a new generation, which certainly clashes with the long-professed denials of older stars.

How one lives his or her private life is exactly that: private. This new approach proves that it can be private, even when it's public.

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