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Zachary Quinto on Coming Out: 'I Did It on My Own Terms, in My Own Time'

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"Star Trek" and "Heroes" star Zachary Quinto dropped a bomb on entertainment news this weekend -- not with a bang, but a whimper.  While doing press for his upcoming Wall Street thriller "Margin Call," Quinto addressed his recent stage role in "Angels in America," saying, "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."

The actor later made a statement on his own web site, explaining the sudden revelation: "I ... made an It Gets Better video last year in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  But in light of Jamey [Rodemeyer's] death, it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough."

We spoke to Quinto this afternoon and asked about his choice to announce his orientation quietly.

"I didn't tell anybody I was going to do it," Quinto told us exclusively. "I did it on my own terms, in my own time, in my own words, and that is absolutely the type of relationship I want to have to that information.  I did it because I recognized the way that it helped people, I did it because it was my time to do it, and yeah, it was definitely a deliberate choice to do it in that way."

He added, "It was all very thought-out, nothing was hasty."

Though Quinto's decision to come out was itself a reaction to homophobia, he has no concerns that his sexuality will negatively impact his career. "Absolutely not.  I feel like that whole issue needs to be looked at and addressed -- and the only way it's going to be looked at and addressed is if people are willing to stand up and defy expectation and that's certainly what I'm interested in doing, and willing to do and capable of doing.  So that's my intention."

"To be a part of making that declaration in this society is something that I think is really important and felt an undeniable call within myself to do it now."

Quinto says he had no idea what to expect in terms of the impact the revelation would have. "But I was simply overwhelmed, and remain overwhelmed by the worldwide and unanimous outpouring of support and gratitude and encouragement that I've received.  It's been incredibly humbling, but it also is incredibly empowering, and it shows me on a lot of levels that change is possible, and you know, within ourselves is where it has to start."

"That was a really encouraging part of the experience so far for me, as well."

Quinto appeared most recently in "What's Your Number?" with Anna Faris. "Margin Call" -- which he also produced -- opens Oct. 21. Stayed tuned for our full interview, where we tackle Occupy Wall street, "American Horror Story" and what's next for Spock.

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