Wentworth Miller has autism. The 49-year-old actor, known for his role on Prison Break, took to Instagram this week to reveal that he was diagnosed with the disorder last year. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actor explained that, like many people, “Life in quarantine took things from me.”
However, he noted that during the quiet and isolation, “I found unexpected gifts.”
“This fall marks 1 year since I received my informal autism diagnosis. Preceded by a self-diagnosis. Followed by a formal diagnosis,” he shared. “It was a long, flawed process in need of updating. IMO. I’m a middle-aged man. Not a 5-year-old. And (it’s a ‘both/and’) I recognize access to a diagnosis is a privilege many do not enjoy.”
Miller admitted that his diagnosis “was a shock,” but not a surprise. He explained that there is a cultural narrative about how public figures usually share something publicly and they then dedicate their platforms to their cause.
“That’s not necessarily what’s going to happen here. I don’t know enough about autism. (There’s a lot to know.) Right now my work looks like evolving my understanding,” he confessed. “Re-examining 5 decades of lived experience thru a new lens. That will take time.”
Miller wrote that he doesn’t want to “run the risk of suddenly being a loud, ill-informed voice in the room. The #autistic community (this I do know) has historically been talked over. Spoken for. I don’t wish to do additional harm. Only to raise my hand, say, ‘I am here. Have been (w/o realizing it).'”
The actor also noted that there are individuals on social media who “speak to the relevant issues more knowledgeably/fluently than I can. (They’ve been schooling me as well.)”
He also offered a thank you to the “many (many) people who consciously or unconsciously gave me that extra bit of grace + space over the years, allowed me to move thru the world in a way that made sense to me whether or not it made sense to them… thank you. And to those who made a different choice… well. People will reveal themselves. Another gift.”
A post shared by Wentworth Miller (@wentworthmiller)
Miller received a slew of supportive and uplifting comments on his post from fans, followers and friends.
Earlier this year, ET spoke with Miller about his return to SVU and playing authentic characters, after announcing in November that he was done playing straight characters.
“I just don’t want to play straight characters. Their stories have been told (and told),” Miller — who is openly gay — wrote on Instagram at the time.
When asked if there are any specific stories he’s interested in telling or playing, Miller responded, “I’d like to tell — to watch — more stories where gay characters are informed by their struggles, but not defined.”
“Not getting sacrificed so straight characters can enjoy some kind of epiphany. I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” he expressed. “It’s so important queer audiences — queer kids — see stories that don’t center suffering. See us empowered, in positions of authority. Moving through the world with purpose. Confidence. Dignity. It makes it easier to imagine those things are available to us in real life too.”
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