‘I am me’ can be a lonely place, and it will only get you so far.
By 2011, I’d made the decision to walk away from acting and many of the things I’d previously believed so important to me.
And after I’d given up the scripts and the sets which I’d dreamed of as a child, and the resulting attention and scrutiny which I had not dreamed of as a child, the only thing I was left with was what I had when I started.
‘I am me,’ and it was not enough.
In 2012, I joined a men’s group called The Mankind Project, which is a men’s group for 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 proud supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, and it was via this community that I learned more about the persecution of my LGBT brothers and sisters in Russia.
Several weeks ago, when I was drafting my letter to the St. 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, is worth sending.
I thought, let me be to someone else what no one was to me.
Let me send a message to that kid, maybe in America, maybe someplace far overseas, maybe somewhere deep inside, a kid who’s being 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.