I've held off commenting on the unfortunate death of actor Cory Monteith of "Glee" until the cause was known. Sadly, like other talented LGBT allies, Monteith died far too early from an accidental drug/alcohol overdose. Despite my trials and tribulations while in the closet and then during my coming out journey I never resorted to illegal drugs like heroin, but I did use my share of anti-depressants and Xanax. In fact, one of my failed suicide attempt involved taking a whole bottle of Xanax, so I cannot stand in judgment of anyone. My thoughts and prayers are with Monteith's family and girl friend Lea Michele. Queerty looks at Monteith's transition to outspoken LGBT ally. Here are highlights:
With the news of Cory Monteith’s cause of death, we have another reason to be sad for the young actor’s too brief life and career. We’ve also lost an ally for gay civil rights.
Before joining the cast of Glee in 2009, the Calgary native knew nothing in particular about gay folks, or musical theater. But he would learn to sing and dance, and go on to become a vocal proponent for gay rights and marriage equality, appearing at the GLAAD Awards, the HRC National Dinner with girlfriend and castmates Lea Michelle, Chris Colfer and Amber Riley, and adding his voice to the Straight But Not Narrow campaign in 2011, an effort to encourage young straight guys to show support for young gay guys.
He spoke eloquently in 2012 about his own gay rights education: “Being aligned with Glee has absolutely made me more aware of it. It’s one of the defining challenges at this point in our human evolution. This is the equivalent human rights struggle for our generation. We’re going to look back 50 years from now and be shocked that this is what we’re having to deal with.”
The article also looks at the untimely deaths of other LGBT allies: Amber Riley, Amy Winehouse, Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, John Ritter, Judy Garland, Kurt Cobain, Natasha Richardson, River Phoenix, and Whitney Houston.