Zachary Quinto Still Wants To Be Part Of The Gay ‘Conversation’ Despite Controversy

Zachary Quinto Still Wants To Be Part Of The Gay ‘Conversation’ Despite Controversy

Zachary Quinto, who stars in the new action film “Hitman: Agent 47,” is one of the hardest-working and most varied actors in Hollywood. He moves from stage to screen and back, from Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” on Broadway to films like “Hitman,” playing gay roles and straight roles interchangeably. He’s proof-positive that being openly gay – and being vocal about such issues as HIV prevention, marriage equality and the plight of LGBT teens – shouldn’t limit any actor’s career in 2015.

He discussed the fear among some actors that their careers will be harmed if they come out in an interview on SiriusXM Progress. “The only way to change that is to stop giving it power,” he said. “It’s my responsibility to work with integrity, to live with integrity. And if I do those two things, I feel like the idea of limitations based on who I spend my life with or who I sleep with is everybody else’s problem. That’s not mine. Mine is to do good work, to show up, to be who I am and to, in some way, be one of many, many, many voices that over the last generation made incredible and very powerful changes in the way that we treat LGBT people.”

For Quinto, it took “a long time, personally, to come to a place” where he could “have that dialogue about my sexuality publicly.” He came out in New York Magazine in 2011, he said, to be part of a “larger conversation” in the country. “That conversation is about the well-being of kids who are struggling to come to terms with who they are in the world,” he explained. “And that’s what motivated my decision.”

But Quinto acknowledged that as a gay public figure, his words sometimes resonate in ways that cause him to “catch some flak.” Last year, there was outrage among some HIV/AIDS activists when Quinto said in an interview in Out magazine that he thought that Truvada, the once-a-day pill that prevents HIV infection (also known as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) could cause “complacency” about the epidemic. “We need to be really vigilant and open about the fact that these drugs are not to be taken to increase our ability to have recreational sex,” he had warned, pointing to an “incredible underlying irresponsibility.”

Activists charged back that there was nothing wrong with recreational sex – or increasing it – as long as it’s safe. And they noted that PrEP is itself a form of safer sex and that people who use it are in fact taking steps to protect themselves. Quinto responded to the criticism in a blog post on HuffPost Gay Voices, explaining that he’s a “well-adjusted and well-educated gay man” who had read up on the science of PrEP but still had concerns about the younger generation letting “our guard down.”

Although the debate over PrEP is still ongoing, Quinto says he knows “tons of people who are taking it and using it,” and that it’s “a thing to do now,” though it’s “not for me.” He also reiterated his thoughts on HIV prevention.

“Look, I just think we need to be vigilant as a community and a community of gay men,” he said during the interview. “It was not my intention to judge anybody or to rankle anybody, or to put myself in some kind of superior position by any means. I think if people use PrEP as part of a responsible regimen of taking care of themselves and preserving their bodies and their well-being and the well-being of the people they’re having sex with, then more power to them. There was this thing that I was ‘slut-shaming.’ Anybody who knows me knows that that is the last thing I would ever do. I just think that we can’t let our guard down.”

Quinto seemed to suggest that the very idea of PrEP itself might influence everyone to let his or her guard down by forgetting the past and the reality of HIV and AIDS. “I’m old enough to understand how absolutely horrific and decimating that time was,” he explained. “And I think I was speaking more to [infection rates being the same now as in the past].” Quinto sees his critique as a way to remind people of that earlier time, and to “honor the people we lost, an entire generation of men, and to be responsible to who we are and how we relate to one another, how we take care of each other.” He adds, “That’s all I was trying to talk about. I wasn’t trying to heap any judgment on anybody.”

It doesn’t appear that any pushback is about to silence Quinto. And it shouldn’t.

Acknowledging that it will happen, he noted, “You know, what can you do?”

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51 Comments

  1. Francis
    August 21, 06:02 Reply

    Better person. Some hoes can get too defensive. He’s only saying it like it is. Some folks are taking that drug as a license to bareback with reckless abandon when it shouldn’t be so.

    Accusing him of slut shaming was totally wrong. It’s not like he came out to scream that the community was having way too much sex. He was only doing his part in pushing condoms before they become a thing of the past in the gay community.

    I marvel at how someone can start popping pills so they can have “total” protection against HIV. No one reads the side effects and long term effects on the bottle.

      • Francis
        August 21, 06:11 Reply

        Yeah it does, the main one being kidney failure which I have witnessed several times. Others include persistent weight loss and chronic diarrhea.

        The thing is even common Panadol get nasty side effects. So why bother risking them just because you want to bang the whole club.

      • Francis
        August 21, 06:12 Reply

        Another major thing be say, none of these drugs are foolproof as there will be those that take it religiously and still come down with HIV

  2. #Chestnut
    August 21, 06:35 Reply

    Hmmm…so because he said ppl shouldn’t use PrEP as an excuse to throw caution to the wind, the ppl that want to…er…”throw caution to the wind” attacked him? Hmm…O ga o!

    • MacArdry
      August 21, 07:09 Reply

      I wondered at that.
      There’s nothing wrong in slut-shaming,IMO.
      All sense of decency and morality shouldn’t be thrown out the window cos we want to be PC.Doing it too brown tho I also have issue with.
      Hey Chestnut

      • Francis
        August 21, 07:10 Reply

        I’m guessing you are pro fat-shaming too abi?

        • MacArdry
          August 21, 07:21 Reply

          What gives you such idea I might be?.
          I’m not.
          I’m a believer in doing things in moderation,everything.But also accept things as they come,so far as they can’t be changed for the better

          • Francis
            August 21, 07:24 Reply

            This >>>> There’s nothing wrong in slut-shaming, IMO

            • MacArdry
              August 21, 07:27 Reply

              And how did that translate to endorsing fat-shaming?.
              Conflating much,are you?

              • Francis
                August 21, 07:30 Reply

                Crucifying people cause you don’t agree with their lifestyle or choices is wrong. You never know what they are going through.

                • MacArdry
                  August 21, 07:43 Reply

                  Whoa!
                  Back off a bit…crucifying?.That’s such a strong word to use.Trying to make someone better,get a grip and turn a particular aspect of one’s life around is no crucifixion.Doing it for any other reason/motive other than that,I have issue with.You did read the part about doing it too brown,didn’t you?.
                  By the way,certain life choices are a no-no that shouldn’t be endorsed by anyone in the name of being pc.
                  An armed robber has his own story to tell too,but in no way would that excuse his giving others grief and causing harm.

                  • Francis
                    August 21, 07:52 Reply

                    Ooops, my bad. I didn’t get that part (doing it too brown). I actually thought it was some weird autocorrect mischief. lol. E no dey my vocab before. No vex 😉

                    • MacArdry
                      August 21, 07:59

                      Hahahaha
                      I wasn’t “vexing”,been quite a stimulating conversation.
                      If you aren’t familiar with doing it too brown,what then will you say about hairshirt,for instance?

                    • Francis
                      August 21, 08:04

                      Lost as f**k. lol

                    • Pink Panther
                      August 21, 08:07

                      Wait, Mac, did u just, in the spirit of talking about how all things shouldn’t be endorsed, compare sleeping around to armed robbery? Be careful the examples u whip out to buttress your point. It’s exactly what those who compare homosexuality to bestiality do.

                    • MacArdry
                      August 21, 08:20

                      Nah,Pink.
                      Was talking about choices and the stories behind them.
                      Some stories not enough an excuse to endorse some choices.
                      By the way,I didn’t know homosexuality is now a choice one makes,as opposed to bestiality or paedophilia.Someone forgot to send me the memo.

                    • MacArdry
                      August 21, 08:24

                      Sleeping around is a conscious choice,you know.Same as engaging in robbery.
                      No need trying to sugarcoat anything about those two,they are bad choices that shouldn’t be encouraged

                    • Pink Panther
                      August 21, 08:28

                      ‘they are bad choices that shouldn’t be encouraged’
                      Well, at this point, I don’t see any further need to engage. Absolutes such as these exasperate me.

                    • Pink Panther
                      August 21, 08:25

                      I didn’t say homosexuality is a choice. But that’s exactly what I’m saying, the misrepresentation of two ‘ills’ in accompanying examples. Homophobes do that with sexuality. You just did that with sex and robbery. Mentioning the two in the same breath says a lot about how you think about those who sleep around.

                    • MacArdry
                      August 21, 08:33

                      I think less about sleeping around,not those who do it.I listen to their stories and try to proffer better ways of living with the cards life has dealt them.
                      You know me,I don’t believe in absolutes but I do have principles I draw on.

          • Khaleesi
            August 21, 12:34 Reply

            @McArdry, kindly define moderation, and while you’re at it, kindly educate us as to who sets the parameters as to what is coonsidered as moderation and what are their benchmarks for arriving at their standards of moderation …

            • MacArdry
              August 21, 15:52 Reply

              Let me turn that around on you,Khaleesi.Will you,for the love of meat,eat a deer stricken with hernia?

      • #Chestnut
        August 21, 09:25 Reply

        Hey MacArdry! Yay; dis moniker is what I’m used to (“Sian” sounded so…not you)

        • MacArdry
          August 21, 09:34 Reply

          Hehehehe
          Sian actually is me,in another language.
          How are you,Chestie?.I read you’ve been stirring a lot of pots of late.Careful o,ere they come to a boil

  3. Ace
    August 21, 08:08 Reply

    I know a guy that has thrown out his pack of condoms because of PrEP. In fact now, the thought of condoms nauseates him. He keeps claiming that it condom takes the fun out and PrEP is 97% safe. I believe it is such people Zach is talking about. Truvada is not a license to fuck about! It is just one more safety measure to be added to the list of others: one partner (if you can), condoms, status check e.t.c

    I only enjoy watching bareback sex, I really hate the reality.

  4. keredim
    August 21, 09:43 Reply

    I agree with Francis’ comments and I blogged about this issue last month.

    It is worth noting also, that PrEP doesn’t prevent against other STD infections.

    Mr Quinto was not slut shaming. He was just stating that people would take less precaution while having sex, whether they have casual sex twice a day with strangers or twice a month or a year, because of Truvada..

    And the term “Slut”/ “Hoe” is relative. For example (and this is purely for illustration and not to malign anyone’s character), PP might consider me a slut because I jump from country to country having sex; while he stays in one place and has the same amount of sex.

    Or someone in a relationship has ONE indiscretion and the injured partner accuses him of being a slut. Its all very subjective.

    What I am trying to say is ‘Sluttiness/hoeness’ is in the eye of the beholder. Its is relative to the amount of sex the person pointing the finger is having.

    • MacArdry
      August 21, 10:15 Reply

      Ah,that “relative” argument again

    • Brian Collins
      August 21, 11:09 Reply

      Hehehehehehe, i af die.
      PP come o, it seems to me that Keredim knows something the rest of KD doesn’t. Do you really have the same amount of sex Keredim has internationally?
      *runs off to FUTO library*

    • Max
      August 21, 16:37 Reply

      Hoes always have a way of defending themselves, don’t they?

      • MacArdry
        August 21, 17:26 Reply

        Can be tiring,that “relative” theory.Means nothing is real anymore,it’s all relative to how we choose to see them.
        In that wise,homophobia is relative.What some may see as homophobia may just turn out to be the gospel truth to others,it’s all relative to the perspective they see it from.

        • keredim
          August 21, 20:24 Reply

          Wow, two pointless analogies in one day Mac, you must be on a roll…
          Try this one: (again its illustrative….)

          I don’t drink, you drink. We go out and you have some units of whatever you drink and i stick to non-alcoholic drinks. Even though you drink within your limits and you don’t get drunk, is it fair for me to taint you a drunk/alcoholic simply because I don’t drink at all?

    • MacArdry
      August 21, 17:32 Reply

      Slutiness has nothing to do with the amount of sex a body is having,but with who,how n when.
      I,for one,can have as much sex as is humanly possible in a 24hr day,but I only do it or wanna do it with just one particular person.Does that make me a hoe?

        • MacArdry
          August 21, 20:05 Reply

          Or just someone with a healthy,sexual appetite.

          • Francis
            August 21, 20:09 Reply

            Na wa oh. Some pipu ynash nerve endings don ya mutu

            • MacArdry
              August 21, 20:19 Reply

              Should that be meant for me @Francis,I’ve never been at the receiving end

      • keredim
        August 21, 20:27 Reply

        oh dear….a third one MacAr-DRY,

        the clue is “casual sex with DIFFERENT partners”

  5. sinnex
    August 21, 10:08 Reply

    Oga sir, abeg ‘slut-shame’ away.

  6. Max
    August 21, 16:37 Reply

    Applause to Mr Quinto

  7. Diablo
    August 21, 16:58 Reply

    I tried PrEP once, lets just say it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The nausea and vomiting was terrible, and the diarrhoea was epic. Although it gradually got better with time, but i wasn’t myself till the dosage was over. Its mind boggling that people would take it so casually, maybe cause of my own experience. But i don’t think this is prevalent over here in Nigeria though, most gays here don’t even know that it exists or what it is

        • Francis
          August 21, 18:29 Reply

          Wait what am I talking sef. Gosh.

        • keredim
          August 21, 20:09 Reply

          Exactly Francis. I think Diablo described PEP – Post Exposure Prophylaxis, which you take AFTER exposure to the Virus

          • Diablo
            August 21, 22:17 Reply

            Oh wait, so the article is on abt Pre – Exposure drugs? Do those really exist? I thought it was PEP and i just figured PrEP was another name for it. It makes alot of sense now. I’m surprised that there’s something like PrEP though cause I’ve never heard of it before. I should google

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