Celebrity Coming Out Stories: Raven-Symone, Dan Levy, More
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Celebrity Coming Out Stories: Raven-Symone, Dan Levy and More
Sharing with pride! Celebrities like Raven-Symoné, Dan Levy and more have become important figures within the LGBTQ community as they’ve championed equality both on and offscreen.
The That’s So Raven alum’s personal life became the subject of headlines in August 2013 when she tweeted her reaction to the legalization of same-sex marriage. “I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you,” she wrote at the time.
Three years later, she spoke about her journey to self-acceptance and admitted that she “never thought” she would publicly come out.
“Being on television sets from age 3 till age 30, I’m more comfortable there,” she said in a May 2016 video for the Lexus L/Studio docuseries It Got Better. “I know what lines I’m supposed to say. Somebody else picks my clothes for me. I have makeup done. I have hair done. And you create a family with these people that sometimes are closer to you than your own family.”
The Disney alum felt like she couldn’t be honest about her sexuality because she had been “branded at such a young age” to fit the network’s image. “I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn’t matter,” she said at the time. “It was only what was supposed to be sold as the Raven-Symoné brand.”
Though she’d known she was attracted to women from a young age, the former The View cohost took her time when approaching her sexuality in public. Levy, for his part, came out to his parents when he was 18 — but once feared that he would always have to hide his identity from the rest of the world.
“I legitimately thought that I would have to live with this secret — my being gay — for the rest of my life because I didn’t have the security of seeing a lot of people like myself being celebrated in popular culture,” the Schitt’s Creek creator and star said in September 2019 at the GLAAD Gala in San Francisco. “Had I not had the love to give me a sense of security, I don’t know if I would have found my way out of the closet, let alone create the opportunity for myself to tell stories on television that have effected some kind of positive change in the world.”
The Emmy winner portrayed queer romance with positivity across the six seasons of Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek, which came to an end in early 2020. Though the Rose family is no more, Levy vowed to keep telling honest stories for his communities.
“Support, encouragement and love: three relatively simple acts of kindness that can change the course of a person’s life,” he said at the time. “I promise to continue to do my part in celebrating this radiant community in all the work that I do, big and small.”
Scroll down to learn more about stars’ coming out stories.
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In January 2023, the Star Trek alum opened up about how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto a 2005 bill legalizing gay marriage in California inspired him to publicly come out.
“I was closeted for a long period of my career,” Takei said in an interview with The Stage. “I was silent during the AIDS crisis, which fills me with guilt, although I did write checks and checks to AIDS organizations. Why did I come out when I did? Because Schwarzenegger presented himself as a movie star who had worked and was friends with gays and lesbians, many of whom voted for him, but then vetoed that bill. I was so angry that I spoke to the press for the first time as a gay man at the age of 68.”
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In January 2023, the Stranger Things star publicly came out as gay in a TikTok video shared with his 31 million followers. The footage showed him lip-synching to audio of a woman saying, “You know what it never was? That serious,” with a text overlay reading, “When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years and all they said was ‘we know.'” The New York City native added a caption that referenced Will Byers, his character on the Netflix series, writing, “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought.”
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The ex-MLB athlete, who pitched for the Cleveland Guardians and the Toronto Blue Jays, penned a lengthy Facebook post about his sexuality while announcing his engagement to longtime love Ryan Neitzel. “I’m finally healing, and days like today are what helps me continue to grow into the person I’ve been all along, one I’ve locked up for 20 plus years,” House wrote in December 2022, publicly coming out as gay.
“I won’t name names, but when I got The Crown, I felt a lot of pressure to withhold my sexuality,” the English actress — who played Princess Anne on the Netflix series — told The Telegraph in September 2022. “There was a period of time when I was like, ‘Do I get to be open about this in order to have a successful career?’ And the fact that that question still went through my mind, and may still go through other people’s minds, is so gutting.”
Doherty, who has been in a relationship with fellow actress Sophie Melville since 2017, ultimately decided to publicly come out as gay to combat the narrative that LGBTQ+ actors need to hide their sexuality. “I’m really aware of all the people who have lived years and years and years, either in shame or denial, or just hiding — actors, actresses definitely stopping it getting out there in order to have a career — and I just want to be a part of trying to do something about that,” she said.
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“I guess it felt like I was a heterosexual man in a woman’s body,” the actress began in August 2022 via Instagram. “I visualized his desires and placed them on to me. But this was never the whole of the story that was meant for me. So I’ve been learning a new way to tell it. Using words to guide me not define me. That my sexual identity has more to teach and to tell me. Finding words that feel more right to explore in my telling. Pansexuality. Sapiosexuality. Polyamory.”
Malone added, “A fuller spectrum of understanding that my story is demanding of me. And I’m honoring it today with this soft and sleepy little stretch of a dance. I love humans. So there’s that ❤️❤️🏳️🌈🏳️🌈❤️❤️.”
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“I identify as bisexual,” the American Idol alum shared in August 2022 on “The Adam Sank Show” podcast.
Malakar was 17 when he auditioned for Idol in 2006 and was still figuring out his identity. “At the time, I did not know, which was why it was so weird for me,” he said of speculation about his sexuality during his reality TV years.
He added, “I’ll come out to people if it’s a situation like this, but if I’m not trying to f–k you, it doesn’t matter do.”
The Wicked actress, who is gearing up the play Elphaba in Jon Chu’s 2023 adaptation of the stage play, publicly came out as bisexual in July 2022 — which took her a long time to publicly admit it.
“[Many LGBTQ+ people] still feel the need to be constantly justifying why we deserve to be treated as equal beings, when really the only difference is that we love differently and we express ourselves differently,” Erivo told British Vogue. “Rather than being chastised for that, we should be commended for being brave. That’s the most important thing: giving people the space to show up fully as who they are.”
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The Bachelor season 26 contestant publicly came out as bisexual in June 2022 after celebrating her first Pride Month parade in New York City.
“It’s hard to know the right way to say these things, or the right time. Today seems like both and neither,” Corrigan wrote via Instagram at the time. “Waking up this morning to my first Pride in NYC I was so excited. I sprung out of bed, went to get a coffee — bought a flag — and quickly began feeling anxious. Overwhelmingly so. Am I ready? No. Am I scared? Yes. Will ‘the right time’ come? Qualify it. … It’s important to me today to share with you all that I am queer. More specifically I am, always have been, and always will be, bisexual.”
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“🌈Happy pride! 🌈 In case I haven’t been straightforward enough (LOL),” Kesha wrote via Instagram in June 2022 alongside a photo of herself in an open field. “I just wanted to take a sec to tell everyone that you are not only enough, just as you are, but the world is so fucking lucky to have you.”
The “Die Young” singer revealed in the social media caption that “I’m not gay. I’m not straight. I don’t know what I am. I love people,” adding that “I love people because we are all our own little consciousness journeys, dancing around the sun ☀️. How weird and interesting and fun this life is, right?”
She concluded: I refuse to be anything, really, except for open to it all 🌟I know it can be confusing sometimes, but you are so seen and loved.”
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The Pitch Perfect actress debuted her relationship with partner Ramona Agruma during Pride Month. “I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess 💗🌈💗#loveislove,” she captioned a June 2022 Instagram post.
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“[A director and I] were talking about being out and proud and representation and whether I should say I was gay in interviews,” the Bridgerton star recalled during an April 2022 appearance on the “Just for Variety” podcast. “And it was an absolute no.”
The England native told host Marc Malkin that she was advised not to publicly come out over fears it would impact her career as an actor.
“Love is love,” Rosheuvel added. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s between a man and a woman when you are an actor creating a character. … I would rather lose a job than not be true to who I am. I’d rather not work in an industry that doesn’t accept me. It just wasn’t how I was raised.”
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“I’m nonbinary, so I just don’t see myself as a woman, solely,” the singer said during an April 2022 episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk. “I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.’ If I am from God, I am everything. I am everything, but I will always, always stand with women. I will always stand with Black women.”
The Hidden Figures star continued: “I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary. When I see people, I see your energy first. I don’t see like, how you identify. And I feel like that opens you up to fall in love. With any beautiful spirit.”
The comedian publicly came out as gay during his special Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel, which premiered on HBO in April 2022. “I was left alone feeling like a liar because I had a secret — one that I kept from my mother and my father, my family, my friends and you, all of you,” he told the audience [of his sexuality] CUT. “And the secret is that I’m gay.”
The standup explained that he “rebelled” against his truth his “whole life,” noting that he “never” thought he’d come out. “At many points I thought I’d rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people. Because I know it changes some people’s perceptions of me,” Carmichael said. “I can’t control that. I’m from an environment where you’re kind of raised to be a man, whatever that means.”
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The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star publicly came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in June 2021.
“What was scary and hard was the 20 years leading up to it,” Bassett told The Hollywood Reporter in March 2022. “So, it truly was liberating. I really haven’t looked back. There’s power in telling the truth.”
He continued: “I know that the people that it has helped are far more important than some people who maybe have some nasty things to project onto me. … When you hear a message from a kid saying, ‘You saved my life,’ or ‘Because of you, now I feel like I can be myself,’ — it’s the greatest honor in the world to be a role model in any way or to liberate other people to tell and live their truth.”
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The winner of The Voice season 8 came out as bisexual in a February 2022 Instagram post.
“Since I have not publicly said this in a post, I wanted say that I am Bisexual 😊 When I was younger I thought I was straight, because I was more attracted to women, and I didn’t know there were more options besides Gay and Straight,” the singer-songwriter explained. “So I just assumed I was Straight 🤷🏼♂️ I am privileged and have never been discriminated against for my sexuality or ashamed of it. I’m truly sorry for any of you who have been, and I hope it gets better 💙 I’ll probably lose some fans over this post, but that’s fine with me.”
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The Bravo host recalled coming out to his mom during a November 2021 appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
“Great quote from my mom when I came out to her,” Cohen explained while discussing her notable lines in his Glitter Every Day: 365 Quotes From Women I Love book. “Her response was, ‘I probably would have hated your wife anyway.’ And you know what, she probably would have!”
The Designated Survivor alum opened up about his sexuality his November 2021 book, You Can’t Be Serious. Penn revealed he has been in a relationship with his partner, Josh, for 11 years, and they are engaged.
“I mean, you know, Josh and I’ve been together for 11 years,” Penn told CBS’ Sunday Morning in October 2021 while promoting his memoir. “We had our 11th anniversary in October. So, for me and writing about it, I think the tricky thing was, you’re right, it’s very matter-of-fact in our lives, and when you’re the son of Indian immigrants who says that you want to be an actor, the chaos that that creates in your family and your community, will trump anything else, always.”
During an October 2021 episode of Teen Mom OG, Amber revealed that writing her second memoir inspired her to come out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“People are going to be a bit shocked that I am bisexual,” the reality star told producers at the time. “That I have had a relationship with a woman for 8 months before.”
Even though the 16 and Pregnant alum wasn’t sure that everyone in her life would be open to her news, she explained that she was coming out because of her children.
“[They] are a really big factor of why,” Amber — who shares daughter Leah with ex Gary Shirley and son James with ex Andrew Glennon — said at the time. “I don’t want them to ever think it’s bad. I don’t want them to look at other people who are like this and think it’s bad. Who am I to sit here and hide forever? Which is actually what I was planning on doing anyways. I was going to go to the grave with this.”
The Mistress of the Dark, a.k.a. Cassandra Peterson, publicly came out in her 2021 memoir, reflecting on being friends with her longtime girlfriend, Teresa Wierson, for six years before things turned romantic.
“After coming home from a movie, I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth. As shocked as she was, I think I was even more surprised. What the hell was I doing?” Elvira wrote in Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark. “I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends. I felt so confused.”
The Never Have I Ever star reflected on her own coming out journey, months after her Netflix character did the same. Her character, Fabiola, identifies as a lesbian while Rodriguez came out as queer in October 2020.
“It is ultimately my choice to share,” she wrote in a Cosmopolitan essay published in August 2021. “I could have kept it to myself, and I would have been just fine. But I feel like people were assuming based on my past dating history, which I didn’t appreciate. I asked, ‘Why are people assuming my sexuality?’ I kind of felt pressured, in a way, to share that part of me. I knew it was going to be a thing when taking on the role of Fabiola and I was prepared for that because it’s not okay for straight actors to take queer roles. I personally would not have taken the role if I wasn’t.”
She added, “When people kept asking me [about her identity], I felt like maybe I didn’t look like a queer person. But you shouldn’t have to explain your queerness. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your queerness or proof that you’re a valid queer person.”
During a September 2021 podcast with Demi Lovato, Hampshire revealed that people began asking if she was gay after she began dating Teddy Geiger, who had come out as transgender in 2017.
“I said to [my Schitt’s Creek costar] Dan [Levy], ‘This is so weird. What am I?’ Because I truly just fell in love with a person, and where they were on the gender spectrum did not matter to me. And since then, it really doesn’t matter to me. I have to like the person. I’m really attracted to a person’s vibe,” she shared. Levy then recalled the fan-favorite scene in which David and Stevie talk about their broader tastes in wine. “He was like, ‘You’re pansexual. Don’t you watch our show?'”
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The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum came out as trans-nonbinary in August 2021. “Almost eight months ago, in January, right at the beginning of the year, I decided to begin the process of hormone replacement therapy,” the model said in an Instagram video. “Which is the process of taking estrogen and testosterone blockers, differing on the person, as a means of bringing in the woman and pushing out the man.”
The reality star then confirmed that she identifies as “a trans-nonbinary person” who uses she/her pronouns. She also revealed that she’s in the process of legally changing her name to Gigi. “I knew when I started, I wanted this to be a journey I was going on by myself, on my own, without any input from the outside world,” Goode concluded, insisting she kept her story private until she had time to process everything on her own. “The only people that really knew that I was going through this were me and my mom and my close friends living across the street, which is exactly the way that I wanted it, up until this point.”
The Good Girls actress came out as pansexual in August 2021. “I know ppl might be unfamiliar with what pansexual means; for me it means I know I can fall in love with people of all genders,” she tweeted. “This is the word that fits me best and I’m proud+happy to be part of the Bi+ community :,).”
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The Crown star publicly came out as queer in August 2021, after previously posting photos wearing a chest binder. At the time, the England native shared an ITV News interview clip about their sexuality via Instagram, captioning it, “First time addressing my queerness and my journey on TV was scary! But visibility is key!”
In the video, the Golden Globes winner said, “My journey has been a long one and has still got a long way to go. I think we are so used to defining ourselves. That’s the way society works within these binaries and it’s taken me a long time to realize that I exist somewhere in between and I’m still not sure where that is yet.”
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The Below Deck Mediterranean star came out as sexually fluid to his coworkers in an August 2021 episode of the Bravo show.
“I was absolutely not planning on opening up about that whatsoever. It was purely an in-the-moment thing, the level of comfort and security I felt around [my team], and the topics of conversation that had previously been discussed that evening was certainly a big factor in that,” the reality star told E! News about deciding to share his truth on television.
In the episode, the deckhand labeled himself as “90 percent straight,” which he noted wasn’t actually right.
“Yeah the 90 percent straight thing was my realization that I said it on television and kind of trying to stop it from spiraling to a full confessional of my entire life, but if I were to put it in a statement of such, I completely believe in like a fluid spectrum and as any part of my life, I might move on that spectrum up or down,” he added at the time.
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The 13 Reasons Why star publicly disclosed her transgender identity during a conversation with Time magazine in July 2021, noting that she’d been “privately identifying and living as a woman” for an entire year.
“It’s funny to think about coming out because I haven’t gone anywhere,” she said, calling her transition a “liberating and clarifying” experience. “I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically. Coming out is always viewed as this grand reveal, but I was never not out. Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman. My pronouns are she/her. My name is Tommy. … Personally, it’s wild to be 29 and going through puberty again. Some days I feel like I’m 14.”
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Family Karma star Amrit Kapai recalled the emotional moment he first came out to his grandmother on television during an interview with Entertainment Tonight in July 2021.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I was very overwhelmed when I was re-watching it and re-experiencing it all over again. But I thought the final product was so tasteful,” Kapai said in the interview. “I mean, with a moment like that, there isn’t any editing that’s necessary because the words, the conversation, the expressions, everything speaks for itself and everything speaks volumes. Putting aside that, it was a little bit of a somber moment, and there were some happy, there were some sad, but overall, I was very satisfied with how the finished product came out.”
The reality star added that the Bravo series aired about “90 percent” of the conversation as it happened. “There was no sugarcoating any of it,” he continued. “There was no beating around the bush. That’s how I remember it. I know I said I blacked it out, not because I was under the influence, but because it’s one of those moments in life where you just… It’s a very intense moment, and we block those out of our memory for better or for worse. It was a lot to re-watch over again and experience it all over again.”
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The Teen Wolf star revealed how his girlfriend, musician Phem, helped him embrace his sexuality.
“[Phem] helped me realize that I fit under the queer umbrella and that I’m sexually fluid, I guess,” Posey told NME magazine in July 2021. “No, not ‘I guess,’ I don’t want anyone to take this [interview] and be like: ‘Well, he was kind of wishy-washy about it.’”
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Jack Dylan Grazer
After being asked by a fan during an Instagram Live if he identified as gay, the Shazam actor responded, “I’m bi.”
“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” the athlete opened up in a video via Instagram in June 2021.
Nassib, who is the first active NFL player to be publicly out, shared that he would also be donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project in an attempt to help raise awareness.
“I just think that representation and visibility are so important,” the Las Vegas Raiders defense end continued. “I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then, I’m going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate.”
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American Idol season 7 runner-up revealed in June 2021 that he hadn’t figured out a label, but he knows he is part of the LGBTQ community. “I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality,” Archuleta wrote via Instagram. “I came out in 2014 as gay to my family. But then I had similar feelings for both genders so maybe a spectrum of bisexual. Then I also have learned I don’t have too much sexual desires and urges as most people 💀which works I guess because I have a commitment to save myself until marriage 🤣. Which people call asexual when they don’t experience sexual urges.”
The devout Mormon also called on his fellow Christians to be more accepting of those who aren’t heteronormative and shared a message of encouragement for LGBTQ Christians who are struggling. “I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but felt I needed to bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan,” he declared.
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The Love, Simon actress came out publicly in June 2021 via Instagram and shared how accepting her sexuality has made such a positive impact on her life.
“It’s exhausting chasing other people’s ideas and opinions of who you should be,” Shipp wrote. “Today I’m happy in ways I don’t think my kid self could imagine. I get to be exactly who I want to be EVERY F–KING DAY and it feels incredible!! It’s never too late to be you.”
She starred as Hayley Kiyoko’s love interest in the singer’s “Chance” music video, which was released the day before her announcement.
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The movie star, known for playing Jessica in 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love, publicly came out as nonbinary during Pride month in 2021. “Hi. My name is Lio,” they wrote via Instagram. “My pronouns are they/them. I am proud to announce I am queer and I identify as non binary. I hope to give as much love and support back to those who continue to show love and support for the Pride community at large. 🏳️🌈❤️ Lio.”
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The High School Musical: The Musical: The Series actor came out as bisexual in a June 2021 TikTok video referencing his straight character. “Plays a character with a girlfriend on TV is bi irl,” the text on the video read.
In the caption, he added, “Is it really that unexpected tho #pride.”
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The “Can I” singer came out as a lesbian in April 2021 via a TikTok video. “I’m just gonna f—king say it because everybody keeps bringing it up to me. I finally know I’m a lesbian. I am gay, gay, gay,” she said. Kehlani recalled telling her loved ones about her sexuality, saying, “I’m like, ‘Guys, I finally know that I’m gay, like, I’m gay gay,’ and they’re like, ‘We know. Duh, stupid. Duh.’”
She concluded: “Everyone’s just like, ‘Duh. You’re the only one who didn’t f—king know. The f—king closet was glass.’ So I guess I just wanted y’all to know that everyone knew but me.”
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In April 2021, the former Bachelor came out as gay during an interview on Good Morning America. “I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know,” he said at the time. “I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me.”
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In April 2021 Rubinstein revealed to Variety that he identifies as bisexual. “I literally just got goosebumps saying that. It feels so good to talk about it, it feels so good to finally be comfortable with it,” the 9-1-1: Lone Star actor said, noting that his role on the Fox drama helped him embrace his sexuality. “The biggest thing for me is where I come from, it’s like people like me and people who have identified as bisexual or gay or as any part of the community, you’re just not welcomed. It’s as brutally honest as that.”
Rubinstein also added that his girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy, fully supported him in this journey. “She definitely encouraged me to be vocal about it, just to live my truth,” he said. “She’s like, ‘I love you for who you are, your full self and people will love you for who you are and your full self.'”
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The Big Brother season 16 alum opened up about his sexuality six years after fans speculated that he and costar Frankie Grande explored a romance on the show. “I fell in love with who he was as a person,” the reality star said of Grande during a December 2020 virtual event for the Mental Health Coalition, revealing that the duo hooked up after filming. “We try not to label anything, you know, gender is super fluid. So it’s hard for me to say I’m straight. I’m not gay either. … I just wanted to come out and say that and be transparent and come out and say [that] I am bisexual, even though I do lean more toward heterosexuality.”
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In May 2016, the former Disney star opened up about her sexuality in public for the first time, admitting that she “never thought” she would ever come out even though she’d known she was gay since she was 12. “I knew I couldn’t say it out loud because [people would say], ‘Oh my god, little Olivia is gay, this is crazy,'” she said at the time, referencing her Cosby Show character. “[But] I felt lighter. I felt like I could go out and not have to put on 17 different hats to be myself. I realize that just living my truth of what I am, there’s one less person to fight me in my own head.”
In June 2020, she married partner Miranda Maday in a secret backyard ceremony.
The Carnival Row actress previously dated Michelle Rodriguez, singer St. Vincent and Ashley Benson. In 2017, she described herself as being “not gay,” and told Variety three years later that she’s pansexual. “However one defines themselves, whether it’s ‘they’ or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I fall in love with the person — and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.”
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When the Schitt’s Creek star was 18 years old, he came out to his parents, Eugene Levy and Deborah Divine. “My mom asked me over lunch one day and I said, ‘Yes,'” he recalled during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in January 2020. “She almost knew. My mom and I have a very close relationship in that sense and it almost felt like she knew that I was ready.” His dad admitted in the same interview that Dan’s sexuality didn’t come as a surprise to the family. “We knew for the longest time,” Eugene said. “We were waiting and then [his] mom couldn’t wait any longer.”
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The Twilight actress went viral after teasing that she’s “like, so gay” during her Saturday Night Live monologue in February 2017. The next month, she gave some insight into why she decided to make the bold statement on a public stage. “Honestly, I think it was just funny,” she told E! News at the time. “Not to diminish the point because I think that saying things so bluntly is absolutely important, but at the same time, the only reason I haven’t ever done that is because there is an ambiguity to that and I wanted things to be really real for me. … I’m so utterly proud that I’ve had so many people be like, ‘Thank you,’ and I’m like, ‘No, thank you.’ It’s kind of mutual, full circle.”
In October 2019, Stewart made her relationship with girlfriend Dylan Meyer official on Instagram.
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No stranger to controversy, the Good Place alum made waves on social media when she came out as queer in the middle of a heated Twitter spat in February 2020. She told Variety one month later that she’d known about her sexuality since she was a child. “I didn’t tell anyone about it until a couple of years ago, so I just kept it quiet because I come from a South Asian background. So, you just don’t really have a lot of queer idols,” she explained. “There isn’t a lot of conversation around it. There isn’t a lot of acceptance for it within my culture, traditionally.”
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The Antebellum actress opened up about her sexual fluidity in a candid Rolling Stone interview in April 2018 and reflected on her experience one year later in a conversation with Lizzo for Them. “It’s been a journey. For me, sexuality and sexual identity and fluidity is a journey. It’s not a destination,” Monáe said in April 2019. “I’ve discovered so much about myself over the years as I’ve evolved and grown and spent time with myself and loved ones. That’s the exciting thing — always finding out new things about who you are. And that’s what I love about life. It takes us on journeys that not even we ourselves sometimes are prepared for. You just adapt to where you are and how you’ve evolved as a free-thinking person.”
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“I knew then that if I was going to survive, I was going to have to extract myself from that,” the Pose star, who came out in 1985, told the Gay Times of his “violently homophobic” upbringing in a 2019 interview. “I found the arts and I found the theatre, a community that embraced me for who I am, and as I went deeper and deeper into that community, I discovered we were in the middle of a plague and had to fight.” Looking back at his tumultuous childhood, Porter sent a message to his younger self — and anyone else struggling to find acceptance for who they are. “Extract yourself from anything that’s toxic,” he said. “Change the narrative of, ‘I need the love of people, my mother, my father, my family to exist on the planet.’ No! We don’t need acceptance, we don’t need tolerance, we need respect for our humanity. … Everybody’s humanity is valid, even if we don’t understand it or like it.”
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The Prison Break alum came out as gay in a letter to the organizers of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in Russia in August 2013, citing their anti-gay laws. In response to an invitation to visit, he wrote: “As a gay man, I must decline.” In the December 2013 issue of Out magazine, he admitted he felt “deep feelings of shame” before publicly revealing his sexuality, and said he attempted suicide several times.
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The TV personality famously revealed her true sexuality on the cover of Time magazine in 1997 with the title, “Yep, I’m Gay,” and during an episode of The Ellen Show that same year. During the taping, Oprah Winfrey played the role of her therapist. “Has there ever been anyone you felt you clicked with?” Winfrey’s character asked. “What was his name?” DeGeneres replied: “Susan.” The comedian married actress Portia de Rossi in August 2008.
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The White Collar hunk publicly revealed he’s gay during a speech at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in February 2012. “I’d really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon [Halls], Kit, Walker, Henry,” he said of his partner and the couple’s children. “Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment.” In April 2014, the actor revealed in Details magazine that he and Hollywood publicist Halls married in 2011.
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The Mean Girls alum marked the tenth anniversary of the teen comedy by coming out as gay in a letter that he addressed to his character Damian in April 2014. “You became an iconic character that people looked up to; I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger,” he wrote. “I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up. You were beautiful in every single way and words couldn’t bring you down.”
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The Oscar-nominated actor came out as gay in an emotional speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time to Thrive” conference in February 2014. “I’m here today because I am gay and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time,” he said. “Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”
In December 2020, the Juno star publicly disclosed his trans identity, introducing himself as Elliot and using he/they pronouns. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” he wrote via Instagram at the time.
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After keeping it a secret for seven years, the Family Ties alum revealed that she’s a lesbian on the Today show in December 2009. “I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition,” she said. She married contractor Nancy Locke in December 2013. Baxter shares son Theodore and daughter Eva with ex-husband Robert Lewis Bush, and shares daughter Kathleen and twins Peter and Mollie with her second ex-husband, David Birney.
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The season 8 American Idol runner-up opened up about his sexuality on the cover of Rolling Stone in June 2009. “Right after the finale, I almost started talking about it to the reporters, but I thought, ‘I’m going to wait for Rolling Stone, that will be cooler,'” the chart-topper told the mag. “I’m an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing. It shouldn’t matter.”
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The “Come To My Window” singer came out at the Triangle Ball, a gay celebration of President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, in January 1993. She shares twins Johnnie and Miller with ex Tammy Lynn Michaels, and daughter Bailey and late son Beckett with director Julie Cypher. In May 2014, she married actress-producer Linda Wallem.
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The financial guru said in the February 2007 issue of the New York Times magazine that she and her partner, Kathy Travis, had been in a relationship for nearly a decade. “K.T. is my life partner. K.T. stands for Kathy Travis. We’re going on seven years,” the CNBC star said. “I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin.”
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The comedian joined a crowd of 1,000 at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas in November 2008 when she opened up about her personal life for the first time. “I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life,” she said. “Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay.”
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The Game of Thrones actor, who plays Hodor, went public while responding to a question about his “bear” LGBT community following on a fan blog in March 2014. “Well, in all honesty, when you talk about ‘the gay community,’ you are talking about MY community,” he wrote. “I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact. I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview…it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!”
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After decades of speculation, the two-time Oscar winner confirmed her sexual orientation in a moving speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Awards for Lifetime Achievement at the 2013 Golden Globes. “There is no way I could ever stand here without acknowledging one of the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, expert in love, my soul sister in life…Cydney Bernard,” she said of her former partner. “I am so proud of our modern family.” The two share sons Charlie and Kit.
The duo later split, and in April 2014, Foster married actress and photographer Alexandra Hedison.
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The personal trainer came out as gay during an episode of The Biggest Loser while trying to support gay contestant Bobby Saleem. “I haven’t talked about my sexuality on this show ever,” Harper said in November 2013. “And now, meeting Bobby, I really do believe this is the right time. I want to show Bobby that he doesn’t have to live in shame.”
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It was quietly revealed in a May 2012 New York Times profile story that the Big Bang Theory star had been in a ten-year relationship with boyfriend Todd Spiewak. In 2010 and 2014, the actor thanked Spiewak during his Emmy award acceptance speeches. The pair tied the knot in New York in May 2017.
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The acclaimed R&B singer penned in his public blog in July 2012 about a man he fell in love with in his teen years. “4 summer ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together,” he wrote. “Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless.”
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The athlete made NBA history when he came out as gay in April 2013. “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation,” he said on the cover of Sports Illustrated. “I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time.”
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The Talk co-host quietly came out in July 2010 during a press conference at the Television Critics Association in L.A. In March 2014, she confessed during an episode of the CBS talk show that she realized she was gay while dating former Roseanne costar Johnny Galecki in the early ’90s. She married songwriter-producer Linda Perry that same month, and in February 2015, the women welcomed son Rhodes. Four years later, Gilbert filed for legal separation from Perry.
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The actress revealed she had been in a long-term relationship with her female friend in a New York Times column in November 2013. The Prisoners star was previously with TV executive Dan McDermott, with whom she had son Jackson. One month later, she shared a “modern family” picture of herself, ex McDermott, girlfriend Clare Munn, and Jackson via Twitter.
Following her split from Munn, Bello moved on with chef Dominique Crenn, who proposed to the actress in Paris in December 2019.
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The All-American defensive lineman said he was gay during an interview with ESPN in February 2014. One month later, he became the first openly gay NFL player in history when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. An emotional video was later released of him and his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, kissing in celebration.
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The comedian didn’t hold back while performing at the Ovarian Cancer Research benefit in 2002. “I’m a dyke! I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing,” she told the audience. “People are confused, they’re shocked, like this is a big revelation to somebody.” O’Donnell is mom to Parker, Blake, and Vivienne with ex-wife Kelli Carpenter; the couple was married for four years until their split in 2008. In January 2013, she welcomed a baby girl with late second wife, Michelle Rounds, and the pair finalized their divorce two years later.
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Earvin Johnson III
Magic Johnson’s son came out as gay in April 2013 after a photograph of him holding hands with his boyfriend Alessandro Monetti surfaced. “I always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing and creating my own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would,” he said in a YouTube interview. His famous father also spoke to TMZ cameras at the time. “[My wife] Cookie and I love E.J. and support him in every way,” he said. “We’re very proud of him.”