在大学二年级的时候，我和我的同学们都热衷看一部叫做《越狱》的美剧，讲述的是兄弟两人中的哥哥被关进监狱后，弟弟为了营救哥哥而将监狱的地形图用纹身的方式纹在整个后背，尔后在营救过程里上演的一系列故事。 饰演弟弟的男主名叫Wentworth Miller，他在2011年息影后于2012年加入了一个人权组织，在今年8月，他拒绝了俄罗斯圣彼得堡电影节的邀请——因为俄罗斯对LGBT人士的迫害和不友好，同时Miller借此机会向公众“出柜”。9月6日，Miller在西雅图人权战线HRC上进行了一个十分钟时长的演讲，讲述了他一路走来如何挣扎做自己。
First and foremost, I want to personally thank the Human Rights Campaign for the incredible work that they’ve done and the work they’ve continue to do, not only here in Washington state but across the country and around the world. As we all know this work is critical: it’s life-changing, it’s life-saving.
It is my great honor and privilege to be here tonight to count myself a member of this community. It is also something of a surprise. I’ve had a complicated relationship with that word — “community”. I’ve been slow to embrace it. I’ve been hesitant. I’ve been doubtful. For many years I could not or would not accept that there was anything in that word for someone like me, like connection, and support, strength, warmth, and there are reasons for that.
I wasn’t born in this country. I did not grow up in one particular religion. I have a mixed-race background, and I’m gay. Really, it’s just your typical All-American boy next door. It is been natural to see myself as an individual, it’s been a challenge to imagine that self as part of something larger.
Like many of you here tonight, I grew up in what I would call “survival mode”. When you’re in survival mode, your focus is on getting through the day in one piece, and when you’re in that mode at five, at ten, at fifteen, there isn’t a lot of space for words like “community”, for words like “us” and “we”. There’s only space for “I” and “me”.
In fact, words like “us” and “we” not only sounded foreign to me at five, and ten, and fifteen, they sounded like a lie. Because if “us” and “we” really existed, if there was really someone out there watching and listening and caring, then I would have been rescued by now.
That feeling of being singular and different and alone carried over into my twenties and into my thirties. When I was thirty-three, I started working on a TV show that was successful not only here in the states but also abroad, which meant over the next 4 years I was traveling to Asia, to the Middle East, to Europe, and everywhere in between, and in that time I gave thousands of interviews. I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth, which is that I was gay. But I chose not to. I was out privately, to family and friends, to the people I’ve learned to trust overtime, but professionally and publicly, I was not.
As to choose between being out of integrity and out of the closet: I chose the former. I chose to lie because when I thought about the possibility of coming out, about how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear, fear and anger, and a stubborn resistance that had built up over many years. When I thought about that kids somewhere out there who might be inspired or moved by me taking a stand and speaking my truth, my mental response was consistently, “no thank you”.
I thought I’ve spend over a decade building this career, alone by myself, and from a certain point of view, it’s all I have. But now I am supposed to put that at risk to be a role model, to someone I’ve never met, whom I’m not even sure exist. It didn’t make any sense to me. It did not resonate at the time.
Also like many of you here tonight, growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Everyday was a test and there were a thousand ways to fail, a thousands ways to betray yourself, to not live up to someone else’s standard of what was accepted, of what was normal. And when you failed the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay, emotional, psychological, physical. And like many of you, I paid that price, more than once, in a variety of ways. The first time I tried to kill myself I was fifteen. 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 of days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school, pretending everything was fine. And when someone asks me if that was a cry for help, I say no, because I told no one. You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for, and I didn’t. I wanted out. I wanted gone, at fifteen.
I and me can be a lonely place, and it will only get you so far. By 2011, I made the decision to walk away from acting and many of the things I previous believed so important to me. And after I’d given up the scripts and the sets which I dreamed of when I was a child and result in attention and scrutiny which I had not dreamed of when I was a child. The only thing I was left with was what I had when I started, I and me, and it was not enough. In 2012 I joined a man’s group called the Mankind Project which is a man’s group to all men and was introduced to the still foreign and still potentially threatening concepts of “us” and “we” to the idea of brotherhood, sisterhood, and community.
And it was via that community, that I became a member and a proud supporter of the Human Rights Campaign. And it was via this community that I learned more about the prosecution of my LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia. Several weeks ago, when I was drafting my letter to the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival declining their invitation to attend, a small nagging voice in my head insisted that no one would notice, that no one was watching or listening or caring. But this time, finally, I knew that voice was wrong. I thought if even one person notices this letter in which I speak my truth and integrate my small story into a much larger and more important one, it’s worth sending. I thought let me be the someone else, what no one was to me, let me send the message to that kid, maybe in America, maybe some place far overseas, maybe somewhere deep inside, a kid was targeted at home or at school or in the streets, that someone is watching and listening and caring, that there is an “us”, that there is a “we” and that kid or teenager or adult is loved, and they are not alone.
I am deeply grateful to the Human Rights Campaign for giving me, and others like me, the opportunity and the platform and the imperative to tell my story, to continue sending that message, because it needs to be sent over and over again, until it’s been heard and received and embraced, not just here in Washington state, not just across the country but around the world and then back again, just in case, just in case we miss someone.