Omar Sharif Jr. is Gay and Half Jewish

H. Scott English

Omar Sharif Jr. fears ever returning to Egypt after he came out to The Advocate, a gay publication, today. He also revealed that he is Jewish. The grandson of two-time Golden Globe-winning actor Omar Sharif says he "hesitantly confessed" to his background and sexual orientation.

Sharif wrote a letter which he says should serve as a wake up call for all Egyptians.

He wrote,

"Show us that your true intent is not to gradually eradicate the few civil liberties and safeguards that we currently have protected by convention, if not constitution. 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. But I can't."

Sharif calls his article a "litmus test" for the new Egypt. He claims it challenges Egypt's government to hold by the promise made to govern in a progressive way demonstrating "so that an admission like mine is not a sentence to prison, physical harm, or worse."

Sharif is an actor just like his grandfather. In his letter he claims to be half Jewish but in reality since his mother is Jewish he is recognized as Jewish.

Do you think it took real courage for Omar Sharif Jr. to come out of the closet about his sexual orientation and religious background?