Wentworth Miller, the former "Prison Break" star, has come out of the closet as a gay man. The 41-year-old announced the news in a letter addressed to the Petersburg International Film Festival director Maria Averbakh. Averbakh had recently invited him to attend the event.
He responded to the invitation with a letter, declining to attend due to the mistreatment of gay individuals in Russia. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, signed a legislation that will ban "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations". This ban will carry fines, jail time, and, for those who are not a Russian native, deportation.
This is what Wentworth's response said:
Re: St. Petersburg International Film Festival / "Guest of Honor" Invitation
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.
Member, The ManKind Project
GLAAD spokesman, Wilson Cruz, made a statement 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.”