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Film and TV

Rupert Everett complains that the transgender rights movement has ‘completely overshadowed’ gay issues

Emma Powys Maurice October 3, 2020
Rupert Everett

Rupert Everett at the 2019 National Film Awards in London. (Brett Cove/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty)

Rupert Everett has complained that the movement for trans rights has “completely overshadowed” gay issues.

Speaking to The Times, the 61-year-old Shakespeare in Love actor bemoaned that he now feels like “the wrong type of queen” and that the gay community has “completely lost our profile”.

He criticised what he sees as an overly reproachful outlook among young people, and spoke of his fears of being “cancelled” for speaking about transgender issues.

“This might be the first time that the older generation has felt that they have to tiptoe around the younger generation and turn everything off,” he said.

While Everett claimed to support “wokeness” because “everything it stands for is, essentially, great,” he regretted that gay rights appear to have taken a backseat to trans issues, citing Russia’s recent move to ban same-sex marriage.

“Nobody was up in arms about anything,” he said of the constitutional amendments, which were denounced by the Venice Commission and protested by hundreds in Russia.

Everett has previously shared that he wanted to be a girl until he was about 15. Asked what he would be like if he were that age now, the actor said: “Well, I’d probably be transitioning.”

He also joked that transitioning may help his career. “I might transition because it could be a way of reigniting my career, because in Hollywood now, if you’re a middle-aged director of second-rate television you’re finished,” he suggested.

Everett once said he believed coming out in 1989 harmed his Hollywood career, and two decades after he first disclosed his sexuality he advised other actors not to do so.

“The fact is that you could not be, and still cannot be, a 25-year-old homosexual trying to make it in the British film business or the American film business or even the Italian film business,” he told the Guardian in 2009.

“It just doesn’t work and you’re going to hit a brick wall at some point. You’re going to manage to make it roll for a certain amount of time, but at the first sign of failure they’ll cut you right off…

“Honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out.”

He restated this in 2014, telling the Daily Telegraph: “There’s only a certain amount of mileage you can make, as a young pretender, as a leading man, as a homosexual. There just isn’t very far you can go.”

More: Rupert Everett, Shakespeare in Love

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