Openly gay actor Wentworth Miller says that he tried to commit suicide more than once as a teen while grappling with his sexuality.
Miller (41) spoke openly about his struggles as a youth at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle on Saturday night, reported TMZ.
“Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way,” he told the audience.
“Every day was a test and there was a 1000 ways to fail. A 1000 ways to betray yourself. to not come up to someone else’s standard as to what was acceptable and what was normal. And when you fail the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay. Emotional, psychological. physical. And like many of you I paid that price,” he said.
“The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15. I waited until my family went away for the weekend 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.”
The Prison Break actor also admitted that he lied to the public about his sexuality before coming out recently because he feared it would harm his Hollywood career.
“I gave thousands of interviews. I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth which is that I was gay. But I chose not to. I was out to family and friends and people I learned to trust but publicly I was not. I chose to lie – when I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear,” he said.
In 2007 Miller told the Australian Associated Press: “No, I’m not gay. I know these rumours are out there… I’m cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy.”
In an interview with German InStyle that same year he again insisted: “I’m not gay, but that rumour can’t be killed. I’d like to have a girlfriend and a family. But I haven’t met the right one yet.”
Miller came out as gay last month in an open letter declining an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia because of that country’s anti-gay policies.
“As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline,” he wrote.