Target: Wentworth Miller
Goal: Commend actor for refusing to attend a Russian film festival in an open letter denouncing the country’s treatment of gay citizens.
Wentworth Miller, star of hit television show Prison Break, was recently invited to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. In a remarkably brave open letter which he posted to the GLAAD website, he publicly affirmed his sexuality and refused the offer, writing, “Thank you for your kind invitation. 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…I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly. Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.”
This phenomenal and gallant response to the Russian invitation could not have come at a more appropriate time, when LGBTQ citizens in Russia are suffering persecution as a result of two recent pieces of legislation passed by the Putin government, which not only ban same-sex couples from adopting Russian-born children, but also prohibit the display in public of pro-LGBT “propaganda.” In the wake of these laws, many LGBTQ individuals have been increasingly at risk of being targeted for violence, besides the official threats of fines, arrest, or deportation.
By signing this petition, you are applauding the brave stand Miller has decided to take against discriminatory policies that make life for LGBTQ Russians and tourists difficult and dangerous. You are demonstrating to Miller and other celebrities like him that we all commend their use of their global influence and privilege to protest unjust practices in nations where they are invited to perform at or attend events.
Dear Wentworth Miller,
Your timely message of solidarity to LGBTQ individuals in Russia is brave and inspiring. Your principled refusal to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival and your carefully composed and public rejection letter lend strength to the movement opposing the anti-LGBT laws recently enacted by the Putin government. Your support, as you know, comes at a crucial time, when Russian LGBTQ citizens and same-sex couples are struggling to cope with the danger and persecution in the months leading up to the 2014 Olympics, throughout which the anti-gay legislation has created an outburst of violence.
Thank you for using your global fame and influence to stand up to these discriminatory policies. Thank you for standing in solidarity with LGBTQ individuals and allies in Russia and worldwide in order to force change of unjust practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bogomolov.PL via Wikimedia Commons