British-born American actor Wentworth Miller has come out as gay in a letter sent to the St Petersburg International Film Festival.
The 41-year-old star, known best for his lead role in Prison Break, writes: “I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government.”
Here is the letter in full (via GLAAD):
Dear Ms. Averbakh:
Thank you for your kind invitation. 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.
I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
Wilson Cruz, from US LGBT advocacy group GLAAD commended the actor’s decision, saying: “Wentworth’s bold show of support sends a powerful message to LGBT Russians, who are facing extreme violence and persecution: you are not alone. As people from across the globe continue to speak out against Russia’s horrific law, more celebrities and corporations should follow his courageous lead in openly condemning Russia’s anti-LGBT law.”