It’s been the worst kept secret in the Homoverse. Most of us knew, or suspected that actor Zachary Quinto, best known for his roles as Sylar on the television series Heroes and as Spock in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, was not so secretly a gay man. He never really tried to hide it like many LGBTQ actors…Mr. Quinto was frequently seen in Los Angeles at gay venues and events and obviously hung out with a queer crowd, (which doesn’t necessarily mean a person is gay…we all have straight friends who hang out with us in gay bars and parties). He also wasn’t afraid to stand up for queer causes or from taking queer roles…he famously made an emotional video for The “It Gets Better” Project, (though he never refers to himself as a gay man in it) and has played gay roles on television and most spectacularly, on stage as Louis in an eight month stint in the recent revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America at the Signature Theatre in New York. His time in that seminal play, seems to have had a powerful effect on the 34 year old actor. This week, he refers to himself as a “gay man” in an interview with Benjamin Wallace in New York magazine.
For one thing, he’s willing to unambiguously talk about his sexual orientation. His eight-month role in Angels was both “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding” he says. Having to inhabit that terrible lost world, if only in his mind, took a toll. “And at the same time, 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.”
Everytime a celebrity breaks down a closet door, especially a Hollywood closet door, it makes it easier for the next actor or actress to never be in the professional closet in the first place. And, if a popular actor with a dedicated following can have a successful career, it serves as an example to anyone living in a professional or private closet. Yeah, a few dunderheads are going to proclaim, “I ain’t seeing a Star Trek movie with a fag in it!” but the several million LGBTQ sci-fi fans and Trekkies around the world are probably going to make up for that.
Bravo, Mr. Quinto.