updated 10/17/2011 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/17/2011 AT 9:40 AM ET
In the wake of gay New York teenager Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide last month, Zachary Quinto had a crisis of conscience. He realized that hiding his own sexuality was doing nothing for the greater cause of hope and acceptance.
“In light of jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality,” Quinto writes.
He adds: “I believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action. jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.”
Rodemeyer, 14, of the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, N.Y., killed himself on Sept. 18 after years of bullying by classmates.
Quinto says he felt “indescribable despair” when he learned that Rodemeyer had made a video just months earlier for the “It gets better” project – the nationwide initiative to give hope to gay youth.
“I am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me,” Quinto writes. “now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world. that – i believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.”