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For eight months last year, Zachary Quinto headlined an off-Broadway revival of Angels in America, playing a gay man who abandons his AIDS-stricken boyfriend. The role, he says in a new interview with New York magazine, helped him realize how lucky he was to be a gay man in this generation.
While his sexuality has been questioned and picked at in the tabloids over the years, Star Trek’s Spock and the Heroes villain has never publicly addressed the rumors. He has, however, played many gay roles (on Tori Spelling’s So NoTORIous and on the new FX series American Horror Story) and been an outspoken advocate of equal rights. Last October when Angels premiered, Quinto filmed an emotional video for “It Gets Better,” a campaign aimed at ending the antigay bullying that has led many gay teens to suicide.
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His role in Angels, Quinto, 34, says, was both “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding.”
“At the same time,” he adds, “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.”
Later, when speaking about the recent positive changes for the gay community (the legalization of gay marriage in New York) being qualified by the backwards steps of continued gay bullying and suicide of gay teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, Quinto adds that it affects him personally.
“Again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.”
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When the article was published, Quinto posted a blog on his website, explaining why he decided now was the right time to come out publicly.
“In light of Jamey’s death,” he writes, “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.”
“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,” he continues. “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.”
Quinto is currently in theaters in a small role in What’s Your Number?—playing a boyfriend of Anna Faris—and will be seen later this month playing a gay dead owner of the haunted house in American Horror Story on FX. His new movie, Margin Call, which he co-produced and stars opposite Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Jeremy Irons, opens October 21.
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