Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto was inspired to 'come out' as a homosexual after feeling "indescribable despair" by the tragic suicide of a bullied gay teenager.
The star spoke publicly for the first time about his sexuality in an interview with New York Magazine, confirming longrunning speculation about his choice of lifestyle by referring to himself as "a gay man".
Now Quinto has revealed that he was so "deeply troubled" by the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer last month (Sep11) that he was prompted to live his life more openly so he can use his voice to campaign for equal rights for all.
In a post on his blog, Quinto refers to an anti-bullying public service announcement he shot in 2010, writing, "when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself - i felt deeply troubled. but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life - i felt indescribable despair.
"i also made an it gets better video last year - in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time. but in light of jamey's death - it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it - is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country. gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying. parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance."
Quinto admits the timing of his decision coincides well with the Occupy Wall Street protests against inequality and corporate greed, which began in New York and have since spread across the world - but the 34 year old wishes he had 'come out' sooner.
He continues, "we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world. we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government. i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society - and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.
"jamey rodemeyer's life changed mine. and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner - i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me. now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. that - i believe - is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other."
Pop star and gay rights advocate Lady Gaga was also moved by Rodemeyer's death, which is believed to have occurred after years of cruel taunts from peers over his sexuality, and she has called on politicians to make bullying a crime to put a stop to the spate of teen suicides that has gripped America in the past year.