Lee Pace Came Out Seven Times a Week. Then He Came Out for Real.

Lee Pace Came Out Seven Times a Week. Then He Came Out for Real.

“The truth is,” he said at his apartment, “when you grow up queer, you get tough. And perceptive. And you learn how to field it. When someone comes at you that you don’t know, interested in that area of your life, it’s not always a good thing. I certainly knew that when I was a kid.”

Mr. Pace was born in Chickasha, Okla., and grew up in suburban Texas. He came out to his younger sister, Sally, while still in high school. “She cried,” he said. “She said, ‘I don’t know what that means.’” But she was supportive. So were his parents. Mr. Pace headed to drama school.

Unlike Broadway, Hollywood can be less accepting. There are still relatively few out gay actors, along with leading-man parts for them, at least in major studio fare. As his career began to take off, was Mr. Pace encouraged not to be too open?

He paused for a while. “No,” he said, then reconsidered. “Look — yeah. I remember when I signed with a new agent, we worked together for a year. He took me to some coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon and I knew he wanted to talk about something. He said, ‘I heard you’re gay, is that true?’ I said, ‘Is that a problem?’ And of course he said, ‘No, fine, just felt like I needed to know.’ But within about a year, he was no longer working with me.”

Mr. Pace has the full support of his current team, he added, with whom he has been working happily for years.

Credit: Lee Pace Came Out Seven Times a Week. Then He Came Out for Real.