You’ve seen the stories of Hollywood personas who took that bold step as fully-formed adults in a previous article we published. Here are the inspiring stories of several more stars who had a similar journey.
Known and loved by Trekkies as Sulu, helmsman of The Enterprise, George Takei lived life fairly openly during the filming of “Star Trek.” But his sexual orientation did not circulate publicly for the first time until 2005. He broke the news via phone call on “The Howard Stern Show,” Takei talked about being gay and how he is no different than anyone else.
The actor spoke up on Stern’s show in response to then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoing same-sex marriage legislation. Takei married his partner in 2008. They are still married today.
French European affairs minister Clément Beaune came out in the French gay lifestyle magazine “Têtu.” In the interview, he said he is gay and has no problem saying it. He discussed plans to visit an LGBT-free zone in Poland because, as a European affairs minister, he says he has the duty to fight for tolerance.
In other words, it is not a personal agenda. The government official, who was in his late 30s at the time, revealed to the magazine that his family background includes relatives who were deported from their homes during WWII for being "from the wrong faith".
Actress, television writer, and host of “MTV Decoded,” Franchesca Ramsey announced she is bisexual in 2020. She made her statement via Twitter in honor of #NationalComingOutDay. The activist celebrity said that even though she feels like her orientation is a personal affair, she wanted to talk about it to help others. “I know how important and affirming it is for people to see someone like themselves being themselves and being happy. So hi,” she wrote.
She also shared that despite being in a long-term relationship with a man, she is still bi and has always considered sexuality to be fluid.
Billie Joe Armstrong
In a 1995 interview with “The Advocate,” Billie Joe Armstrong discussed his feelings about bisexuality. Coming off the success of “Dookie,” the Green Day lead singer expressed his opinion that bisexuality is a “very beautiful thing” and that it was a normal human tendency. He shared the meaning of his song “Coming Clean,” saying he is singing about accepting his sexual orientation.
He also wanted to support gay culture and question the taboo nature of it all. Armstrong is married to a woman since 1994 and all his known previous relationships have also been with women.
Rapper Da Brat spilled the beans about being lesbian after girlfriend Jesseca Dupart gifted her a Bentley on her birthday. The generous gift was wrapped in an enormous red bow and parked in the garage. She was so overwhelmed by feelings of appreciation that she revealed her girlfriend, Dupart, CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair.
Da Brat sobbed in the video she posted, emotional about how happy in love she is. She also confirmed the relationship in the caption, saying she hadn’t until then because she has always been a private person.
Amybeth McNulty accidentally came out as bisexual. It was during Pride Month 2020 when she tweeted in a short statement that she was bi. The next day she informed her Twitter fans that she had accidentally come out, adding, “hahaha happy pride month lovelies” on June 18.
The Irish Canadian redhead known for her popular role in the Netflix series “Anne with an E” was showered with support by fans. Fans had long speculated that the character Anne Shirley played by McNulty was bisexual. So the accidental outing was a confirmation of sorts.
Tevin Campbell came out at age 45. The R&B singer-songwriter made the news known by tweeting a response to a fan who was looking for a confirmation that the famous-in-the-90s popstar is gay. The crooner’s response came in barely two words. He tweeted, “Tevin is,” followed by the rainbow flag and sunglasses emojis.
The tweet has since been deleted, presumably for privacy reasons. Another tweet regarding the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida was also removed by the “I’m Ready” singer.
Living open is a relatively new experience for Jessica Phillips. The Broadway actress went through a self-reflective time after theaters were shut down during the lockdown. She was 50 years old. As a double-whammy, she had also just ended her marriage to her husband.
What she learned is that she is attracted to her good friend and publicist Chelsea Nachman. In a 2022 interview with “People” magazine, Phillips talked about the divorce and the experience of realizing she identifies as queer.
Lil Nas X
Kicking off Pride Week in 2021, Lil Nas X penned a tweet that no one expected. He wrote it as a letter to himself as a 14-year-old using his given birth name, Montero Lamar Hill. The “Old Town Road” singer was the first LGBTQ+ person to win a Country Music Association award.
In the tweet, the Grammy-winner wrote about how his younger self promised never to come out, to never be “that” gay guy, and to die with his secret. But, as the rapper explained to his younger self, coming out helps many others to be free to simply exist.
Jacqueline Wilson was 74 years old when she came out publicly. At that time, the writer had been living with her partner, Trish for 18 years. She is a children’s author of the Tracy Beaker series and others. She had not been hiding her relationship at home.
In her daily life, she was not in the closet and all her neighbors and relatives knew she and her partner were together, but she finally publicized the information in April of 2020. Her story surfaced when she announced her new book, about a gay love story. She met Trish in her 50s after her straight marriage ended.
Ben Platt became famous for headlining Broadway musicals like “The Book of Mormon.” He is also a singer/songwriter and a Netflix star. Platt came out publicly in 2019 but this was not the first time. The first time was when he was 12 years old away at a Jewish camp. He was all the way in Israel when he called his parents to make the announcement.
His experience was a huge relief. He called it “nothing,” and he hopes others have the same luck. His mother informed him that nobody is surprised as he spent most of his childhood dressed like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Tatiana Ringsby is a model and social media influencer from Hawaii. The fresh-faced beauty was 20 when she came out. That may seem young, but in this day and age, she probably considered it coming out later in life.
Ringsby announced she is bisexual in a super clever way. The social media star decorated a cake with, “Surprise, I’m Bi” written on it and presented it to her parents. She posted a live TikTok video of the event. Her dad asked if she was sure, but her mom went over and gave her a big hug of acceptance.
This musician came out bisexual in 2018. Jason Mraz is married, but it is his wife, counterintuitively, who helped him process it while they were still dating. After telling her he had been with a man but did not feel gay, she responded that his situation is described in Native American culture. Calling it “two-spirited,” the “I’m Yours” singer embraced her explanation. TikTok embraced it even more.
A video sampling footage of Mraz being interviewed via podcast reverberated around the internet. The interviewer proclaimed Mraz a badass for being honest with his then-girlfriend. The singer’s response: “Secrets are toxic.”
YA author Becky Albertalli wrote a piece called, “I Know I’m Late” to clear the record. The “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” writer published it on “Medium.com” on August 31, 2020. It was not an empowering outing, she made clear, that the author felt coerced into saying something because of harsh speculation by literary critics.
She wrote that she is only coming out because she’s been “scrutinized, subtweeted, mocked, lectured, and invalidated just about every single day for years.” She concluded by stating she is bi. Hopefully, officially coming out has made things easier.
“Arrested Development” star Alia Shawkat spoke out during the political climate of 2017. It was the beginning of #MeToo and gay rights stood front and center. Shawkat, as an Arab-American, felt a responsibility to put her voice out there. The actress shared her story of living bisexual with the LGBTQ+ magazine “Out.”
In the interview, she recalled growing up as a tomboy and not knowing if she was attracted to boys or girls. It helped her acting skills. Growing up in L.A., she knew many gay artists. She said that balancing her male and female energies allowed her to grow as an actor.
Model Maria Thattil, who won Miss Universe, hails from Melbourne, Australia. The beauty queen is also a savvy influencer. She came out bisexual on the Aussie reality TV show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” But the way she was outed was a shock.
She shared the story on Instagram at the beginning of 2022. The social media content producer opened up about the way her sexual preference was exploited by someone who took a screenshot of her dating app profile, showing male and female preferences, and publicized it. Afterward, she gratefully came out as bisexual on the reality TV series.
Swedish pop star Darin Zanzar announced he is gay on Instagram. In Sweden, the Kurdish-Swedish singer born in Stockholm is known as the “king of pop.” He became a national sensation as a teenager. Finally, at the age of 33, Zanzar opened up to the world and announced that he is proud to be gay.
His Instagram note, attached to a scenic photo of himself front and center, said that everyone should be accepted for who they are. In return, he received a flood of positive responses and warmhearted support.
Singer Rebecca Black, who established herself as a singer via YouTube, came out as queer in 2020. She made the news known while chatting with the “Dating Straight” podcast. She talked about breaking up with a long-term, 8-year relationship with a woman because she needed to focus on introspection.
The “Friday” singer said she likes the word queer but sometimes feels a stronger gay tendency. She also talked about how she did not want to make coming out a big thing.
Sam Smith realized they are nonbinary by listening to conversations between nonbinary people. The recording artist, who had a complicated relationship with his female attributes, realized one day that it was not merely in his thoughts, he had not been confused. Smith discovered that his body gained weight in female areas, and this freed him into being able to understand that he is neither a woman nor a man.
In 2014, the Record of the Year Grammy-winning musician made the announcement that they identify as nonbinary. In 2019, the British pop star went to Instagram to share their new they/them pronouns.
Luke Strong is a five-time British trampoline champion gymnast who doesn’t care about the haters. He grew up dealing with those types of people as a gymnast and says that he feels sorry for people who are that closed-minded. Wearing a leotard and doing gymnastics, he became accustomed to being bullied and called a fairy.
The athlete from Liverpool told “BBC LGBT Sport Podcast” that he is bisexual in a 2020 interview. At the time he came out, he had not yet been in a bisexual relationship.
Working on a show as big as “The Big Bang Theory,” you do not want to be the actor whose personal life caused the show to be canceled. Such fears were exactly those that Jim Parsons felt. He came out in 2012, halfway through the 12-season run of the popular series.
It was an interview with “The New York Times” that broke the news, but it did not make a lasting impact. In the months after his outing, the 33-year-old actor felt relief that his gay identity was out in the open and that it had no impact on the show he was making a living from.
Hugh Sheridan was 18 when they felt attracted to men. The actor is decidedly not attracted to labels, however, they do embrace the term “human.” Sheridan is an Australian actor who won fame as Ben Rafter in the Aussie television series “Packed to the Rafters.” They did not come out until they were 35 years old.
They identify as bisexual and nonbinary, but they can’t seem to find one label that fits right. The actor was in a monogamous relationship with a man they describe as a soul mate. The two planned to marry after Sheridan proposed, but they broke up by the end of that year.
“The Bachelor” lead contestant came out gay on “Good Morning America.” He talked about how his religious background, as a Catholic, complicated things. He knew at an early age, as young as 6, that he was different and would later wake up some mornings and pray God would “take the gay away.”
As a former “Bachelor,” it was even more awkward. Then in 2020, after contemplating during the quiet times of the lockdown and assessing himself honestly, he decided to come out. Now, he can pray to God at church with both acceptance and a faithful heart.
Like many athletes, Hig Roberts felt the fear of living in the closet. As a two-time downhill ski champion, it was especially difficult because very few competitive skiers are LGBTQ+. But the anxiety of living in secret was wearing him down.
It was affecting his health, not just by depression, but he suffered insomnia and anxiety attacks, and he had to hide it all from his coach and team members, exasperating his anxiety. When he came out in 2020, he described how hiding being gay had hindered his performance as an athlete.
Devin Ibanez came out of the closet after a life-threatening rugby injury put him on the bench. Playing with Scarborough RUFC, he suffered a serious neck injury. For years, he was afraid to come out. He was afraid to have a boyfriend openly. Living in a small town, people noticed the rugby player was with a man, so Ibanez chose to break up with his boyfriend rather than come out.
As time wore on, he felt the need to be open. In the end, he proudly chose the Instagram name @thatgayrugger, fully embracing his identity as a tough rugby player and a gay man.
Actor Justice Smith came out as queer in solidarity with BLM. The “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” actor made a public appearance at the BLM protest in New Orleans. He said he chanted, “Black Queer Lives Matter” and “Black Trans Lives Matter.”
He insisted that any revolution should include trans and queer voices, noticing that some demonstrators became silent with those chants. Finally, Smith posted a coming-out photo of himself with Nicholas Ashe, his partner who is also an actor.
Liturgy lead singer Hunter Hunt-Hendrix “surrendered” into accepting herself as transgender with a statement on Instagram. After years of living in fear of rejection for being open about who she is, the musician from NYC put it all out on the table.
She said she did not want to continue writing from an inauthentic “effeminate male” mask. In 2020, the experimental rock musician announced that she is not, in fact, male. Coming out transgender, she says she has always identified as female but was afraid to express it openly.
Professional basketball player Daniel Arcos posted an emotional coming-out letter on Instagram. He shared private feelings about being ashamed of the rainbow flag and feeling guilty for being with a man. He said he could not endure living a life in fear any longer.
He started by revealing his truth by opening up with his friends and family members. When he came out as gay publicly, he said he was empowered by having his friends and family on his team. He said he waited a very long time to be able to live openly. Thankfully, he's made that brave move.
The “X Factor” winner came out at a fragile time in his life. Feeling down, Dalton Harris instead embraced his pansexual orientation, announcing it to the world on Instagram. Harris talked about how being out in the UK is much more accepted than it is in his home in Jamaica. At the time, he was 26 years old.
A year later he talked about how the experience was empowering and exhilarating. But the entertainer also says he is receiving more death threats than ever.
Former Republican congressman Aaron Schock came out as gay in 2015. It happened during a grand jury investigation into corruption charges against the congressman from Illinois. Responding to prosecutors’ biting allegations about his lifestyle, he posted a coming-out letter on his website. Schock resigned from his office on Capitol Hill in 2019. Eventually, the charges were dropped.
When coming out, Schock said he needed to validate who he is as a person, but once he did, criticism of his voting record surfaced. He voted against legalizing same-sex marriage and against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” making the former congressman’s LGBTQ+ voting record rather abysmal.
Politician Andrew Gillum served as mayor of Tallahassee for two years. Midway into his run for governor of Florida, the Democratic nominee opened up about his sexual orientation. He kind of had to since he was caught in a Miami hotel room with another male and a lot of illegal substances.
At that point, he said that he does not identify as gay, but as bisexual. He was 41 at the time. He explained his views about sexuality existing on a spectrum and hoped he would still be elected. He missed the vote by half a percentage point.
“The Young and the Restless” actress Camryn Grimes unexpectedly came out on Twitter. After posting a tweet indicating she really wants to land Batwoman on CW, a fan expressed the opinion that an LGBT actress should get the role.
Grimes responded to the fan by saying she is part of the LGBT+ community, and, for the first time, the actress publically identified as bisexual. Voila, she is out. These events transpired in 2020 when Grimes was 30.
Peach PRC decided to go ahead and tell everyone she is a lesbian since her song “God Is a Freak” was creating some heat. The song about religious trauma went viral on TikTok in 2022. With the attention of her 1.8 million TikTok followers in her hands, she dished the news to them first.
The musical artist told them straight out that she is a lesbian by posting a picture of herself with the three-word caption above her head.
The Subway singer Billy Lunn says being open about his sexuality has brought him more creativity musically. Previously, suppression kept him down. He was unable to come to terms with it because of self-denial, which was a reaction to outside forces of anti-gay sentiment.
Feeling free to come out and say he is bisexual, he clarified, is not about being in a bisexual relationship. His understanding of who he was came at a time when he was married so he said that he just needs some patience and understanding.
Australian reality TV star Angie Kent broke up with her boyfriend Carlin Sterritt and opened up about her sexual preference. In an interview with the Australian radio talk show “Kyle & Jackie O,” Kent said that she identifies as pansexual. Elaborating, she talked about how, even as a younger person, she falls in love with a person’s soul instead of a specific gender.
The former “Bachelorette” shared her news when she was 30. In the interview, she was asked if she had been with a woman, and she said she had not.
“The Voice” singer Avery Wilson shared his story for his 25th birthday. Via Instagram, he announced he is a bisexual man. He went on to say he is in love with love, and he is free to love whomever he loves.
The singer came out in 2020. He shared his news on Twitter, as well. But on that platform, known more for its aggressive tweeters, he kept it short and sweet. He said he is bisexual and added, “Ok bye.” He may or may not have taken himself out for some froyo after.
“Riverdale” actress Lili Reinhart came out in support of a BLM protest at the beginning of Pride Week. The CW star also known for her role in the film “Hustlers” went to Instagram to post her orientation. She prefaced the announcement by saying she has never addressed her sexuality publicly before.
At age 23, she revealed she is proud to be a bisexual woman. The statement, found in her Instagram stories in 2020, featured a flyer for a BLM protest in West Hollywood. She invited her followers to come out for the march.
Jannik Shümann is a famous German actor who came out as gay in an Instagram photo. He did not need to write a caption because the image said it all. The actor posted himself wrapped in the arms of his boyfriend Felix Kruck. The warm embrace was met with an equally warm reception.
Overwhelmed by the support of everyone, Schümann took to his stories on Instagram to thank fans for the love he received. He was 28 when he published the photo announcement.
British singer-songwriter Låpsley came out as a bisexual “womxn” in 2020. “Womxn” is also the title of her song about embracing her understanding of femininity. In the Instagram note, Låpsley talks about how songwriting is a more natural medium for her to express her sexuality.
In life, she has struggled with acceptance and has been traumatized by others bullying her, making her feel shame. But, finally, to the world, the electronic music star said she is out with pride.
Deaf snowboarder Chad Unger shared his coming-out message in sign language in an Instagram video. But first, he came out at a coming-out event in the snowboarding community called Torment, in which five boarders shared their stories.
Unger talked about his struggle being more difficult because he was not only coming out, but he was also coming out as a deaf person, in that community. The former snowboarder and current photographer came out so he could help others live freely.
Dennis Del Valle
Dennis Del Valle, a Puerto Rican athlete who plays on the two-time Swiss Cup champion volleyball team feared coming out. Finally, at 31, the athlete came out as gay in an interview with “24 Heures,” a French-language Swiss newspaper. He thought it was for himself, something just for him personally, but then he realized it was doing a lot of good for others just like him.
At the end of the day, Del Valle only regretted that he had not come out sooner. It was a long and lonely road, but he said that he was lucky not to suffer from depression.
At age 28, Demi Lovato came out as nonbinary. The former Disney star who is also a well-known pop singer made their announcement a year and a half after coping with illegal substance issues. They said the issues they had, happened because they were ignoring their truth and suppressing identity to “look” how fans, stylists, and others expected.
The two-time Grammy nominee said accepting who they are comes with a deep sense of joy. Lovato officially changed their pronouns after the 2021 announcement.
Professional soccer player Rebecca Quinn is also a gold medal Olympic winner. The Canadian athlete became the first openly transgender person to compete at the Olympics. But it was “HARD,” as Quinn put it in an Instagram note. At 25, living openly trans only in private circles, was a big deal.
In the Instagram post, Quinn imparted some advice for others who are still in the closet or looking for ways to come out. Some of the advice included putting out your pronouns on social media and listening to trans and nonbinary voices.
This Polish stage and film actor, who was also a film critic and author, came out really late. On his 100th birthday, Witold Sadowy announced he was gay. He said he was born different, and he had always known.
He declared this a time when there were 80 towns in his nation that declared themselves to be LGBTQ-free. Once the European Parliament condemned the designation, Sadowy came out in support of the European governing body.
Coming out for Jameela Jamil presented more concerns than most. She comes from a family in which no one identifies other than heterosexual and the actress said that coming out in the south Asian community is challenging. At 33, “The Good Place” star tweeted that Twitter is “brutal,” so, she unplugged from her page to be spared harsh comments.
The way it all went down was not ideal. She was pressured into coming out as queer after she was appointed as a judge on HBO’s “Legendary”. The show centers around voguing, which is a dance style deeply rooted in LGBTQ+ culture, and therefore viewers were inquiring if she was a part of the community.
DJ Qualls is an actor who announced he has been gay “this whole time” after appearing on Comedy Central’s “The Jim Jeffries Show.” On the show, he came out as gay. He was 41 years old and commented late that evening via Twitter that he was tired of worrying about it, tired of fearing what people would think, and tired of worrying about it affecting his career.
The actor who starred in “Road Trip” is not a DJ on the side as his name would have you believe. His full name is Daniel Joseph Qualls.
Longtime soap opera star Chrishell Stause, who is now known for “Selling Sunset,” a Netflix reality show, came out in a clever way. Before introducing new lover G Flip, she presented a video tour of her new closet, under construction. After showing off luxury features in the large room, Stause announced that she was leaving the closet.
She made the decision to come out at age 40. Talking about musician G Flip, Stause said that they are nonbinary and that they are in love. Celebrating later, the couple kissed freely at The Abbey nightclub in West Hollywood.
“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon came out at 45. The news first arrived via “The New York Times.” Nixon told the paper in 2012 that she had chosen to live gay. She later corrected herself in various publications saying that her choice is to be in a gay relationship and that being bisexual is not a choice, but a fact.
The actress also warned about the gay community getting pigeon-holed into a “cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering.”
“Real Housewives of Orange County” actress said she has always been a lesbian, but she didn’t tell people until she was 43. She married early in life and has seven children with her husband Sean Burke. Now she has a girlfriend too. Windham-Burke introduced us to Kris in 2020.
She said she remains married and lives in the same house, but not the same bedroom as Sean, as to be with the kids. He knows about Kris and accepts the new relationship. The actress said her husband is her best friend.
Carol Denise, the real name of Niecy Nash, came out as queer announcing her marriage to wife Jessica Betts in August of 2020. But it wasn’t easy. Nash feared the news would ruin the career she had worked so hard to achieve. She feared losing it all. But hiding in the closet was not a way she could accept living as she longed to hold her girlfriend’s hand in the supermarket.
The ladies came out first to family and friends, and next to the world. In an Instagram snap sharing their vows in the backyard, Nash introduced Mrs. Jessica Betts alongside the hashtag #LoveWins.
Professional basketball player Sebastian Vega came out as gay in 2020. He shared the news on Instagram in March of that year. It was difficult to come out because he felt guilty for a long time about being attracted to men. The Argentinian was the first pro basketball player to come out in his country.
He feared backlash, but as it turned out, coming out brought changes for the better instead. He also said that if he had come out five years ago, society might not have been as accepting. Luckily, he said, people are more and more aware.
He was the first openly gay player in the NFL. Carl Nassib was 28 when he came out on Instagram. It was a long road to get there. The Raiders defensive lineman agonized about revealing his true self for 15 years. By the time he announced his news in 2021, he felt proud of being gay and proud to say it.
It came at the beginning of his sixth season with the Raiders. He was the first active NFL player to ever come out with just 15 players doing so before him, but not until retirement.
British MP Layla Moran announced she is pansexual by tweeting a happy picture with a woman. In the tweet, the liberal democrat also talked about how pansexuals, to her, disregard the physical attributes of a person, whether it is gender or sexual identity.
The tweet summarily announced Moran’s relationship with Rosy Cobb, a former liberal democrat press officer. Moran used the hashtag OutAndProud in announcing she fell in love with a woman. Later, she said that coming out to parliament was a bit more difficult than with friends and family.
The Walk the Moon lead singer came out in 2020 when he was 34. A year later, he commemorated his outing as bisexual with an Instagram note. During the year that passed, the “Shut Up and Dance” singer said he discovered other words that might suit his sexual orientation, like pansexual and omnisexual.
But more important than a label to Petricca is the freedom he feels to be himself. He also shared how he was brought to tears by the wave of support and acceptance his 2020 coming out story generated.
The model who is known, in apropos fashion, merely by his first name, came out as sexually fluid in an interview with “The Cut” in 2020. Adonis is one of the world’s biggest male supermodels. The Canadian who was born in Côte d’Ivoire came out at the height of his career, the same year he appeared in ads for Zegna, “WSJ Magazine,” and a Beyoncé ad campaign.
Adonis isn’t comfortable with labeling sexual orientation. Instead, he said that love is like energy to him, and falling in love is not limited by gender for him.
Sara Ramirez hails from Mazatlán, Mexico but she grew up in San Diego and eventually even made it big on Broadway. More recently, they’ve landed the role of a nonbinary, AFAB bisexual in the “Sex and the City” revival series on HBO Max. In real life, Ramirez came out as nonbinary. They were 46 years old when they shared it in 2021.
The actress who became famous on “Grey’s Anatomy” said coming out was a freeing experience. And they said getting the nonbinary role on “And Just Like That…” was exhilarating.
The “Moana” and the “Little Mermaid Live!” star Auli’I Cravalho shared her sexual identity on TikTok. The native Hawaiian who was born on the island state came out in a creative way. After a Twitter fan approached Cravalho and asked if she likes girls, the actress directed fans to her TikTok page.
There, she lip-synched an Eminem song and mouthed the words, “No I’m bi.” The lyrics ask, “you straight?” and her response served as her official outing as bisexual. She made it known in 2020.
“Wynonna Earp” star Dominique Provost-Chalkley shared her coming-out story for her 30th birthday. She expressed her process in a missive at Start the Wave, her nonprofit organization that promotes a safe place to explore identity and make a difference.
Provost-Chalkley endorses the hashtag #OutIsTheNewIn. In the essay, she spoke frankly about being queer and about being into “ALL humans.” Love is more important than gender for this actress.
Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender at age 65. She revealed her transformation with “Vanity Fair” in an interview featuring photos by rock star photographer Annie Lebovitz. She expressed feelings about not wanting to go to her grave never having “dealt with herself.”
Previously, Caitlyn lived a very high-profile life known as Bruce Jenner, an Olympic gold medal winner who set records in track and field in 1976. His Olympic greatness brought a broad commercial appeal and Jenner became a household name. Flash forward to 2015, and we learn about Caitlyn’s struggles with gender as a child.
Pop sensation Ricky Martin was 38 when he declared on his website that he is proud to be “a fortunate homosexual man.” It was a long time coming for the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer. For many years he had ducked questions about being gay. He decided to open up the floodgates while writing a memoir.
He said it was too much to keep inside. He published his orientation in 2010. Ten years earlier, he was pressured by journalist Barbara Walters into saying he is gay. Martin was very reluctant about coming out, but when he did, he felt empowered.
Nikkie de Jager
Nikkie de Jager of Nikkie Tutorials was coerced into coming out as transgender by someone who blackmailed her. The person threatened to publish her story, so she did so first. Her coming-out video posted to her audience of 12 million YouTubers was 17 minutes long.
De Jager shared her story as a youngster, who at 6 began growing her hair out and identifying as female. At 14 she started growth hormone stoppers. When she was 19, she launched Nikkie Tutorials, sharing her makeup skills with the world but not disclosing anything about her history for several years.
J. August Richards
Actor J. August Richards, known for “Angel” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” talked about his lifestyle decision in April of 2020. At 46, he expressed his choice to come out to support others who could benefit from a role model. Richards has a role in “Council of Dads,” a character who is openly gay.
He felt like he needed to own up to his personal story to be fully honest and responsible with his portrayal of the role of a gay man in gay marriage.
“Twilight” star Kristen Stewart first told “The Guardian” in 2017 that she is bisexual. She often talks about how it took her a long time to understand herself. Landing immense fame while she was still in high school, part of her struggle was dealing with barrages by the media to answer questions about it.
She said she felt fearful and “violated” which she says was a defense mechanism, but then she decided to embrace it. She famously explained it to the British news outlet saying it’s not confusing if you’re bisexual. Adding, for her, it is the opposite.
When news began circulating in 2010 that Amber Heard had a girlfriend, industry execs warned the actress that her career would be adversely affected. She began being interrogated about whether she could play a straight woman in a romantic comedy. Frustrated, she said, “Watch me do it,” and she did.
Heard came out publicly at the SXSW Austin music festival when she was 32. She told the audience she was raised in a southern religious home in Austin. Coming out to her family was greeted with lots of tears. But as the years go on, they’ve learned to accept her.
John Cameron Mitchell
John Cameron Mitchell, the actor known for creating “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” came out as nonbinary in a 2022 interview with “Pride.” His statement, “I’m not trans, I’m nonbinary” surfaced during a discussion about whether non-trans people can play a trans role. Specifically, he was talking about himself playing Hedwig.
The actor clarified his position by saying that he believes that acting is a profession in which a person plays someone who they are not.
Lady Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta to an Italian Catholic family in Manhattan, revealed that she is bisexual in a 2013 interview with Barbara Walters. Gaga talked about her fearless ambition to be a pop star. When Walters asked the pop queen directly if she is bisexual Gaga answered in the affirmative, saying she likes women.
At a 2019 Pride event in NYC, Gaga gave a surprise performance and spoke to the crowd. She talked about feeling welcomed in the community and praised it for all it has achieved, exemplifying the way the LGBTQ+ movement has liberated so many people.
Known as the gentle giant Hodor from “Game of Thrones,” Kristian Narin was outed in 2014 and he was glad it finally happened. In an interview with the fan site “Winteriscoming.net,” the actor said he had been waiting for someone to ask about his sexuality.
Saying it’s “not something you just blurt out,” he went on to answer the question which asked if he was aware of his large following in the gay community. Laughing, he said that the gay community is his community. He gets fan mail from them daily.
Jodie Foster’s coming out at the Golden Globes awards show was spectacular. In a rap-infused speech, the over-50-year-old Oscar-winning actress softened every blow by crafting a gradual reveal. She started by saying she has an announcement, that she needs support, and she is more nervous about her publicist. But finally, she admitted that she is single, while everyone knew the speech was not about her relationship status.
But it did soften the blow that people who come out face — the rapid-fire questions demanding with whom they sleep, and names, names, names. The moving speech happened in 2013.
Lee Daniels came out gay because he loathed his dad. His dad had issues with Lee's sexuality and almost lost it when he spotted him in red high heels. Fortunately, he had an understanding mother and grandmother growing up.
When he was 15, his dad passed away in the line of duty as a cop. His passing ended the bad feelings Daniels had for him. Daniels became the first black filmmaker to produce an Oscar-winning film with Halle Berry taking Best Actress. The prolific movie man also co-created and co-produced the successful TV show “Empire.”
Rosie O’Donnell’s coming-out announcement happened after 9/11. She said, at “Red Table Talk,” she came out at a stand-up gig. She was 32. Since the disaster dominated the media, her outing was like a “blip.” Onstage at the comedy club, she said flat out that she is gay. No one cared. Before, however, it mattered.
Initially, after landing her talk show, she disclosed to a boardroom of Warner executives that she is lesbian. They asked if she is going to come out. At the time she said no way. She couldn’t imagine it in 1995, two years before Ellen DeGeneres made the move.
Supermodel actress Cara Delevingne said in 2015 that she identifies as bisexual. The “Suicide Squad” star reiterated her position with “The New York Times” to quell the backlash that lit up after her coming out story with “Vogue.” She said that her sexual orientation is not a phase, it is who she is.
She discussed dating musician St. Vincent and attributed her happiness to the relationship. Later, in an interview with “Variety” in their Pride issue, Delevingne said she identifies as gender-fluid. The label she chooses is pansexual.
Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page came out transgender after coming out as lesbian several years prior. The “Juno” star sent out his news in December of 2020 on his Twitter page. In a lengthy letter, the actor expressed his joy and good fortune to be in the place of acceptance and self-love. He started out his letter by saying, “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they, and my name is Elliot.”
In the missive, he also talked about being fearful. Hate jokes, discrimination, and violence were a few of the concerns he had with coming out publicly. He was, however, embraced, at least by his fans and followers.
Tim Cook came out in 2014 in a Bloomberg editorial proclaiming he is “proud to be gay.” He was the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to do so. The usually quiet corporate leader revealed his sexual orientation in an open letter published by Bloomberg Businessweek.
He said he was inspired to open up about it after being moved by reading letters written by kids who struggled with gay identity, some to the point of isolating themselves from society. Here's to hoping they now know they can be accepted and loved.
Sir Ian McKellen
At age 78, Ian McKellen shared on social media his thirty-year anniversary of coming out on a BBC radio show. He was speaking against a controversial British gay ban. It was repealed in 2003. After speaking against the gay ban in 1988, the actor said that’s when he started to get better roles offered to him.
He said that he has never met a person who regrets coming out, and neither does he. According to McKellen, after coming out he became a happier person and a better actor.
The “Schitt’s Creek” actor came out at 35. Wanting to make his voice heard, as well as the voices of others who shared his outlook, François Arnaud sent out a lengthy statement via Instagram discussing his process of coming to terms with labeling his sexuality.
The French-Canadian actor made his announcement just ahead of Bi Visibility Day in 2020. He intoned that he has stayed silent too long and came out saying that “Labels are frustrating and words, imperfect. But I’ve always considered myself bisexual.”
When Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian, it was spectacular. She did not only come out on the cover of “Time” magazine with the famous, “Yep, I’m Gay” cover, but she also came out on TV. Her character Ellen on the ABC sitcom “Ellen” came out in an April 1997 episode.
DeGeneres led the way, announcing her sexual orientation before most gay celebrities had the courage. Twenty-five years later, she reflected on how people warned her it would ruin her career. They were right, for a while. She said she lost her career for three years but we all know she bounced back higher than ever.
Donald Glover has never been comfortable with labeling himself gay. When he was younger, he liked hanging out with the gay community at college, but he wasn’t sure where he fit in exactly. In conversation with Michaela Coel, he talked about how millennials tend to be stuck in a cultural narrative of identity labels, but then he questioned himself, “Am I weird for not wanting to label it?”
Glover is loved for his portrayal of Lando Calrissian from Star Wars. In 2018, he said that Lando is pansexual because, throughout the interplanetary galaxy, human genders don’t exist. So, he concluded, “How can you not be pansexual in space?”
Anderson Cooper came out in 2012. It was 15 years after Ellen DeGeneres’ outing, yet his announcement still made him the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television. When he came out, it was a long-awaited proclamation. He was showered with support by celebrities and gay rights organizations.
The news percolated out in an email correspondence with writer and political commentator Andrew Sullivan. Previously, in 2005, Cooper stated he did not want to upset the integrity of his work as an anchor at CNN. But finally, he decided remaining silent was creating the impression that he was hiding something.
Wanda Sykes was 44 when she came out. It happened at an impromptu speech the comedian gave during a 2008 political rally in Las Vegas. She went to the event to protest Prop 8, a ballot proposition that would make marriage legal only between a man and a woman. It was later struck down by the Supreme Court.
In her speech, the comedian made it known officially that she is married to a woman. Though it was impromptu, she did not regret dropping the gay bomb. Quite to the contrary, she confidently announced to the crowd that she is proud to be gay.