The grandson of cinema icon Omar Sharif has used an open letter to US gay mag The Advocate to reveal he’s gay.

Omar Sharif Jr (pictured) spoke of his fears returning to his native Egypt given he’s both gay and half Jewish.

“I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself. My parents will be shocked to read it, surely preferring I stay in the shadows and keep silent, at least for the time being,” he wrote.

“That my mother is Jewish is no small disclosure when you are from Egypt, no matter the year. And being openly gay has always meant asking for trouble, but perhaps especially during this time of political and social upheaval,” he said.

“Will being Egyptian, half Jewish, and gay forever remain mutually exclusive identities? Are they identities to be hidden?”

Sharif is an actor like his grandfather, and took part in last year’s Academy Awards ceremony. He left Egypt in January 2011, just before the revolution, and now lives in the US.

Read his full column here.

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