Wentworth Miller gave a really blockbuster speech at a Human Rights Campaign's dinner in Seattle Saturday night. Invited to speak after he came out of the closet to protest homophobia in Russia, Miller, the hunky and traditionally masculine star of the Fox show Prison Break, accepted that invitation and let the audience, and the world, in on a secret: he was so tormented by his homosexuality growing up, so unsettled and uncomfortable with the daily lying and self-regulation that he tried to kill himself. Not once, but multiple times.
"Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there was a thousand ways to fail...A thousand ways to portray yourself to not live up to someone else's standards of what was accepted," Wentworth said with a steady but vulnerable voice. "The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15. I waited until my family went away for the family and I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills. I don't remember what happened over the next couple of days but I'm pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school pretending everything was fine."
Even after getting to Hollywood, where career and personal life so often come into conflict, Miller kept up his subterfuge, and judging from his speech, he feels no small amount of guilt. But it wasn't guilt that made him come out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival rejecting their invitation. It was his realization that he could be a role model for others in the closet. "I thought, 'Let me be to someone else what no one was to me,'" he said.
Here is video of the speech, via TMZ, broken into three parts.