Since publicly revealing he was gay by refusing to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is opening up about his struggles as a closeted teenager.
Speaking at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Seattle on Saturday night, the 41-year-old star opened up on his dark adolescence.
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“The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15,” he told on-looking supporters. “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 days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on a bus back to school pretending everything was fine.”
Of course, for Wentworth, living a lie rather than confronting who he is did not stop when he was 15.
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“I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth, which is that I was gay, but I chose not to,” he said. “I was out privately to family and friends—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.”
That is until last month, when he publicly came out by declining an offer to be a Guest of Honor at a Russian film festival, writing that he wasn’t interested in supporting an event hosted by “a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”
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Thankfully, the Prison Break star’s attitude and openness about not only his own sexuality, but also his firm stance on human rights is a far cry from the life he described as a 15 year old.
“Growing up I was a target,” he said. “Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Everyday was a test and there was a thousand ways to fail.”