Actor Lee Pace is opening up about the awkward way he came out publicly earlier this year.
The Angels in America star made headlines in March when an interviewer with W magazine kinda sorta nudged him out of the closet by asking him about his sexuality.
“I’ve dated men [and] I’ve dated women. I don’t know why anyone would care,” Pace replied, defensively. “I’m an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don’t know what to say—I find your question intrusive.”
Related: A famous actor comes out, begrudgingly
After the interview, Pace said the question caught him off guard then took to Twitter to better explain himself:
In a recent phone interview, I was asked questions that I wasn’t expecting and found myself momentarily at a loss for the right words. My privacy is important to me, so I protect it. When interviewed by the media, I keep the focus on my work.
— Lee Pace (@leepace) March 5, 2018
As a member of the queer community, I understand the importance of living openly, being counted, and happily owning who I am. That’s how I’ve always lived my life…
— Lee Pace (@leepace) March 5, 2018
…just as it's been important to me to portray queer characters with dignity for my entire career: A Soldier's Girl (Showtime. 2003). The Normal Heart (Broadway. 2011). Halt and Catch Fire (AMC. 2014-2017). Angels in America. (Broadway. NOW.)
Onward, with Pride.
— Lee Pace (@leepace) March 5, 2018
Now, in a new interview with The New York Times, 39-year-old Pace explains how the question took him back to his youth, growing up in suburban Texas.
“The truth is,” he says, “when you grow up queer, you get tough. And perceptive. And you learn how to field it. When someone comes at you that you don’t know, interested in that area of your life, it’s not always a good thing. I certainly knew that when I was a kid.”
Related: Everyone has an opinion about Lee Pace coming out
Even after he left Texas moved to New York, Pace says he’s dealt with people interrogating him about his sexuality.
I remember when I signed with a new agent, we worked together for a year. He took me to some coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon and I knew he wanted to talk about something. He said, ‘I heard you’re gay, is that true?’ I said, ‘Is that a problem?’ And of course he said, ‘No, fine, just felt like I needed to know.’ But within about a year, he was no longer working with me.
Looking back on the whole thing, Pace says the W article fiasco ended up being a blessing in disguise as it ended up offering an “opportunity to participate” in the LGBTQ community in a way he hadn’t before.
“Once you say those words and the sky doesn’t fall down, or the earth doesn’t open up, a lightning bolt doesn’t zap you,” he says, “you really can be anything.”
“It feels nicer,” he adds, “than I ever thought it would be.”
Pace also mentioned that he’s dating someone, but, staying true to his claims that privacy is important to him, he would not divulge any information other than to say the person is “a fashion executive.”
Let the guessing games begin…
Related: Do-Over: Lee Pace comes out (again), says he “happily owns” his sexuality
I really don’t care who Pace or anyone else dates, has sex with or identifies as. It’s just, you can’t apparently have two long term, multiple-year relationships with dudes that you try to shield and generally be very mum about yourself then turn around and say that you’ve always been a “proud queer” after taking offense in an interview. It just comes off phony.
It would be nice to get to a place where people don’t feel the need to hide, manipulate, exude shame or be identity obsessed but also don’t feel the need to pimp out their identity, relationships or sexual behaviors. There’s still a lack a balance. But good for him in general.
Dude, do you care or not? If you do not care then why the need to comment? Coming out to a wider community is solely the discretion of the person it affects most. For a community that seeks a judgement free world, we sure do not practice what we preach. Sheesh. This isn’t for us to say.
I said what I said. I ultimately don’t care, but I also understand the difficulty of self-understanding, self-comfort and generally respect privacy. And I think he’s a solid actor and handsome dude. However, claiming that you’ve always been “proud” and it’s no big deal, but you’ve gone into your 40’s still in a glass closet, was apparently upset with Ian McKellen for “outing” you, had two very long term same-sex relationships that you kept on the low- it just doesn’t sound like someone who has always been “proud” and is generally nonchalant about these things. I didn’t buy it with Jodie Foster, and I didn’t buy it with him. At least here he somewhat acknowledges that that was BS. Do what you do. I just don’t care for cliched BS quotes and re-writing of history.
Also, I truly don’t care who someone has sex with or what identity they take on. The disappointment for me is strictly when people hide who they love and hide long-term relationships.
I also hate the idea of being gay or queer or whatever should equate to not having an opinion on anything and not having any sort of ethical point of view. People will judge you and you will judge them. That’s life. I believe you tried to push this same empty perspective when discussing guys in their 40’s dating teenagers.
There are many straight actors who strive to keep their personal lives personal. It’s not a gay or straight thing, it’s a celebrity thing.
Maybe his partner, who isn’t a celebrity, just doesn’t want the added attention to his or her life?
Once again, my whole thing is not about who you are dating or having sex with. It’s that you can’t have it both ways, claiming to have always been “proud” and nonchalant, but the ten year + evidence says otherwise. Also, a famous/semi-famous person is rarely going to try to keep two multi-year opposite gender relationships undercover. It happens, but it’s extremely rare. It’s more often a same-sex method.
If you wish to be a private person and you wish to not disclose your relationships or the aspects of your orientation then that’s what it is. But now he’s blaming agents, the general pressures of being queer and pretty much hinting that he’s had a level of discomfort in past. And it’s not much to do with privacy at all. If Hollywood really is still that homophobic and there’s so much pressure to conceal long-term same-sex relationships, especially for men (which people like Pace, Colton Haynes, Ezra Miller and others have alluded to) then why not focus on trying to change that and speak up against it instead of just vaguely complaining about it every once in blue moon?
The first interview then the Tweets and now his comments here don’t really add up to anything more than a bunch of contradictory cliches. I feel no type of way towards him, just pointing out the nature of his comments.
Of course, there still is a double standard between gay and straight people as to the way their private life is publicly received. However, it does not necessarily mean gay men are ashamed of themselves if they do not talk publicly about their sexual orientation (like Lee Pace or Jodie Foster). It may just mean they are not activists at all and they prefer to keep their sexual and romantic life for themselves knowing it will not always be well received. In that case, it is a calculated choice, not a shame -motivated choice.
Plus, particularly in the case of Jodie Foster, they might abhor being somehow controlled (and abused) by people wanting to know by all means what is happening in their life. She seems to be a very controlling person herself that made her position understandable, but I highly doubt she is a shameful person.
So, there is a false equivalence being made here: not talking about one’s sexual orientation = shame. It is just not true.
You still can be proud of yourself and out to your friends and family, while not wanting to be out to the whole planet and/or on your job place (if keeping it for you does not cause emotional issues). Actually, if you feel good about yourself and passed the stage when you need to talk about it with everybody, you do not feel the need to talk about it anymore. Then from that secure place come into account your best interests in the professional field that may influence what you talk about to people you know little. If you feel it is in your interest, you do it, if not you do not talk. You do not feel compelled to talk.
I agree it is much better for the cause (to make things move) that there are more LGBTQ people out and vocal in the world, even if they are not plain activists and it should be encouraged, but for some they do not see the situation in that way: they seek their best interests first or just do not want to submit to anybody’s inquisitiveness by principle (Jodie Foster for a long time, though she is still very discrete now). They are neither proud nor shameful of themselves; or they do not have self-esteem issues.
It’s not really about the cause. Coming out or disclosing anything about your personal life and the nature of yourself shouldn’t be about anyone else’s “cause” and should at your own discretion. And if you’re not comfortable being publicly out then it is what it is. I just don’t want to hear that you’ve always been proud and it’s no big deal if you’ve spent a decade + being super private and evasive, concealing all your long term same-sex relationships, supposedly getting upset at Ian McKellan for “outing” you and then offering up a series of contradictory, cliche and self-pitying quotes. It just doesn’t add up to being proud or feeling like it’s no big deal. Do you, just spare me the PR driven nonsense.
So, not being comfortable being publicly out = not being proud of oneself? That’s your assertion?
Apparently, “being proud” is to be widely public for you. Worrying about your professional agenda cannot be the underlying motivation? You cannot be out to friends, family and indirectly with the baker or the butcher where you go get your purchase with your boyfriend, but still not wanting to talk about it publicly for professional reasons? It is always suspect for you, right? And you never question your own speculations?
I do not say his position is right or wrong, though I’d rather like celebrities be more clearly out publicly, but I certainly do not find its explanations unconvincing. I’m just not blocked on a false equivalence.
Yeah, it is pretty hard to say you’ve always been “proud” when you’ve made sure to spend a decade + shielding a very specific but large part of yourself from the public and only somewhat “came out” because you were cornered in an interview. “Pride” just doesn’t work that way. He may have been cool with himself and been out to the people in his life and most of the industry, but I took offense to his stance of always having “pride”. He pretty much admitted here that he’s had some amount of discomfort with himself in the past as well as feeling industry pressure. But it seems more like he’s interested in trying to clean things up and come off as sympathetic as possible.
Once again, again, I don’t really care if someone is out or not, whether they’re manipulating their image or not, whether they want to be secretive about their romantic life and the aspects of their orientation. I don’t even care if you’re a self-hating faag. Just spare me the PR driven cliches. We keep hearing the same language and the same phrases. It stopped sounding authentic a long ago. It’s at a point where if you’re not gonna keep it real about who you are and your internal and external struggles I’d rather you just stay on hush mode. The tweets and this new interview don’t come off as anything more than image padding.
I feel no ill-will towards him, just saying what this looks and sounds like.
That’s what I wrote earlier, “pride” has to be a political term for you, otherwise, in the more usual meaning of the word, you make a false equivalence (to be proud (or even indifferent) of being queer=being comfortable labeling yourself and talking publicly about your sex/romantic life). In this last sense for the word “pride”, most people would agree you can still be proud of yourself (or neither proud nor ashamed) as a queer and not wanting to talk about your personal life on the workplace or in the media for all kind of reasons (some of them objective and not only subjective).
The same goes for this actor that stated in a previous interview he did not want his personal life interfere in the way as an actor he DISAPPEARS into his role (source: Lee Pace interview). This position can be challenged on a political level, but not that much on an artistic level; and who are we to state it stems from “shame” (or “not being proud”), rather than a fear for his career, the kind of roles he wants to play and be allowed to play, concern for the quality of his acting if someone just sees the queen in him, or another reason? Actually, that is what he suggests. Your counter speculations, the way you stick on them systematically is the real question here. You clearly read too much into things without actual proofs. It is just your opinion, so put it that way.
It is far from the first time I see you make such assumptions authoritatively as if you owned the “ultimate” (one of your favorite words) truth. Do not forget Lee Pace knows better than you…or me. You wrote you want queer celebrities show their “internal and external” struggles, but to what extent? Pace addressed this question a bit (regarding his childhood and his experience in the movie industry), but if he does it too much he would, like others before him, be qualified as a “whining queen”. So, he may please some people, while others will be pissed off. That is clearly not an easy position.
For the sake of better understanding what you mean, can you give me an example of a celebrity who exposes his internal and external struggles as much as you like?
What needs to happen is something similar to what happened with Harvey Weinstein except for bigotry or racism.
All of the celebrities who have had experiences with agents who have told them certain directors won’t hire lgbts or studios have threatened to fire them if they came out etc…. time to start naming names people.
He didn’t claim agents told him to stay closeted. He simply said he wasn’t working with the agent for much longer after, which honestly could mean anything with no given details. To be honest, I don’t quite buy into some of what he’s putting out there, and these new quotes seem very cliche, rudimentary, vague and shmaltzy. But no one owes anyone anything. And I’ve learned to not give a crap when it comes to these actors.
Oh sure, his responses seem very much that he sat down with a PR person to undo some damage. But I wasn’t necessarily talking about just him…..but everybody. Time to sweep the bigots out of the PR agencies and studios. Time to name names.
I like Pace. I’ve been a fan since Pushing Daisies, and I sincerely hope that the little teasers that Bryan Fuller has put on Twitter go somewhere. I want to finally see Ned’s story resolved for real on screen!
I’ve enjoyed Pace in other roles too. He was great as Thranduil in The Hobbit, and as the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy. He can really disappear a role, and his big bushy eyebrows are dead sexy.
Oh GOD yes! My partner and I are still angry about how “Pushing Daisies” was canceled before Ned and Chuck’s story was properly completed. The final episode was obviously a hack job and completely unsatisfactory. We need an ending! Leaves available! Anna is available! Swoosie, Chi, Ellen, and the indispensable Kristin—they’re all available!
Come on, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, someone! Give Brian Fuller a few dollars and let’s get this done . I’m not getting any younger and neither is the cast!
PD remains one of my favorite shows. But it’s one of those shows that’s just fine with its short life. I have a feeling it would run out of gas and become very exhausting had it went on for much longer. Its story was complete enough. Also, it’s a very expensive series to produce.
Lee Pace is a Hottie and I wish him luck and love in his life, no matter if it’s public or private; good for him!
He was fun, smart, sexy and intense in Halt and Catch Fire, my favorite TV show since The Wire. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
with you all the way – you talented hottie!
<3 <3 <3
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