Happy Pride Month! Every June, the world takes time to honor the LGBTQ community in the name of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. There have been large strides in the representation of the community in film and television, but it wasn’t too long ago when the idea of coming out as a public figure was a nerve-wracking concept. Legally Blonde and Titanic actor Victor Garber is reflecting on the day he came out at the age of 63. In his words:
Victor Garber subtly confirmed his sexuality to Greg In Hollywood one day after the Golden Globes, where Jodie Foster did her own public “coming out” while accepting her Cecil B. DeMille award. As Garber told the blogger, he hadn’t talked about it, but “everybody” already knew.
When the Argo actor came out, he’d already been with his partner for 14 years and didn’t try to hide it. I guess the conversation just never came up. While thinking back to his coming out seven years later, Victor Garber told THR that Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf, Ian McKellen, first encouraged him to talk about it publicly:
Ian McKellen's coming out story happened out of activism in the ‘80s when the United Kingdom was introducing a controversial section to the law that would prevent authorities from "intentionally promot[ing] homosexuality or publish[ing] material with the intention of promoting homosexuality.” During a discussion with BBC Radio 3, McKellen spoke out against it, naming himself as a part of the community.
The actor who has also found success in the X-Men films as Magneto, once told HuffPost of how his early coming out informed his work as an actor for years to come with this:
Perhaps one experience that stunted Victor Garber’s coming out until 2013 was when the actor portrayed Liberace for 1988’s Liberace: Behind the Music. After portraying the gay music icon, Garber feels he had trouble finding work on television for years.
This is a past struggle in the industry even Laura Dern felt after portraying a lesbian woman in Ellen DeGeneres’ famed coming out episode of her comedy series in 1997. Dern was at the height of her career and had just starred in Jurassic Park when suddenly the offers stopped coming in.
Hollywood has thankfully shifted (and continues to shift) its perspective on the LGBTQ community since the ‘80s, ‘90s and even just five years ago. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more stories on your favorite actors working today.
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