Just a week after revealing that they had saved a Brisbane man from a suicide attempt, Hugh Sheridan made another revelation on The Good Chat podcast. Sheridan said they also had “a near death experience for the same reason” during the Hedwig  controversy.

Warning: This story discusses suicide attempts and might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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Talking with host Anita Anabel, Sheridan said they had a difficult time understanding what was going on after they were dropped from the cast of Hedwig And The Angry Inch in which they were  to play the role of gender queer character Hedwig.

‘Denied Self-Expression’

Hedwig was definitely a role I resonated with. I don’t  think anyone should be denied their self-expression. I was denied that self-expression.  That’s what I felt. As in I wasn’t even allowed to explore that because other people said, ‘well, you’re not trans  and you’re not that and I am and therefore I have more say over you.’  

Despite the creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell himself saying the role of Hedwig was written to be played by anyone, members of the LGBTQI arts and broader communities in an open letter had addressed their concerns about the former Packed to the Rafters actor playing the role.

In the letter the board members said it was “offensive” to let a cisgendered actor like Sheridan play the role of Hedwig and his casting causes “distress and frustration amongst trans and gender non-conforming performers all across Australia”. 

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“My thing was, I don’t know if I am and no-one asked me. I’m not saying I am or I’m not,” Sheridan said. “This is where I was  feeling, this is really unfair. Because also, they didn’t know that I am not Ben Rafter. I am Hugh.” 

Hospitalised After Being Dropped From The Cast

The backlash over Sheridan being originally casted as Hedwig saw the Australian actor to be hospitalised for mental health issues.

The DailyMail did capture images of Sheridan leaving the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs with a bandage around their hand and a patient wristband.

““You can’t support cancel culture and support mental health at the same time,” Sheridan said. “Cancel  culture is becoming another form of trolling that is OK’d. It was so misplaced in that time. So many of my  friends who are trans came out sticking up for me and then were getting attacked. You don’t know him on a  personal level at all because I guarantee you wouldn’t be saying these things.”

Since the Hedwig controversy Sheridan has come out as non-binary and told Anabel that if they did not survive the aftermath of the Hedwig controversy then they may not have been able to save a man’s life. “If I had died, I wouldn’t have been able to save his life,” they said.

Sheridan Was Told Not To Be Public About Being Attracted To Guys

In the interview, Sheridan also revealed they had dinner with John Cameron Mitchell who is  developing a Tiger King series that Hugh was going to be cast as one of Joe Exotic’s husband’s but could not play the role due to scheduling issues. 

Sheridan also had further revelations about their coming out and how they were never “personally attracted to guys until I was older. There was a part of me that wished I was, because I was always teased at school.”

Sheridan said that when they went to NIDA and fell for a man, their teacher told them not tell people because “they wouldn’t be employed”.

“I was so angry with them because I was out and louder and prouder than anyone… That person broke my heart and then I decided I didn’t like guys at all and went back to girls. So, I was very confused and I didn’t know what to say and then Rafters happened and the publicist said, ‘do you want to talk about it?’ And I said, ‘do you know what? I don’t”. Mainly because I don’t know who I am yet anyway and if I make the choice it will just stick with me.” “I was feeling really trapped.”

Catch Hugh Sheridan in the return/reboot of ‘Packed to the Rafters’, titled ‘Back to the Rafters’  on Amazon Prime.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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