Zachary Quinto and the Art of Subtlety

If you've forgotten what subtlety looks like (and a lot of us have!), read on to learn by example.

By , Columnist
The media’s all over this handsome Spock-nouveau’s recent un-closeting, but not because he, oh, I don’t know, announced it on an awards show red carpet. In a refreshing change of pace, Quinto nonchalantly dropped a few references to his sexuality in a recent interview about his upcoming movie Margin Call and his part in the acclaimed Angels in America.

Zachary-Quinto-as-Spock.jpgWhen asked about Angels in America, he said the role of self-absorbed Louis Ironson - who abandons his AIDS patient boyfriend - was “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding.” He continued, saying that “…at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done, and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”

A few moments later, when talking about marriage equality and homophobia in this country, “And again, as a gay man I look at that and say there’s a hopelessness that surrounds it, but as a human being I look at it and say ‘Why? Where’s this disparity coming from, and why can’t we as a culture and society dig deeper to examine that?’ We’re terrified of facing ourselves.”

And there it was.

The reception to his coming out has been a mostly-positive one, with Quinto thanking fans for their “outpouring” of support and acceptance. And who shouldn’t support someone owning who they are?

With that in mind, this clearly isn’t a critique of how anyone, including Zachary Quinto, does or does not come out of the closet - I feel like that’s an incredibly personal thing and should be done in a way that best suits the person involved.

sylar-zachary-quinto-heroes.jpgWhat this is a critique of is the fact that it seems like everything we do has to be way over-the-top and melodramatic. We’re fascinated with “real” housewives who flip tables, pull hair, and throw scathing insults like it’s no big deal. We watch messed up starlets ticked about being slandered Twitter-screams about it until their thumbs bleed and are glued to the tube when crazy celebutantes go bridezilla on their wedding day.

Everything’s either a party, a brawl, or the end of the world.

I think society used to fear that no one felt special, so we’ve encouraged personal sharing in an effort to bump up our egos and our super-shiny “special” factor. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten to the point where “special” isn’t special anymore - it’s just annoying. So you know what’s special and shiny now? Subtlety, understatement, and making the effort to come across with class and grace.

Zachary Quinto’s coming out was all of the above, and I applaud him for not only openly owning who he is, but for doing it in a way that was nothing less than classy. Gay or straight, we could all take a lesson from the sexy Mr. Spock.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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