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Bridgerton star Golda Rosheuvel says when starting out in the industry she was told that revealing she was LGBTQ+ could “ruin your career as an actor”.
The actress, who plays Queen Charlotte in the hit Netflix series said the advice, given to her by a lesbian director, “blew my mind”.
Speaking to the Just For Variety podcast, she recalled the shocking discussion with the director.
“We were talking about being out and proud and representation and whether I should say I was gay in interviews,” she said.
“It was an absolute no: ‘You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It could or it would ruin your career as an actor.’”
She added: “I would rather lose a job than not be true to who I am. I’d rather not work in an industry that doesn’t accept me… It just wasn’t how I was raised.
“And then her being out as a female director, as a lesbian director, I was like, ‘I don’t understand this advice.’ It blew my mind.”
Watch now: Bridgerton's Golda Rosheuvel is 'proud' to be a black, gay actress
But despite the acting industry being known as one of the most gay-friendly professions, a survey from 2012 revealed that gay actors felt that coming out affected the roles they got to play.
Only 57% of gay actors who responded to the survey by Equity felt they could be open about their sexuality with their agents.
Comments on the survey suggested that lesbians felt they were less supported than gay men by the industry. One woman said she had "twice been made to feel very uncomfortable, always from ignorance not malice and always from straight male directors."
Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood came out publicly as bisexual in 2011, but says she was given similar advice to Rosheuvel claiming: “A lot of people advise you not to do it. They tell you flat out — ‘Don’t do it.’ They don’t want you to be less desirable to men. Because that sells tickets and that helps your career.”
But 10 years on, very little seems to have changed as Titanic star Kate Winslet told The Sunday Times last year that she knew of at least four actors who were hiding their sexuality.
“I cannot tell you the number of young actors I know – some well known, some starting out – who are terrified their sexuality will be revealed and that it will stand in the way of their being cast in straight roles,” Winslet revealed.
And while The Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen is openly gay and one of Britain's most celebrated actors, he only came out in 1988 in an interview on BBC radio.
I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) January 27, 2018
Later in 2018, the actor took to social media to celebrate the 30th anniversary of him coming out writing: "I've never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself.
"Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest, Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publicly said I was gay. So I'm celebrating!"
Let's hope more LGBTQ+ stars feel they can follow McKellen's and Rosheuvel's lead