Wentworth Miller felt like “damaged goods” after attempting suicide as a teenager.
The Prison Break actor first tried to take his own life when he was 15, as he struggled to come to terms with his homosexuality. Wentworth has been named Out magazine’s Newsmaker of the Year and appears on the front cover of the publication, after publicly announcing he was gay earlier this year. He has spoken about the conflict he faced during his younger years as he dealt with his feelings.
“I remember carrying around deep feelings of shame after I tried to kill myself, feeling like I’d stumbled or failed life’s exam,” the 41-year-old actor said. “That I was now ‘damaged goods.’”
The star went on to reveal the advice he would give his 15-year-old self.
“What I would say to that younger self — what I’d say to anyone who’s walked a similar road — is to focus less on the fact that you nearly ended your life and more on the fact that you survived, that you lived to tell the tale. And then tell it,” he explained. “I’d say, ‘What you think of as scars are medals. They’re badges of honor, testifying to something inside you that is determined and tenacious and enduring.'”
Wentworth revealed he was gay in August when he turned down an invitation from a film festival in Russia. He had faced speculation about his sexuality for some time, but previously denied the gossip. Wentworth decided to speak out due to his concern about the current situation for gay people in Russia.
“As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline,” he wrote in an open letter on GLAAD’s website.
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