On his birthday Alan Cumming shared that he returned his OBE

Alan Cumming celebrated his 58th birthday yesterday and marked the occasion by sharing he recently returned his OBE.

The actor, entertainer and writer visited Perth just a few weeks ago presenting his long-delayed tour. While he was here, he also hosted a gala fundraiser for local arts group Artrage.

“Today is my 58th birthday and I want to tell you about something I recently did for myself.” Cumming shared on Instagram.

“I returned my OBE. Fourteen years ago, I was incredibly grateful to receive it in the 2009 Queen’s birthday honours list, for it was awarded not just for my job as an actor but ‘for activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community.” Cumming said.

Cumming said when he received the award it gave him great encouragement as a rights activist to keep on campaigning for legal changes in the USA, highlighting that LGBTIQA+ people in the United Kingdom faced less legal discrimination than in his adopted home of the USA.

He then went on to explain that he no longer wanted to be associated with the “toxicity” of the British empire.

“The Queen’s death and the ensuing conversations about the role of monarchy and especially the way the British Empire profited at the expense (and death) of indigenous peoples across the world really opened my eyes.

“Also, thankfully, times and laws in the US have changed, and the great good the award brought to the LGBTQ+ cause back in 2009 is now less potent than the misgivings I have being associated with the toxicity of empire (OBE stands for Officer of the British Empire).

“So I returned my award, explained my reasons and reiterated my great gratitude for being given it in the first place. I’m now back to being plain old Alan Cumming again.”

Cumming was born in Scotland but became a dual citizen when he became a US citizen in 2008.

OIP Staff


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