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Saturday 26 July 2014

Patrick Stewart mistakenly outed as gay for congratulating Ellen Page

Actor was incorrectly identified as a 'gay actor' in online publication after publicly expressing support for actress

Jenn Selby

Published 19/02/2014|10:35

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The 26-year-old Juno actress told a packed Las Vegas conference for LGBT teens last Friday that she was “tired of hiding” and “lying by omission” by not disclosing her true sexuality.

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Praise for the Oscar-nominated star wasn’t just confined to Twitter. Headlines heralding her decision popped up all over the place, including one very positive column in The Guardian by Jane Czyzselska.

It also mistakenly cited Sir Patrick Stewart as an example of a gay actor who cheered her on for her public disclosure.

"Some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page’s coming out speech is newsworthy because a high-profile and surprisingly politically aware young actress has decided not to play by the rules that so many closeted Hollywood actors are advised to follow if they are to enjoy mainstream success," Czyzselska wrote.

As happens to us journalists from time-to-time, Czyzselska accidentally missed one crucial point: Stewart is not gay and recently married jazz singer Sunny Ozell in September 2013.

But we’re sort of glad that she did miss it, because Stewart’s reaction to the report was priceless – and even encouraged another Star Trek legend to get involved.

Patrick-Stewart-Twitter.JPG 

“This article was amended on 17 February 2014,” editors wrote, by way of a correction. “The third paragraph originally said ‘Some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page’s coming out speech is newsworthy’. This should have read ‘Some people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page’s coming out speech is newsworthy’.”

However, Stewart has long shown his support for the LGBT community. He’s also best friends with openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen, and was awarded the Straight Ally Of The Year award from PFLAG last year for his promotion of marriage equality.

“From my earliest years as an actor I have always been proud of the support the creative community gives to all forms of human and civil rights,” Stewart said.

See the Twitter exchanges below.

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