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Alan Cumming Hands Back OBE, Cites British Empire's 'Toxicity'

Alan Cumming Hands Back OBE, Cites British Empire's 'Toxicity'

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The bisexual actor addressed his issues in a lengthy post on his Instagram.

Bisexual actor Alan Cumming just recently celebrated his 58th birthday. To celebrate this milestone, he posted a picture on his Instagram with a caption telling us all something he recently did: returned his OBE.

The Officer of the British Empire award recognizes and rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, and Cumming noted he was "incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen's birthday honours list."

He noted he received the award not only for his job as an actor, but also for "activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community, USA."

When Cumming receive his award, the Defense of Marriage Act still prevented same-sex marriages and Don't Ask, Don't Tell had yet to be repealed.

At the time of receiving the award, Cumming said, "The fight for equality for the LGBT community in the US is something I am very passionate about, and I see this honour as encouragement to go on fighting for what I believe is right and for what I take for granted as a UK citizen."

Following the Queen's death and subsequent conversations about the monarchy, as well as how the British Empire profited at the expense and death of indigenous peoples, helped Cumming make his decision to return the award.

"Thankfully," he said, "times and laws in the US have changed, and the great good the award brought to the LGBTQ+ cause back in 2009 is now less potent than the misgivings I have being associated with the toxicity of empire."

He finished the post saying, "So I returned my award, explained my reasons and reiterated my great gratitude for being given it in the first place. I'm now back to being plain old Alan Cumming again. Happy birthday to me!"

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