Legions of older women and gay men up and down the nation undoubtedly swooned at the silver screen performances of cinematic legend and stalwart, Omar Sharif. The Egyptian actor is a famous face from the golden age of Hollywood, appearing in a plethora of blockbuster films - perhaps most notably, "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago" and "Funny Girl." And yet, the grandson that carries his name, Omar Sharif Jr., has found a rather different calling - LGBTQ political activism.
Although a successful actor and model in his own right, Sharif Jr. is perhaps better known for his outspoken activism, both here in the United States and abroad. Indeed, by his own admission, he considers himself as something of an ’actor-vist,’ Sharif Jr. was thrown into the public eye last spring, and caused quite a stir, after ’coming out’ as both gay and half-Jewish in a passionate letter to The Advocate.
Furthermore, the articulate Egyptian-Canadian activist recently secured a position as national spokesperson for GLAAD, one of the nation’s leading LGBTQ advocacy groups. EDGE caught up with Sharif Jr. ahead of his appearance in Provincetown, Mass, this Saturday (July 20th), where he will be hosting a fundraising soirée for the HIV/AIDS research and activism group, the CRI. After some mutual grumblings about the stifling heat wave that is brutalizing the East Coast, we jumped into a discussion.