Hugh Jackman is happy being a gay icon
Actor Hugh Jackman has addressed his status as a gay icon.
Jackman was visiting the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand on Wednesday (February 27), where he performed with students in the Oceania Voices choir who went viral last year with their rendition of “This is Me” from his musical film The Greatest Showman.
During a press conference, Jackman was asked what more he could do to cement his status as a gay icon.
The performer laughed and then, according to Newshub, said: “I have absolutely no idea… I love telling stories. It was my absolute privilege playing Peter Allen.”
Jackman was referring to his 2003 Tony-winning performance as Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz, a musical about the musician who was singer Liza Minelli’s first husband before coming out as gay and eventually dying of HIV-related cancer in 1992.
“I’m proud to be a part of any solution to [discrimination] through storytelling.”
— Hugh Jackman
Jackman then told a story about his performance being so convincing his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, had to set the record straight.
“Deb, my wife, came to see it about 40 times. She loved that show.
“She was in the bathroom at one point […] Deb is in the stall, and she could hear two women outside going ‘Is he or isn’t he?’
“She was just listening for about two minutes, then she just yelled out, ‘He isn’t!'” Jackman said.
The actor then expressed support for advances in LGBT+ rights, as well as women, minorities and other marginalised groups who had been overlooked or discriminated against.
“I’m all for it in every single aspect and I’m proud to be a part of any solution to [discrimination] through storytelling,” he added.
Hugh Jackman has been facing rumours about his sexuality for over a decade
Rumours about Jackman’s sexuality have long followed the actor, much to his wife’s frustration.
CBS executive Vinny Favale, who was placed on leave in October following allegations of workplace misconduct, reportedly called Jackman “gay” and “in the closet,” as well as describing Jackson’s marriage to Furness as “fake,” while discussing the actor’s appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in 2017.
Jackman has previously said he’s not gay, but specified “there isn’t anything shameful” about being gay in a 2009 interview.
Still having to address gay rumours almost a decade later, Jackman said in 2018 interview that he’s not particularly upset about it. “Some dudes do get upset, some dudes say: ‘Don’t say I’m gay,’ [but] I am good” Jackman said.
The actor has long been a supporter of marriage equality in Australia and both he and his wife voted “yes” in the 2017 postal referendum on same-sex marriage,