It can be challenging for anyone to come out, so you can imagine the pressure certain celebrities feel when they open up publicly about their sexuality. Not too long ago it would have been difficult to compile a list of out and proud celebs, but now there are many stars who not only embrace their sexuality but are also role models. One is even running for state governor!
Neil Patrick Harris Has Burt Reynolds To Thank For Cementing His Sexuality
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TV star and entertainer Neil Patrick Harris revealed in his 2014 memoir Choose Your Own Autobiography that a joke kiss from co-star Burt Reynolds pretty much told him he was gay. The pair worked together in detective drama B.L. Stryker in the ’80s. Harris is now married with twins.
The actor officially came out in 2006. He said at the time: “I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”
Ricky Martin’s Parents Were Extremely Supportive
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Ricky Martin struggled to tell the world about his sexuality, but he knew it was the right thing to do. Once he had children, he decided to come out, and his family was very supportive.
He told Access Hollywood in 2010: “I was extremely surprised and then [my mother] said ‘Come on, give me a hug. You are my son and I love you and I will always be here for you.’ So it was very beautiful and then my father — he’s a psychologist… And he kind of told me… ‘You don’t have to say a word. I love you and I just want you to be happy.’”
Portia De Rossi Praised The LGBT Community For Its Powerful Impact On Society
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Actress Portia De Rossi came out in 2005. At the time, there were very few famous, out and proud lesbians, and she felt like she was in a strange place. But it didn’t take her long to accept her sexuality. Before long, she found love with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. They wed in 2008 and have been together ever since.
In 2016 she told Out magazine that the LGBT community should be proud of who they are: “I really, honestly think that anybody who is openly gay and visible is powerful. It doesn’t matter what you do, you are impacting people.”
First Lady Michelle Obama Supported Robin Roberts’ Coming Out
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Good Morning America host Robin Roberts revealed she was gay in 2013 in an end-of-the-year post on Facebook. She wrote: “I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.” Roberts met the massage therapist through friends over 15 years ago.
In response, former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted: “I am so happy for you and Amber! You continue to make us all proud.” In 2012, President Barack Obama sat down for an interview with Roberts in which he talked about his support for same-sex marriage.
Lance Bass Recently Gave A Shout Out To His LGBT “Brothers And Sisters”
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*NSYNC recently got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Lance Bass, who came out in 2006, spoke out to fans who didn’t know he was gay during the height of his career.
“So many nights on stage, I’d see so many young, gay fans singing their hearts out and I wanted so badly to let you know, I was you,” Bass explained. “I just didn’t have the strength then. But I do today, and so let me say loud and proud to all my LGBT brothers and sisters, who embrace me and show me the way to be who I am, thank you so much.”
Cynthia Nixon Is Running For New York Governor
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Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon identified herself as bisexual in 2012, the same year she married education activist Christine Marinoni. She announced she was running for New York Governor in 2018. When a former New York City Council member called her an “unqualified lesbian,” her response was epic:
“Yesterday, when I announced my candidacy, one of Governor Cuomo’s top surrogates dismissed me as an ‘unqualified lesbian.’ And I just want to say tonight, that she was technically right. I don’t have my certificate from the Department of Lesbian Affairs, but in my defense, there is a lot of paperwork involved.”
Raven-Symone wants to be labeled as a human who loves humans.
Raven-Symone Is Proud Of Who She Is
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The View co-host Raven-Symoné is dating model AzMarie Livingston from Empire, and she recently told People magazine they aren’t thinking about marriage or children yet. She opened up about her sexuality during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2014.
She explained, “People in my family, they’ve taught me to keep my personal life to myself as much as possible. So, I try my best to hold the fence where I can. But I am proud to be who I am and what I am.” She added, “I don’t want to be labeled ‘gay.’ I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans.'”
Sean Hayes Believes Being Gay Is As Normal As Being Straight
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Will & Grace star Sean Hayes came out to his family when he was 18. He thinks entertainment is helpful for people who don’t know how to tell their families. He told People: “If you don’t have the words to explain it to your family, you can say, ‘Like Will and Grace,’ or ‘Like Ellen DeGeneres,’ or whoever’s out in a public…
He added, “There are so many more examples now to help people and give them tools to communicate to kids and to families that being gay is as normal as being straight.” He also joked that gay people are not any more interesting than straight people.
Elton John Came Out Over 40 Years Ago & Believes “We’ve Come A Long Way Since Then”
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There are many openly gay entertainers around today, but it was much less common back in 1976 when Elton John came out. He confessed to Rolling Stone that he was bisexual. “There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex,” he said. “I think everybody’s bisexual to a certain degree. I don’t think it’s just me. It’s not a bad thing to be.”
He told Grazia in 2017: “There weren’t any gay role models in the music industry at the beginning of my career, even Liberace was in the closet! We’ve come a long way since then.”
Adam Lambert Has Experienced A Lot Of Support From Fans & The Media
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Adam Lambert rose to fame in 2009 after appearing on reality show American Idol. At the time, there were very few openly gay performers in the world. During a 2015 interview with Out magazine, he said he wished he had more guidance from those in the community who came before him.
Yet, he acknowledged there has also been a lot of positive feedback. “There were definitely moments of frustration and pressure, but there’s been a lot of goodwill as well, a lot of support from fans and media people, and it’s balanced out. I don’t have any sort of bitterness about it,” he explained.
Rosie O’Donnell Is Happy Being Gay
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Rosie O’Donnell came to the realization that she was gay when she was 18. She revealed the news in 2002 following the end of her popular daytime talk show. She wanted the world to know that she was a lesbian and, more importantly, that she was a gay parent.
Even though she acknowledged that life may be easier for straight people, she told Diane Sawyer in an interview: “I think if I could take a pill to make myself straight, I wouldn’t do it, because I am who I am, and I’ve come to this point in my life and I’m very happy.”
Jim Parsons Appreciates Those Before Him Who Paved The Way
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The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons was openly gay when he was growing up in Texas. Some people didn’t approve, but their opinions didn’t bother him. He explained in a 2016 interview: “I also don’t think I’m particularly brave to be the way I am because I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and paved this way.”
He took his partner Todd to red carpet events: “There was no going back, luckily. I took Todd along to the first award shows, as my date, and what happened? Absolutely nothing. And afterward, nobody ever asked me: ‘Are you gay?’”
Wanda Sykes Has No Regrets About Coming Out
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Comedian Sykes impulsively came out in 2008 during a rally in California after voters passed a ban on same-sex marriage. She married her partner, Alex, in October 2008. Sykes explained during an interview with Piers Morgan that the best thing about the confession was that she had “absolutely nothing to hide.”
She added, “I mean, I am what I am and this is it.” In the 2013 HBO documentary The Out List, she reiterated that she had no regrets about coming out. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is a big [expletive] deal. I’m a black woman. A celebrity. And I’m out.’ It was a big deal. No regrets.”
Sara Gilbert Created A Gender Creative Character On Roseanne Revival
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The Talk star Sara Gilbert came out in 2010. She stars in and executive produces the Roseanne revival, which features her character Darlene’s son Mark (Ames McNamara) as a boy who likes to dress up in girl’s clothing — something you wouldn’t have seen on TV a few years ago.
Gilbert is proud of the character: “I don’t want to pigeonhole him and say just because he dresses this way that’s the only thing about him. He happens to dress that way but he’s an amazing, creative, brilliant kid, which you will see, and so is the kid, Ames, who plays him.”
Matt Bomer Says Everyone Deserves Equal Treatment
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Magic Mike and White Collar star Matt Bomer revealed he was gay in 2012 while thanking his longtime partner, publicist Simon Halls, and their three children when he was honored by the Desert AIDS Fund.
He told E! News: “What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title — whether it’s ‘black actor,’ a ‘gay actor’ or anything actor. Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that’s not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are. I hope the media and the press catch on to that because it’s time to move out of 1992.”
Jason Collins Is One Of Few Pro Athletes To Come Out
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Jason Collins was the first active NBA player to come out as gay. After he retired, he became an ambassador for LGBT acceptance in sports. His actions also spurred other athletes, such as football star Michael Sam, to come out. Collins strives to make sports more inclusive to gay athletes.
He hopes the locker room stigma will change, but acknowledges it will take time. “I never tell someone what they should and shouldn’t do,” Collins said. “Hopefully I will show you enough examples that if you do take a step forward (you see) there’s a community waiting to accept you and support you.”
Jillian Michaels Says Being Open About Her Sexuality Is Freeing
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Fitness guru Jillian Michaels gained fame as The Biggest Loser fitness trainer, and she went public with her sexuality in 2012. She kept it private while she was in the process of adopting. She said one of the best things about being open is that she is setting an example for her children.
She told Cosmopolitan in 2016: “Really just showing my kids that you should never be ashamed to be who you are. It might not be the easiest path in the world, but there’s a real freedom in authenticity and having the courage to be your authentic self.”
Clay Aiken Came Out So He Could Be True To His Son
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American Idol star Clay Aiken came out in 2008 after he welcomed his son Parker via in-vitro fertilization. He told People magazine: “It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”
In 2015, he revealed in an interview with Howard Stern that he occasionally dates people he meets on Facebook. When prodded by Stern about his Hollywood crush, Clay admitted: “You know what’s crazy, Seth MacFarlane is sort of my … I like dimples.”
Chris Colfer Never Made A Big Deal Out Of His Sexuality
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Chris Colfer played a flamboyant gay teen on Glee, and for him, his sexuality was never an issue even though other people thought it was worth talking about. “I’ve never made it a big deal, it’s everyone else that’s always made it a big deal,” he told HuffPost in 2016.
His one concern was that his sexuality would affect his acting prospects: “People tried typecasting me before they even saw me in anything else. I never understood that –- why don’t you wait until my next project before you start telling what my career is going to look like for the next 10 years?”
Johnny Weir Says Being Gay Was Never A Secret
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Johnny Weir made a huge impact with his costumes and comments during the 2018 Winter Olympics. He confirmed he was gay in his 2011 memoir, Welcome to My World. Some criticized him for not coming out during his ice skating competition days.
He responded on Twitter in 2018, “I wear my sexuality the same as I wear my sex or my skin color. It is something that simply is and something I was born into. I never ‘came out’ in sport because I didn’t imagine it as a great secret & it had nothing to do with my skating or my dreams.”