For two decades OUT has documented the culture and articulated the contribution of gay men and women to a wider, evolving society. During those 20 years, the brand has seen an evolution in the way public figures come out of the closet. From Ellen Degeneres' Time magazine cover announcing "Yep, I'm gay," to Anderson Cooper's nonchalant email to The Daily Beast saying, "The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be…" the time of the big reveal seems to be fading. For OUT's October 2012 issue, celebrating the brand's 20th Anniversary, cover star Zachary Quinto demonstrates, with his thoughtful and intelligent interview, that the days of talking about closets is mercifully coming to an end.
Last October, Quinto casually prefaced his response to a magazine interview question about the revival of Angels in America with the words "As a gay man…" For Quinto, the words he used during that interview had been weighed up and considered over a restless night. Although he was out to his family and friends, acknowledging his sexuality in the media was another step in his personal evolution. "I thought about it as coming out from behind the wall," he tells OUT. "Walls now are only as high or as thick or as strong as we allow them to be."
Quinto continues, "One of the most defining conversations that I had with myself was that absolutely no good can come from me staying quiet about [my sexuality]. Literally, no good can come from it. But if I take the step to make the acknowledgment and be honest, so much good could potentially come from it."
As he searches for happiness in his out, adult life, Quinto believes feelings he has over the loss of his father, who died when he was 7, manifested themselves in his early relationships. "I found myself in a pattern of being attracted to people who were somehow unavailable, and what I realized was that I was protecting myself because I equate the idea of connection and love with trauma and death," he says. "I had to do a lot of work on the couch to really get to a place where I was able to show up to a relationship with someone who was actually capable of being in one- and that took a lot of trial and error. And I'm still working on all that stuff-that will never stop. But I definitely want kids…I want to share." Currently, the man Quinto is sharing with is actor Jonathan Groff, and while he does draw a line in talking about his private life, he lets out, "I'm incredibly happy, I'm incredibly lucky."
In the last six months Quinto's energy has gone into campaigning for the reelection of President Obama, as he considers the upcoming election the most important in his lifetime. "It boggles my mind that there are so many extreme Christian organizations that are adopting a stance against homosexuality with such a vitriol and hatred and targeted aggression that goes against the tenets of the Christian faith," he says. "The hatred that people are leading with in this discussion is really, for me, the biggest symptom of how sick we are. It's the thing that makes me look at our culture and think, We are so far afield of any sort of connectivity or truth in relationship to one another," but then he pauses and says, "I don't want this to be too soapboxy."
Read the full OUT October 2012 cover story now at: