As the new star of Justice League, Ezra Miller made history as the first out member of the LGBTQ community to portray a superhero on the big screen. The We Need To Talk About Kevin star publicly identifies as queer, and has since a 2012 interview with Out Magazine.
However, not everyone in the entertainment industry thought Miller's candidness was a good idea for his career. In fact, in an interview with ShortList, Miller, who portrays The Flash within the DC Universe, admitted he was warned that announcing his queer identity was a fast way not to be hired in Hollywood.
"I won’t specify [who told me not to come out.] Folks in the industry, folks outside the industry. People I’ve never spoken to. They said there’s a reason so many gay, queer, gender-fluid people in Hollywood conceal their sexual identity, or their gender identity in their public image. I was told I had done a 'silly' thing in…thwarting my own potential to be a leading man."
Miller, whose previous roles include openly gay teenager Patrick in Perks of Being a Wallflower, has had plenty of success since coming out. Last year, the actor had a major role in the Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Prior to that, he appeared in indie film The Stanford Prison Experiment, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck, and Madame Bovary.
Still, there is a bias against actors within the LGBTQ community, as revealed by a study conducted by SAG-AFTRA in 2013.
"Gay men were the most likely to report they have experienced some form of discrimination, with one in five reporting an experience," the union said in its report, per Variety. "Bisexual actors were about half as likely to report discrimination as gay or lesbian actors."
Miller's success, however, is encouraging — and capable of setting a precedent for, say, the next major queer movie star. While there's no shame in keeping your personal life private, here's hoping that Miller's candor helps the next person who doesn't want to stay in the closet live their own truth with fewer career consequences.