Michael Urie Plays Early Gay Activist, Won’t Discuss His Own Sexuality


Ugly Betty actor Michael Urie, who is starring in a play right now called The Temperamentals, about the formation of the nation's first pre-Stonewall gay rights organization, The Mattachine Society, refuses to discuss his own sexuality with New York magazine:

In the context of this play, it's almost impossible not to ask
you about your own sexuality. You've never really publicly declared it, but on your own website, you identify yourself as "a member of the LGBT community" and say that organizations that help people with HIV/AIDS or people who are LGBT are "A-Number 1 in my book!" So what's the deal?

Well, that's my M.O. I'm interested in keeping — you know, actors have to be able to do lots of different things, and while I'd say there's an ongoing theme [to the parts I play], I'm also not interested in having any real publicity about who I am and what my private life is and things like that. I'm an actor and I don't want to be a [fill-in-the-] blank actor.

Do you really think that saying "I'm gay" would stop you from getting an array of roles?

That's not really the point. By using publicity to say something like that, it could become a person's M.O, and I'm not interested in that. I really think this article should be about The Temperamentals. I understand where you're coming from and why you think this is important and that this is a play about being true to yourself. But artists and activists are not quite the same thing, and I feel like support can come from lots of different ways.

Do you get sick of reporters asking you about this?

They don't ask about it as much as you might think. Actually, it's been a long time since anyone asked it. I don't think it's really newsworthy if the gay guy from Ugly Betty is gay or not.

Except, of course, if he's playing a character "who left before he could be outed to become a fashion designer so influential he made the cover of Time in 1967" in a play about gays who stood up for themselves by coming out.