Welcome Out, Zachary Quinto

Jim Burroway

October 17th, 2011

Zachary Quinto, who first came to widespread attention as the young Mr. Spock on Star Trek  and as as psychopathic killer in Heroes, is one of those guys who has been out, more or less, to everyone who knew him, but who has been somewhat reserved about it in public. Which probably explains the “oh, didn’t you know?” tone of what he told New York magazine:

For one thing, he’s willing to unambiguously talk about his sexual orientation. His eight-month role in (Angels in America) 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.”

Quinto has played a series of gay roles, including on Tori Spelling’s TV show So NoTORIous, and on the new FX series American Horror Story, where he plays the kinky dead owner of the haunted house, and has been outspoken about gay-rights issues. Last year, the Times, in profiling him for Angels, noted that “the blogosphere is rife with speculation about his sexuality” but that “he prefers not to feed the rumor mill with either substantiation or dismissal.” That has changed. A little while later in our conversation, speaking of the cultural bipolarity that can see gay marriage legalized in New York in the same year that yet another gay teenager, Jamey Rodemeyer, was bullied and killed himself, Quinto says, “And 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.”

In a blog post on his web site, Quinto acknowledges that he was motivated to come out publicly by Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide.

“[I]n light of jamey’s death – 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.”


October 17th, 2011

Hurrah! Good luck, Zack and may you live long and prosper!


October 17th, 2011

I have to question a couple of things:

“…one of those guys who has been out, more or less, to everyone who knew him…”

What does this mean and how can you know this without knowing everyone who knew him?

“…has been somewhat reserved about it in public.”

It would take more time than I have today to count how much gay-related work Quinto has done since becoming famous (theatre, charity, public appearances, etc.), but it’s been a lot and it’s been consistent.

Quinto being gay was never a secret, and I agree it’s a good thing that he said the words in public, but doing everything but saying the words — living a completely honest private life while standing up for equal rights and giving back to the community constantly in public — has to count for something, too.

That being said, this idea that being gay is a career-killer in Hollywood is now officially dead — yet again.

Bill T.

October 17th, 2011

Best wishes, Zach. You gave me one more reason to be a fan.


October 17th, 2011

@justme – I totally agree that living a completely open life should count for something, but using the whole “I don’t comment on my personal life” dodge does mean he and his people were buying into the notion that being gay or lesbian is still something to hide. As Quinto himself so perfectly put it:

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

That is the key distinction here – being able to speak openly about it means you are truly not ashamed of who you are.

I also think, though, that we need to push the media more on this as well. People like Quinto, Jody Foster and Anderson Cooper all live openly gay lives, with partners and in some cases children. The media should report on those lives in the exact same way as they do straight lives, but the media still won’t discuss LBGT celebrities unless and until they explicitly come out.

enough already

October 17th, 2011

Anderson Cooper lives an openly gay life?


October 17th, 2011

A gay vulcan? Are we really ready for that? I mean is he gonna be like “Live long and prosper, guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurl!”?

Regan DuCasse

October 17th, 2011

Not so fast Justme. There is still a considerable risk. Leading man roles alongside hot females is still and elusive thing for gay men who are out.

So is a gay man playing a gay man.
Brokeback Mountain starred two straight guys.
There is still a lot of work to be done. But it IS changing.
That Spock/Uhura hot romance totally worked for ME.
I’m a die hard Trekker, AND I knew about Zach too. We’ve got mutual buddies and he pushed my wheelchair for me during the big Prop. 8 protest.

I’m just happy he got to a place where it might hopefully help him more than hurt.

He’s a very warm, wonderful human being to get affection from.
And I’d love him, with…or without.

Donny D.

October 18th, 2011

Sylar is gay?

Brrrrrrrrrr. Nonononononononononononononooooooooooo.


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