Wonderwall.com is celebrating all the ways celebrities have told the world about their sexual or gender identities, starting with this pop culture star… In October 2020, Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin — who rose to fame on the Netflix documentary series "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" — told Pink News, "I have always considered myself to be bisexual. Even though I've never had a wife, I could just as easily have a wife as a husband," she said. The "Dancing With the Stars" contestant, who's married men, explained that she began exploring her sexuality decades ago when she was engaged to a psychologist who worked with the LGBTQ community. "I was always very male-oriented in the things I did … I never had any mothering instincts or anything, you know, I never played with dolls. And so I always thought that there was something off there, that I couldn't quite put my finger on," she said of her childhood. "But it was during the '80s that I discovered that through dealing with the LGBT+ community that I [realized] I had just as equal feelings for women as I did for men." According to Carole, "I think we are all one and I just don't see us as being different genders or different colors or anything." Keep reading for more stars who've identified as members of the LGBTQ+ community…
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In 2016, "Teen Wolf" alum Tyler Posey clarified comments he'd made implying he was gay, explaining on Twitter, "I'm not gay [but] I fully support the LGBTQ community." But in August 2020, he revealed on his OnlyFans account, "yes, I have been with men before." The same month, he said on an Instagram Story that he'd also been intimate with trans women. A few months later in October 2020, the actor addressed those comments, telling SiriusXM's "The Jason Ellis Show" that he was so upset after reading about trans women who were being beaten and harassed, he felt he had to speak out. "I was hit with wanting just to come out myself with that whole thing and be honest about it," he said. "I know there's a lot of kids that look up to me and I just want to f****** get rid of that stigma [and show] you can be whoever you want to be, get with whoever you want to get with, and it doesn't affect you and it doesn't affect them. The world's f****** weird and it should be. And there's too much stigma on everything and sexuality, especially."
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"Reno 911!" alum Niecy Nash publicly came out when she married singer Jessica Betts. On Aug. 31, 2020, the actress took to Instagram to share a wedding photo. "Mrs. Carol Denise Betts," she wrote in the caption, referencing her real first name as she added ring and rainbow emojis and a hashtag for "Love Wins." The marriage was a shock to many who didn't know Niecy was romantically involved with a woman. She seemed to hint at that on her Instagram Story, posting a photo with Jessica alongside the words "Plot Twist" and a rainbow emoji.
Four years after publicly coming out as bisexual, "Grey's Anatomy" alum Sara Ramirez has also come out as nonbinary. In an August 2020 Instagram post in which they used the hashtag #nonbinary, Sara wrote that they have the capacity to be a "Girlish boy," "Boyish girl," "Boyish boy," "Girlish girl," "All" and "Neither." Sara also indicated in their Instagram bio that they will use both she/her and they/them pronouns moving forward.
Golden Globe-nominated "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky, who played Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 film, came out as a gay woman in June 2020 via social media. She posted a TikTok video in which she sang along and danced to Diana's Ross's hit "I'm Coming Out," captioning it, "Hi, it's Nikki Blonsky from the movie I'm Gay! #pride #imcomingout #hairspray." She shared the news on Instagram the same day, captioning a rainbow-filled image that read "I'M GAY!" with a similar sentiment: "I'm coming out! 🌈🌈🌈 #pride."
Over Pride weekend in June 2020, "Orange Is the New Black" star Taylor Schilling took to Instagram to reveal that she was romantically involved with musical and visual artist Emily Ritz. The move was seen as a public coming out for Taylor, who played a bisexual character, Piper Chapman, on the hit Netflix series and had long been loathe to discuss her dating life in interviews. "I've had very serious relationships with lots of people, and I'm a very expansive human. There's no part of me that can be put under a label. I really don't fit into a box — that's too reductive," she told ES Magazine in 2017.
"Supergirl" star Chyler Leigh came out as a member of the LGBTQ community in an essay published on Creating Change, a site she co-founded, in May 2020. In the piece titled "Wear Your Pride," she explained how much the scene where her "Supergirl" character, Alex Danvers, comes out as a lesbian resonated with her. "When I was told that my character was to come out in season 2, a flurry of thoughts and emotions flew through and around me because of the responsibility I felt to authentically represent Alex's journey. What I didn't realize was how the scene where she finally confessed her truth would leap off the pages of the script and genuinely become a variation of my own. IRL." Chyler, who came to fame on "Grey's Anatomy" — and has been married to actor-musician Nathan West, the father of her three kids, since 2002 — didn't specify in her post how she self-identifies but did go on to explain that though her character's words didn't "exactly match my personal dialogue, the heart behind it surely did." Chyler further explained, "It's been a long and lonely road for both my husband and myself but I can wholeheartedly say that after all these years, he and I are still discovering the depths of ourselves and each other, but throughout our journey, we've learned to be proud of who we are, no matter the cost."
Lili Reinhart publicly came out as bisexual on June 3, 2020. The "Riverdale" actress made the announcement on her Instagram Story while encouraging her followers to attend an LGBTQ+ for Black Lives Matter protest in the Los Angeles area. "Although I've never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman," she wrote. "I will be joining this protest today. Come join."
"Moana" star Auli'i Cravalho used social media to come out as bisexual in April 2020 after a fan tweeted her asking if she likes girls. Auli'i responded, "If I may escort you to my TikTok…" and directed fans to her account. There, she'd posted a video of herself captioned "5:53a thirst trap" in which she lip-synced parts of Eminem's "Those Kinda Nights." The lyrics? "'Seriously though, jokes aside, how you doin'? You straight?'/ She said, 'No, I'm bi / She said, 'Are you drunk?,' I said, 'No, I'm high'/ 'I'm checkin' out the chick,' she said, 'So am I.'"
"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" and "Detective Pikachu" actor Justice Smith publicly came out as queer in a June 2020 Instagram post while voicing his support for queer and trans people against the backdrop of a Black Lives Matter protest. He shared that he and his boyfriend, "Queen Sugar" actor Nicholas Ashe — who also reportedly publicly came out via the post — were protesting in New Orleans early in the month. "We chanted 'Black Trans Lives Matter' 'Black Queer Lives Matter' 'All Black Lives Matter.' As a black queer man myself, I was disappointed to see certain people eager to say Black Lives Matter, but hold their tongue when Trans/Queer was added," Justice wrote in part alongside a slideshow of photos from the event as well as with his love, Nicholas. Justice later wrote on Twitter, "yo tf i didn't come out, y'all came in."
In 2015, model-actress Cara Delevingne came out as bisexual in a story in Vogue. At the time, she was dating music star St. Vincent. In 2018, she discussed her gender identity, confirming that she is gender fluid. Then in a June 2020 interview with Variety to celebrate Pride Month, she gave fans an update on her sexual identity. "I always will remain, I think, pansexual," the British star said of her attraction to a person regardless of their sex or gender identities. "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."
"What Not To Wear" star Stacy London rang in 2020 by coming out publicly with her girlfriend on Instagram. The star revealed that she and girlfriend Cat Yezbak had been dating for a year.
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." star J. August Richards came out as a gay man during an April 2020 Instagram Live. While speaking about his new role on "Council of Dads," he said, "I knew that I could not portray this gay man honestly without letting you all know that I am a gay man myself." The following day, the actor, who previously starred as Charles Gunn on "Angel," said he experienced a "crushing avalanche of LOVE" after publicly coming out. "Who knew that something I once thought of as terrifying had within it something so beautiful," he said. "For every comment, like, emoji, repost, phone call, text message, everything. I felt it ALL… Thank you!!!"
YouTuber and singer Rebecca Black — who found fame in 2011 when the music video for her song "Friday" went viral — came out as queer in an April 2020 interview on the "Dating Straight" podcast. "I made a conscious decision to not like, 'come out,' but just to like, I don't know, people started asking and I just stopped responding. I'm still in the process it feels like," she explained to hosts Jack Dodge and Amy Ordman. "To me, the word 'queer' feels really nice," she added before explaining that she'd recently gotten out of a long relationship with a woman. "I have dated a lot of different types of people. I don't really know what the future holds."
On March 26, 2020, Grammy-nominated rapper Da Brat came out on Instagram and also introduced her girlfriend, Jesseca "BB Judy" Dupart, the CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products. "Never have I EVER. Needless to say… I've always been a kind of private person until I met my heart's match who handles some things differently than I do," Da Brat wrote as she showed off an early birthday gift from her love — a new Bentley. BB Judy added, "I've never been SOOOO happy and honestly think that it's not only because of our connection but also because we really been to ourselves."
Jameela Jamil came out as queer on Feb. 5, 2020. The star of "The Good Place" took to to social media with her personal reveal after HBO Max announced that she'd be a judge on the voguing competition series "Legendary" — news that irked some members of the LGBTQ community who felt the show should feature its own. "Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer," Jameela wrote. "I added a rainbow to my name when I felt ready a few years ago, as it's not easy within the south Asian community to be accepted, and I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter. But I kept it low because I was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon jumping, over something that caused me a lot of confusion, fear and turmoil when I was a kid." She continued, "I didn't come from a family with *anyone* openly out. It's also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you're a brown female in your thirties. This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out. I'm jumping off this hell app for a while because I don't want to read mean comments dismissing this. You can keep your thoughts." She went on to explain that she's long been an ally of the community and urged people to focus on the show's contestants instead of her.
"The Flash" star Rick Cosnett took to Instagram on Feb. 14, 2020, to tell fans that he's gay, though he suspected it wasn't exactly news to many. "Hi, everyone. Dramatic pause … I'm gay," he said in his video post. "I just wanted everyone to know because I've made a promise to myself to, uh, live my truth every day, and sometimes that is a really hard thing to do when you have all these subconscious things you don't even know about from childhood, and from society, and from … just life." He added, "So, there you go. I'm sure most of you probably knew anyway. And, yeah, that's actually all I wanted to say."
In 2015 following the release of her song "Cool for the Summer," which featured lyrics flicking at sexual fluidity, Demi Lovato hinted in an interview on "Chatty Man" that she wasn't straight. Then in 2017, after previously only publicly dating men, she was romantically linked to a woman. In 2018, Demi told InStyle, "I'm very fluid, and I think love is love. You can find it in any gender. I like the freedom of being able to flirt with whoever I want." In a January 2020 interview on "Radio Andy," Demi recalled coming out to her parents three years earlier. "I didn't officially tell my parents that I saw myself ending up possibly with a woman until 2017," she explained. "It was actually emotional, but really beautiful. After everything was done, I was like, shaking and crying. I just felt overwhelmed. I have such incredible parents. They were so supportive." She added, "My mom was the one that I was super-nervous about [telling], but she was like, 'I just want you to be happy.' And that was so beautiful and amazing. I'm so grateful."
DJ Qualls, who initially found fame in the 2000 comedy "Road Trip," took to Twitter on Jan. 11 to publicly come out as a gay man after first sharing his news during a comedy show. The star of "The New Guy" and "The Core" wrote: "It is 11:20pm. I just came out on stage at a @jimjefferies show in San Diego. Yep, I'm gay. Been gay this whole time. Tired of worrying about what people would think of me. Tired of worrying about what it would do to my career."
While chatting with Fader magazine in 2014 about debut album "In the Lonely Hour," Sam Smith revealed that it was "about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn't love me back." The Grammy winner later spoke openly about being a "gay man." Then, in a March 2019 interview with Jameela Jamil's "I Weigh Interviews" Instagram-based series, Sam explained a further identity evolution. "When I saw the word 'non-binary/genderqueer' and I read into it and I heard these people speaking, I was like, 'F—, that is me,'" said Sam, who at the time still used male pronouns. "Non-binary/genderqueer is that you do not identify in a gender. You are a mixture of all different things. You are your own special creation. That's how I take it — I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between — it's all on the spectrum." Six months later in September 2019, Sam announced a further identity progression. "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM," Sam wrote on Instagram. "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out. I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f— it! I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you."
Former "The Bachelor" contestant Demi Burnett added some much needed diversity to Bachelor Nation when she came out in a teaser for the sixth season premiere of "Bachelor in Paradise" in 2019. In the promo for the show, she was heard saying, "I don't care who sees this. I know that I love this girl. I'm just so happy that I found her, and I can definitely picture being with her for the rest of my life." The woman she was talking about, Kristian Haggerty, was someone Demi had been dating off-camera who soon joined her in Mexico — and later became Demi's fiancée. Demi made things crystal clear in a tweet that followed the promo: "Spoiler alert: I'm a queer queen," she wrote. In August 2019, Demi explained that she came out to her family, who were supportive, right before she came out to America on television. "There's not been a single gay person in any of my family," she said on the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast. "So coming out to millions all at once? It was overwhelming and it was scary, but my heart knew that that's what it wanted."
NFL free agent Ryan Russell surprised the sports world with his honesty when he publicly came out as bisexual in August 2019. "My truth is that I'm a talented football player, a damn good writer, a loving son, an overbearing brother, a caring friend, a loyal lover and a bisexual man," Ryan wrote in a first-person story for ESPN.
Julianne Hough made headlines when she opened up about her sexual identity in a September 2019 cover story for Women's Health. The former "Dancing With the Stars" pro and current "America's Got Talent" judge explained that as she went through a personal evolution following her 2017 marriage to former pro hockey player Brooks Laich, "I [told him], 'You know I'm not straight, right?' And he was like, 'I'm sorry what?'" she told the mag. "I was like, 'I'm not. But I choose to be with you.'" Brooks took to social media to praise his wife for her honesty. "So proud of my wife @juleshough for the woman she is, and her courage to share her journey of trials and triumphs!" he captioned a pic of her Women's Health cover.
Amid the wild success of his massive hit song "Old Town Road," rapper Lil Nas X came out as a gay man at the end of Pride Month on June 30, 2019. While posting a link to his new song "C7osure," the rapper tweeted, "Some of y'all already know, some of y'all don't care, some of y'all not [going to f— with me] no more. But before this month ends I want y'all to listen closely to c7osure." He added a rainbow emoji. In the song, Lil Nas X sings of living a "more authentic life." He later shared a video of his EP's artwork, zooming in on a rainbow projected on a building. "I thought I made it obvious," he later tweeted. Many in the entertainment world applauded his decision to come out.
Back in August 2016, the Disney Channel "Shake It Up" alum Bella Thorne used social media to publicly discuss her sexual fluidity. When a fan tweeted Bella to ask if she was bisexual, the teen star replied, "Yes." She followed it up in another tweet that read, "Aww thank you for all the accepting tweets from everyone. I love you guys #pride." Nearly three years later in a July 2019 interview with "Good Morning America," Bella revealed that her sexual identity had evolved. "I'm actually a pansexual, and I didn't know that," she said, explaining that to her, that means "You like what you like… Doesn't have to be a girl, or a guy, or… you know, a he, a she, a this or that. It's literally, you like personality, like you just like a being."
In February 2019, Tony Award winner Ben Platt opened up about his sexual identity publicly in both the video for his song "Ease My Mind" and in an interview with People magazine. "I've been out since I was 12 years old to my family and anyone in my life," the Broadway and "Pitch Perfect" star said. "I've never sort of hidden that or been ashamed by it. It's just part of me."
"Champions" star J.J. Totah, who found fame on the Disney Channel's "Jessie," came out as a transgender female in an essay for Time magazine at age 17 in August 2018. She now goes by Josie Totah. Josie explained that she had always been pegged as "J.J. Totah, gay boy… People kept assuming my identity." But she finally felt ready to speak her truth publicly after making the decision to start hormone replacement therapy at age 14, which helped her, slowly but surely, grow more confident. "My pronouns are she, her and hers," she wrote. "I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah."
In April 2019, pop icon Ariana Grande seemingly confirmed her bisexuality in her hit song "Monopoly." The Grammy-winning singer declared in her lyrics, "I like women and men," causing many of her fans to assume she was coming out. Following the brouhaha, a fan tweeted, "Ariana ain't gotta label herself, but she said what she said," which led the singer to tweet back, "I haven't before and still don't feel the need to now which is okay."
In May 2019, Nickelodeon actor Michael D. Cohen revealed that he's transgender. The "Henry Danger" star told Time magazine, "I was misgendered at birth. I identify as male, and I am proud that I have had a transgender experience — a transgender journey." Michael actually played female roles in his native Toronto in the '90s then began transitioning in 2000. Explaining why he waited to open up publicly, the actor said, "This crazy backlash and oppression of rights is happening right in front of me. I can't stay silent. The level of — let's be polite — misunderstanding around trans issues is so profound and so destructive. When you disempower one population, you disempower everybody."
"Andi Mack" actor Joshua Rush made history when he played the Disney Channel's first openly gay teen character. On Aug. 6, Joshua, who now voices the lead on "Where's Waldo," used social media to publicly come out himself as "an out and proud bisexual man," he tweeted as part of a lengthy thread explaining his decision to speak about his identity.
"Fuller House" star Juan Pablo Di Pace publicly revealed that he is gay during a TEDx Talk in March 2019 given to students at United World College in the Netherlands that made headlines after it was uploaded to YouTube in June 2019. The Argentinean actor, who competed on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2018, explained to People magazine that though he'd been out to friends and family for 20 years, "In the work life, public life, it just felt like I was still omitting a piece of information because there was some kind of shame or fear there, and so, I saw [speaking about it publicly] as an opportunity to also heal myself," he said.
Lilly Singh, the YouTube star and soon-to-be late night television host, confirmed her sexuality in February 2019 when she tweeted out that she was "female, coloured, bisexual." The Canadian star followed up by saying, "Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I'm fully embracing them as my superpowers. No matter how many 'boxes' you check, I encourage you to do the same x."
In an April 2019 interview with The Advocate, "Roswell, New Mexico" star and 'Pretty Little Liars" alum Tyler Blackburn opened up about his sexuality publicly. "I'm queer. I've identified as bisexual since [I was] a teenager," he said. "I heard so many things from within the queer community about bisexuality being a cop-out or bulls— or the easy way out or something, and that always stuck with me because I felt the pressure from all sides to have [my sexuality] figured out and I think for the longest time, I suppressed more of my attraction to men." He said it wasn't until he was in his late 20s toward the end of his "PLL" run "that I really allowed myself to go there and not just wonder about it or lust over it, but experience that vulnerability and experience the emotional aspect of what it is to be bisexual."
In November 2018, Michael C. Hall revealed that he takes a very fluid approach to his sexuality. While he's currently married to a woman, Morgan Macgregor, the "Dexter" and "Six Feet Under" actor feels that he's not 100 percent straight. "I think there's a spectrum," he said in an interview with the Daily Beast. "I am on it. I'm heterosexual. But if there was a percentage, I would say I was not all the way heterosexual." Still, Michael said that he's never had an "intimate relationship" with a man. Rather, he just maintains an open mind when it comes to his thoughts on intimacy. "I think I have always leaned into any fluidity in terms of my sexuality," he added. Michael has been married — to women — three times.
In April 2018, "Broad City" actress Abbi Jacobson told Vanity Fair, "I kind of go both ways; I date men and women. They have to be funny, doing something they love. I don't know — I've never really been interviewed about this before."
Daya celebrated her first National Coming Out Day in October 2018 with a very special Instagram post. "All i gotta say is follow your gut and don't feel like you owe any sort of explanation to anyone. your sexuality is yours only so build with it at a pace that works for you. i'm proud to be a bisexual member of the LGBTQ community with a girl i love who makes me feel more like me every day," the "Hide Away" singer wrote. "The support has been beyond and though it wasn't always easy i also recognize how privileged i am to have had so much of it, so i especially wanna be there for those of u who aren't surrounded by the most accepting family/friends/communities."
In May 2018, Rita Ora released a song with Charlie XCX, Cardi B and Bebe Rexha called "Girls," which features the line "Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls." After getting backlash, the British pop star defended herself, tweeting, "'Girls' was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey."
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow might be best known for publicly exposing disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct and fueling the #MeToo movement, but the star — whose parents are Mia Farrow and Woody Allen — made headlines for a different reason in April 2018. Though he'd previously kept his sexual orientation private, Ronan came out as a member of the LGBT community in a speech while accepting a Courage Award from the Point Foundation.
During a mid-July Q&A with fans on her Instagram Story, Paris Jackson was asked, "Are you bi?" The daughter of the late Michael Jackson responded, "that's what you guys call it so i guess but who needs labels." A few days later, she addressed widespread media reports about her post, revealing that she came out at 14 and considers herself to be a part of the LGBTQ community. Paris also reiterated that she doesn't want to identify herself with any specific word. "I'm not 'bisexual.' I just love people for people," she wrote. "I don't label myself so please don't label me. Thank you!"
Fans speculated that singer-songwriter Jason Mraz might be a member of the LGBTQ community after he wrote a poem celebrating Pride Month for Billboard.com in June 2018 that ended with the line "I am bi your side." In an interview with Billboard that was published the following month, he opened up about it — and publicly revealed that he's sexually attracted to men as well as women. "Honestly, I didn't realize it was going to be so telling," he told Billboard. "But I've had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife. It was like, 'Wow, does that mean I am gay?' And my wife laid it out for me. She calls it 'two spirit,' which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman. I really like that."
Actor Garrett Clayton — who's most famous for his work on the Disney Channel's "Teen Beach Movie" and Freeform's "The Fosters" — publicly came out as a gay man in an Aug. 20, 2018, Instagram post. He brought up his sexuality while writing about his movie "Reach" — a high school dramedy that explores topics including suicide and bullying — and in the process revealed he's in a long-term relationship with another man. "I thought it was important to explain why I took on this project in the first place," Garrett wrote. "REACH deals with some very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally, and have likely influenced many of your lives as well." He explained that he wanted to be a part of the film because he and "the man I've been in a relationship with for a long time" had dealt with some of the themes in their personal lives. Garrett tagged his boyfriend, writer Blake Knight, in his post.
"Westworld" actress Tessa Thompson publicly came out in an interview with Net-a-Porter published on June 29, 2018. "I'm attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home [to my family], [or] a man, we don't even have to have the discussion," she explained. Tessa, who played bisexual Valkyrie in Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok," also addressed rumors than she's romantically involved with Janelle Monae, who came out as pansexual in 2018. "It's tricky, because Janelle and I are just really private people and we're both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence," she said, though stopped short of saying they were involved. "Janelle and I love each other deeply. We're so close, we vibrate on the same frequency. If people want to speculate about what we are, it doesn't bother me."
Singer-actress Janelle Monae came out as pansexual in Rolling Stone's May 4, 2018, issue cover story. "Being a black queer woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women, I consider myself to be a free-a– motherf—–," she said. Janelle initially described herself as bisexual, the magazine reported, but later decided she preferred the term pansexual, which connotes an attraction to someone regardless of their gender identity. "Later I read about pansexuality and was like, 'Oh, these are things that I identify with too. I'm open to learning more about who I am," she explained.
Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie came out as pansexual in an interview with Paper magazine published on July 6, 2018. "I'm married to a woman and I'm very much in love with her but I'm not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. Yeah, I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don't care," he said. "If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart's in the right place. I'm definitely attracted to men. It's just people that I am attracted to… I guess this is me coming out as pansexual."
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"Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg publicly came out as a gay woman on June 16, 2018. "OUT & PROUD. So happy to say the words Yep, I'm Gay in official print," she captioned an Instagram photo of herself wearing a rainbow-plaid jacket and sporting rainbow-colored hair. Amandla, who previously came out as bisexual on Snapchat in 2016, went on to explain that she spoke about her sexual identity with the new issue of Wonderland magazine and urged fans to read it.
"Glee" alum Kevin McHale came out as a gay man in April 2018 — and used a new Ariana Grande song to share his truth. "#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande," he tweeted on April 20, marking the first time he'd publicly characterized his sexual orientation. The tweets followed several weeks of speculation that Kevin, who played wheelchair-bound Artie Abrams on the hit FOX show for years, was coming out as he'd recently posted photos of himself holding hands with a guy and snuggling with actor Austin P. McKenzie.
Joey Pollari, who's appeared on "American Crime" and in the 2018 coming of age comedy-drama "Love, Simon," publicly revealed that he's gay in March 2018. While being interviewed by The Advocate, Joey — who's now in his early 20s — shared that he came out to friends and family back when he was 18.
Sasha Lane, best known for her roles in films like "American Honey," came out of the closet in January 2018 during a Sundance Film Festival press conference promoting her film "The Miseducation of Cameron Post." The actress revealed that she's gay while talking about her home life, explaining that she grew up with a brother who is also gay.
Actor Lee Pace of "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "The Hobbit" franchise fame publicly came out as "a member of the queer community" in a series of tweets on March 5, 2018. The "Halt and Catch Fire" star spoke out following an interview with W that left him irked after the reporter questioned him about his sexuality. "I've dated men. I've dated women. I don't know why anyone would care. I'm an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don't know what to say — I find your question intrusive," he told the mag. Lee then took to Twitter to explain his reaction: "In a recent phone interview, I was asked questions that I wasn't expecting and found myself momentarily at a loss for the right words. My privacy is important to me, so I protect it. When interviewed by the media, I keep the focus on my work. As a member of the queer community, I understand the importance of living openly, being counted, and happily owning who I am. That's how I've always lived my life… just as it's been important to me to portray queer characters with dignity for my entire career: A Soldier's Girl (Showtime. 2003). The Normal Heart (Broadway. 2011). Halt and Catch Fire (AMC. 2014-2017). Angels in America. (Broadway. NOW.) Onward, with Pride."
While interacting with fans on Twitter on April 22, 2018, singer Kehlani talked about identifying as queer. "I'm queer. Not bi, not straight. I'm attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non binary people, intersex people, trans people," she wrote, adding, "Lil poly pansexual papa hello good morning. Does that answer your questions?" She continued, "And since we on that… I'm the LEAST attracted to straight men, y'all really adorable sometimes tho. Bisexual men really are little gifts from god tho." When asked why she prefers the word queer to gay when describing herself, she clarified, "I felt gay always insisted there was still a line drawn as to which 'label' of human I was attracted when I really jus be walking around thinking ERRYBODY FINE." She later deleted some of her comments, explaining, "I retracted my queer tweet because i am being corrected about the way in which i listed the gender spectrum and i'm super super sensitive to being offensive especially when i'm only trying to appreciate. point is, i love love, and that love lies in every gender there is."
Former child star Aaron Carter endured many struggles in 2017, but one positive step he took, he explained, was to be honest about his sexual identity. In August 2017, the pop star revealed on Twitter that he is bisexual. He also revealed he'd dated one of his male backup dancers when he was 17. "This doesn't bring me shame, just a weight and burden I have held onto for a long time that I would like lifted off of me," Aaron wrote. In March 2018, Aaron drew criticism when he seemingly backpedaled, telling the "HollywoodLife" podcast, "It was more so just a story that happened when I was like 17 with somebody. And I can find men and women attractive, but when it comes down to it, I think it was a little misconstrued. I see myself being with a woman and having kids. I want to have a family."
Everyone loves Barb, and she loves everyone! In April 2017, "Stranger Things" star Shannon Purser announced via Twitter, "I don't normally do this, but I figure now is as good a time as any to get personal. I've only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends."
In a May 2017 interview with Out Magazine, "Arrested Development" star Alia Shawkat announced her bisexuality. She told the mag, "I think balancing my male and female energies has been a big part of me growing as an actor."
Gordon Thomson, who portrayed the homophobic villain Adam Carrington on "Dynasty," announced on Sept. 25, 2017, that he is a gay man. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Gordon said, "I'm assuming that people know, and now that I'm my age, that's fine. I don't go out of my way because it's my generation, I think. I'm probably as homophobic as any gay man alive because of my background."
CMT host Cody Alan made the big decision to come out in January 2017. He posted on Instagram, "As we start a new year, there is something I want to share with you. You see, I'm gay."
In March 2018, former Disney Channel star Alyson Stoner, who's also known for appearing in "Step Up," penned an essay for Teen Vogue in which she revealed, "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women and people who identify in other ways. I can love people of every gender identity and expression. It is the soul that captivates me," she wrote. The former "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" actress, who's also lent her voice to "Phineas and Ferb," asked fans "to accept me as I accept myself."
Rapper iLoveMakonnen made headlines in January 2017 when he tweeted, "As a fashion icon, I can't tell u about everybody else's closet, I can only tell u about mine, and it's time [I] come out."
In an interview with Vulture published on June 14, 2017, "Orphan Black" star Jordan Gavaris announced his sexuality to the world. The actor told the publication, "Oh, I'm gay. Nobody ever asks me. I've never been asked. Like, the whole course of the series."
"13 Reasons Why" actor Brandon Flynn proudly publicly revealed his sexual identity on Instagram on Sept. 27, 2017, in a lengthy post urging Australians to support marriage equality. The actor wrote, "We've fought, we've come out bravely even in our fear, and you wrote a message in the sky because you're scared. Equality takes courage, it worries me that too many people in this world lack the balls to stand up for what is right." He also showed the world by packing on the PDA with singer Sam Smith in early October.
Former "Heroes" actor Thomas Dekker wasn't planing on coming out, but his hand was kind of forced when director Bryan Fuller gave a speech indirectly outing the actor. Thomas followed up by proudly posting, "While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier."
In an open letter published on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website in June 2017, "Parks and Recreation" star Natalie Morales opened up about who she is. She wrote, "I don't like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it's easier for you to understand me, what I'm saying is that I'm queer."
"The Walking Dead" star Daniel Newman took to social media in 2017 to announce that he is gay and proud. He followed up in an interview with People, telling the mag, "I don't want to be hidden and have to dodge the question. I'm proud of who I am."
Sarah Paulson came out unexpectedly by kissing her then-partner Cherry Jones as Cherry went to accept her Tony Award in 2005. Sarah later explained the moment to No Tofu magazine, stating, "She won a Tony Award, I kissed her, and all of a sudden I was outed. I didn't really think about it in that way at the time — I was just doing what one would do when a person they love has just won a big fat acting prize. What am I gonna do, pat her on the back and say 'good job, dude?' It didn't occur to me to do anything but what I did." Since then, Sarah has been out and proud. She admitted her love for girlfriend Holland Taylor in March 2016 after the two had been dating for five months. Sarah also gushed about Holland at the 2016 Emmys, finishing her acceptance speech by saying, "and Holland Taylor, I love you. Thank you."
Speaking of Sarah Paulson's girlfriend, Holland Taylor came out in November 2015. She was speaking with WNYC when she revealed she was in a serious relationship with a woman. When asked if she wanted to elaborate on her sexuality, she responded, "I haven't come out because I am out. I live out."
Colton Haynes chose to come out on social media, taking to his Tumblr and coyly addressing a user who commented on his "secret gay past." Colton responded, "Was it a secret?" which landed him in the headlines. His normally private life became very public, but the actor told Entertainment Weekly, "I'm happier than I've ever been, and healthier than I've ever been, and that's what I care about." In 2017, Colton married celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham. They split six months later, reconciled, then split again.
Kristen Stewart came out to ELLE U.K., finally opening up about then-girlfriend Alicia Cargile in the mag's September 2016 issue. "When I was dating a guy I was hiding everything that I did because everything personal felt like it was immediately trivialized, so I didn't like it. We were turned into these characters and placed into this ridiculous comic book," she said about her relationship with ex Robert Pattinson. "But then it changed when I started dating a girl. I was like, 'Actually, to hide this provides the implication that I'm not down with it or I'm ashamed of it, so I had to alter how I approached being in public. It opened my life up and I'm so much happier.'"
In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, Mara Wilson took to Twitter to come out of the closet in June 2016. The "Matilda" star confirmed to fans via a series of tweets that she's bisexual, and after receiving a flurry of responses signed off the site, saying, "Thank you so much to everybody who has sent me words of support. I support you all, too. ❤️"
In 2012, Matt Bomer was awarded at the Desert AIDS Project's Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in Palm Springs and during his acceptance speech he thanked a few special people in his life — including husband Simon Halls and their three kids. "I'd really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry," he said. "Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment. God bless you."
During the 2014 Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference benefiting LGBT youth in Las Vegas, Ellen Page announced that she is gay. "I'm here today because I am gay," Ellen revealed, "and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility," she said. "I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission," she continued. "I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain." In January 2018, she announced her marriage to dancer-choreographer Emma Portner.
"Modern Family" star Reid Ewing publicly revealed himself to be a gay man in November 2015 via a Twitter response. When a fan asked if he "just came out" on the social media site after Reid called a male actor "hot af," Reid responded "I was never in," confirming his sexuality.
In 2012, it wasn't Jim Parsons who publicly announced that he was gay, per se. It was a profile in the New York Times that subtly revealed his sexual orientation which at the time also aligned with his Broadway role as Tommy Boatwright in "The Normal Heart." According to the Times, "'The Normal Heart' resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said." The play centers around gay men suffering from AIDS in the Big Apple during the '80s. Jim married his boyfriend of 15 years, graphic designer Todd Spiewak, in May 2017.
In April 1997, Ellen Degeneres came out by writing it into her sitcom in a highly-rated episode of "Ellen" — a very meta-outing, which she followed up with a Time magazine interview. "I never wanted to be 'the lesbian actress.' I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth," she said.
In March 2010, Sean Hayes officially came out in an interview with the Advocate. "I never have had a problem saying who I am. … I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never," he said.
Singer Ryan Beatty came out on Instagram on June 28. He explained why he decided to reveal his sexual orientation with a photo of a couple holding onto each other behind a pink balloon that reads, "Gay Power." In the caption, the 20-year-old wrote, "proud to be a raging homosexual. it's taken 20 years of suffocating in the closet for me to become comfortable enough to say it, but now I can finally breathe. i did it!"
"Kyle XY" star Matt Dallas started out the New Year in 2013 with a big announcement — he's gay and happily engaged! The actor used Twitter to deliver the news, posting a photo of fiance Blue Hamilton and their pup with the tweet, "Starting off the year with a new fiancé, @bluehamilton. A great way to kick off 2013!"
Musician Frank Ocean took to Tumblr to post about his sexuality in July 2012, and though he didn't explicitly say the words "gay" or "bisexual," he shared a story that explained that at 19, he found his first love — who was a man.
Maria Bello wrote an essay for The New York Times in 2013 in which she explained her relationship with her close friend Clare and how their relationship had turned into something more romantic. "She was one of the most beautiful, charming, brilliant and funny people I had ever met, but it didn't occur to me, until that soul-searching moment in my garden, that we could perhaps choose to love each other romantically," Maria wrote of Clare in her essay. The pair's split made headlines in early 2016.
After an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres" where he didn't directly come out of the closet, "Empire" star Jussie Smollett spoke to the talk show host backstage and confirmed his sexuality in March 2015. While talking to Ellen on camera for the backstage segment, Jussie shared, "it was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet. There's never been a closet. That I've been in. I don't own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don't have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home."
To mark the 100th day of recovery from her battle with cancer in 2013, Robin Roberts subtly came out on Facebook in a touching post. "At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude," she said. "I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life. I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together. I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery. I return every one of them to you 100 fold. On this last Sunday of 2013 I encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for too."
YouTuber Shane Dawson surprised his millions of fans in July 2015 when, after being in a longtime relationship with fellow YouTube star Lisa Schwartz, he came out as bisexual man in a video posted to his channel.
The pages of Sports Illustrated is not a conventional place to come out, but NBA star Jason Collins opted to tell his truth to the magazine 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. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand," Jason explained.
Following years of speculation, Anderson Cooper outed himself in an email to political blogger, Andrew Sullivan, in 2012. In the email he wrote, "The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
Amandla Stenberg, who starred in "The Hunger Games," came out as bisexual in a Snapchat video on Jan. 7, 2016. "It's a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourselves into shapes that you just shouldn't be in," she said in the clip. "As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I've been through it and it hurts and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable."
Ricky Martin released the following statement in regards to his sexuality on his website RickyMartinMusic.com on March 29, 2010: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids were born with. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."
Though Elton John was once married to a woman named Renate Biauel, the singer came out in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1988. "[Coming out] gave me the freedom to be who I was for the rest of my life. I don't have to hide around corners. The worse thing is to be afraid of who you are — it's horrible," he said.
YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen came out to her millions of fans via — what else — a YouTube video in June 2015. In her heartfelt reveal, Ingrid shared, "I guess I am just going to get right to it. There's something that I want you to know, and that something is: I'm gay."
After his former girlfriend, pop star Tiffany, accidentally revealed his sexual orientation in an interview, NKOTB singer Jonathan Knight released the following statement in 2011: "I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost 20 years ago. I never knew that I would have to do it all over again publicly just because I reunited with NKOTB! I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay! Apparently the prerequisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on the cover of a magazine with the caption 'I am gay'. I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected!"
Until 2011, Zachary Quinto hadn't spoken publicly about his sexual orientation. But in an interview with New York Magazine, the actor who played Spock in 2009's "Star Trek" movie and was Sylar on TV's "Heroes" opened up for the first time about life as "a gay man."
How did Rosie O'Donnell come out? She guest starred as a gay woman on "Will & Grace" (following in Ellen's footsteps, obviously); she followed up by announcing it officially in a stand-up gig at a benefit in 2002. "I'm a dyke! I don't know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing. … People are confused, they're shocked, like this is a big revelation to somebody," she revealed.
In a 2006 interview with People magazine, Neil Patrick Harris revealed: "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."
Barry Manilow had never addressed his sexuality, but he came out by quietly marrying his partner of over 30 years, Garry Kief. The two married in a private ceremony in 2014 at Barry's Palm Springs, California home.
Though Cynthia Nixon had no official coming out, she was outed once she started living with her now-wife Christine Marinoni in 2004. "In terms of sexual orientation I don't really feel I've changed… I'd been with men all my life, and I'd never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn't seem so strange. I'm just a woman in love with another woman," she divulged.
Lance Bass revealed that he is gay in a People magazine cover story in July 2006. "I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy," he stated.
Tom Cruise's "Top Gun" love interest, Kelly McGillis, came out on a lesbian website called Shewired.com. "I think that was an ongoing process from the time I was probably 12. It was a long arduous journey for me," she revealed.
In a Rolling Stone interview in June 2009, Adam Lambert revealed that he couldn't wait to openly discuss his sexual orientation, but wanted to do so with the music mag. "I'm proud of my sexuality. I embrace it. It's just another part of me. … 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,'" he said.
Wentworth Miller came out as gay in a letter on Aug. 21, 2013. Wentworth sent a letter to the director of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival to decline his invitation to speak as a special guest. "Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes," he said in the letter that was posted on GLAAD's website. "However, as a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly. Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I'll be free to make a different choice."
At a gay rights rally in Las Vegas in 2008, Wanda Sykes took to the stage and addressed her sexuality. "I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked — our community was attacked. Now I gotta get in their face. I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a black woman. And I'm proud to be gay," she said.
T. R. Knight told Ellen DeGeneres that he got the courage to come out publicly after his co-star Isaiah Washington used an anti-gay slur on set of "Grey's Anatomy." "I was under no delusions," T. R. said. "My friends on the set knew. We talked about it. Publicly it's not my thing to call up People magazine and be like, 'Hey, you want to know something about me?' … I could've just let it slide and not said anything, but it became important. It became important to make the statement." In his statement to People T.R. said, "I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I'd like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there. While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me."
Victor Garber acknowledged his partner in an interview with Canada's Forever Young News in 2012. "My relationships with my family and my friends. My companion Rainer Andreesen and I have been together almost 13 years in Greenwich Village. We both love New York," he said. He also spoke about his sexuality to the website Greg in Hollywood in 2013. "I don't really talk about it but everybody knows," he said before bringing up his now-husband Rainer. "He's going to be out here with me for the SAG Awards."
While sitting down with Matt Lauer on the "Today Show" in December 2009, Meredith Baxter revealed: "I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition. Some people would say, 'Well, you're living a lie,' and, you know, the truth is — not at all. This has only been for the past seven years."
Shortly after George Michael's scandal in a Beverly Hills, Calif., bathroom, he appeared on CNN in April 2008 to address his sexual orientation. "I feel stupid and I feel reckless and weak for having allowed my sexuality to be exposed this way, but I don't feel any shame whatsoever. I don't think I ever wanted to address [my sexuality] and certainly not quite this way," he said.
Although she had mentioned her partner Cydney Bernard in 2007, Jodie Foster used her 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech time to officially come out. During her big moment the actress said, "I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met. But now, apparently I'm told, that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show."
On. Aug. 2, 2013, Raven-Symone came out on Twitter. "I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you," she tweeted.
In the February 1999 issue of The Advocate, Nathan Lane confirmed that he's gay. "I just assume a lot of people know," he told the mag. "It's never been something I kept a secret."
Ty Herndon shared "his truth" to People magazine in November 2014. "During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he told the mag. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth. I'm an out, proud and happy gay man."
Billy Gilman announced that he was gay on the same day Ty Herndon came out. On Nov. 20, 2014, Billy posted a video on YouTube and explained how Ty inspired him to come out too. "It's taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you're watching right now," Billy said. "But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video. And I wanted my fans, who have stuck by me for many, many years, to know." Billy further shared his story, "I took a long time to grow in country music, and I took a while to grow up, and recently released some new music. We filmed a video for the single 'Say You Will' in Rhode Island and was getting ready to do an interview with a reporter, locally. And coincidentally I ran into this reporter at a local fall festival with my partner, someone who I am happily now sharing my life with. This reporter took a picture of us and it was in that moment that I knew that I'd rather it be from me, than you reading it somewhere else, and probably filled with not truth."
In September 2008, Clay Aiken spoke the truth about being gay in a People magazine cover story alongside his adorable baby. "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," he revealed.