To celebrate Pride Month 2021, Wonderwall.com is sharing all the ways celebrities have told the world about their sexual or gender identities, beginning with this fan favorite reality TV alum… Singer David Archuleta — who was the runner-up on season 7 of "American Idol" — came out as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in a lengthy and loving June 12, 2021, social media post in which he urged others with strong religious beliefs like him to be understanding and compassionate of people like him. "I like to keep to myself but also thought this was important to share because I know so many other people from religious upbringings feel the same way," he began his post, which continued in the comments. "I've been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality. 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. There are people experiencing the same feelings of being LGBTQIA+ … who are wrestling to follow their beliefs that are so important to them, just as I have." David explained that he "don't have all the answers" but asked his followers to "please consider making room to be more understanding and compassionate to those who are LGBTQIA+, and those who are a part of that community and trying to find that balance with their faith which also is a huge part of their identity like myself. I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints, to listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith." He explained he hopes to let people in his same situation "know you're not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan…" David explained, adding that he "tried for almost 20 years to try and change myself until I realized God made me how I am for a purpose."
Keep reading for more stars who've identified as members of the LGBTQIA+ community…
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Demi Lovato came out as non-binary and will now use they/them pronouns, the pop star revealed on their new podcast, "4D with Demi Lovato," in May 2021. "I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am, and am still discovering," they explained. Demi has publicly shared their evolving identity regarding both sexuality and gender in recent years: In 2015 following the release of their song "Cool for the Summer," which featured lyrics flicking at sexual fluidity, Demi hinted in an interview on "Chatty Man" that they weren't straight. Then in 2017, after previously only publicly dating men, they were 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 their parents three years earlier. "I didn't officially tell my parents that I saw myself ending up possibly with a woman until 2017," they 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." Demi 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." More recently, in a March 2021 interview on the "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, Demi confirmed they are pansexual. "[I like] anything, really," they said. "I heard someone call the LGBTQIA+ community 'the alphabet mafia.' … That's it! That's what I'm going with. I'm part of the alphabet mafia and proud."
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In May 2021, former "Dance Moms" star Zackery Torres took to TikTok to share some new pronouns: they/she. "I'm transitioning. That means I'm transgender if you didn't know," she explained in the post. The University of Southern California graduate later shared how she felt about the reaction to her big news. "Don't really have a ton of words to express how I am feeling right now, other than grateful. Grateful to everyone who has supported me and continued to help me be my full self. Grateful for the outpour[ing] of love and support. Grateful to all the advocates who made this possible," she wrote on Instagram. "As I sit here with my [mouth] still open, it is important to recognize the amount of LGBTQIA+ individuals who do not receive this loving response. There is still work to be done, and I cannot wait to be a part of it. Much love, and HAPPY EARLY PRIDE MONTH!"
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"The Bachelor" season 23 lead Colton Underwood — who became known as the virgin Bachelor during his tenure on the show — came out in an interview with Robin Roberts that aired on "Good Morning America" in April 2021. "I've ran from myself for a long time. I've hated myself for a long time. And I'm gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know," explained Colton, who had high profile relationships with Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Bachelor Nation stars Tia Booth and Cassie Randolph in recent years. He revealed he knew it was time to accept his truth and come out publicly "because I got to a place where … I would've rather died than say I'm gay," he explained of his dark thoughts. The former professional football player, who said he knew he was "different" when he was 6, told Robin that now, he's "the happiest and healthiest" he's ever been.
Singer Kehlani shared her revelation about her sexual identity in 2021. Initially, while interacting with fans on Twitter in April 2018, she 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." In December 2020, Kehlani noted on Twitter that she uses she/they pronouns. Exactly three years after coming out as queer, on April 22, 2021, the R&B singer took to TikTok to share that she now identifies as a lesbian. "I finally know I'm a lesbian," she said. "I am gay, g-gay, gay." With a lighthearted tone, she said her friends and family told her they realized it before she did. "Everyone's just like, 'Duh. You're the only one who didn't f****** know. The f****** closet was glass.'"
In April 2021, "Celebrity Big Brother" alum Courtney Stodden came out as nonbinary. "They/them/theirs. I don't identify as she or her," the reality star and singer wrote on Instagram. "I've never felt like I ever fit in anywhere. I was bullied horribly in school because I was different. The other girls never understood me. It got so bad that my mom pulled me out of school. And still, I don't fit in. I never really connected with anyone my age." They continued, "My spirit is fluid with a kaleidoscope of color," adding the hashtags #bekind, #beopen and #loveyourself. Courtney added in a statement to People magazine, "When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a human being so far away from norms, misogyny & labels. I live by my own rules now. I'm excited to show the world all of the sides to who I am on this new journey in music."
Inspired by his character on "9-1-1: Lone Star" — who's gay — actor Ronen Rubinstein publicly came out in April 2021. "I fully identify as bisexual," he told Variety. "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 "Orange Is the New Black" alum, who immigrated to New York from Israel as a child, explained that "where I come from … people who have identified as bisexual or gay or as any part of the [LGBTQIA+] community, you're just not welcomed. It's as brutally honest as that. It's either you faced insane amounts of profanity, like the F-word was thrown around all the time, or you would get your a** kicked if you were gay. So there was definitely a fear of sort of embracing how I felt. I was definitely more aware of it in high school. I was aware of my feelings and how I started looking at men, but I couldn't talk to anybody about it." He credited his character's same-sex relationship on "Lonestar" as well as girlfriend Jessica Parker Kennedy for giving him the courage to come out. "She definitely encouraged me to be vocal about it, just to live my truth," Ronen explained. "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.'"
In January 2021, after days of dropping hints, social media star, singer and actress JoJo Siwa confirmed that she's a member of the LGBTQ+ community. "I have never, ever, ever been this happy before and it feels really awesome," she told fans in a lengthy Instagram Live video posted one day after she tweeted a photo of herself wearing a T-shirt that read "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever." alongside the caption, "My cousin got me a new shirt." The "Dance Moms" alum, who'd also recently shared a TikTok video of herself singing along to Lady Gaga's LGBTQ anthem "Born This Way," told fans she wasn't ready to choose a specific label for herself "because I don't really know this answer." She added that her parents have known she's not straight and are supportive. "Around two years ago, [my mom] was like, 'I don't think you only like boys, that's totally OK.' … My family is awesome." A few weeks later, JoJo revealed she had a girlfriend who'd encouraged her to come out, Kylie Prew. In an April 2021 People magazine cover story, JoJo revealed she'd put more thought into how she'd describe herself. "I still don't know what I am. It's like, I want to figure it out. And I have this joke. Her name is Kylie. And so I say that I'm Ky-sexual," she quipped. "But like, I don't know, bisexual, pansexual, queer, lesbian, gay, straight. I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool." However, she added, "I like queer. Technically, I would say that I am pansexual because that's how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human."
T.J. Osborne — the frontman for duo Brothers Osborne — came out in an interview with TIME magazine published on Feb. 3, 2021. The musician said he's been out to his family and friends for years, but that the coronavirus pandemic inspired him to share his life truth with fans. "I'm very proud to put this out there," T.J. said in a video he posted on Instagram. "I want you to know … the person you've gotten to know over the years is me. Now you've just gotten to know more about me." T.J. — who's now the first and only openly gay man signed to a major music label in the country genre — was met with tons of support from the country music community on social media.
In February 2021, former WWE superstar Gabbi Tuft — who wrestled under the name Tyler Reks from 2007 to 2014 — came out as a transgender woman. "I know that there are thousands of transgender women, transgender men that are going through the same process I'm going through, and they don't have the support that I do," Gabbi told "Extra" host Billy Bush, praising wife Priscilla for being her rock. "And so here's what I pledge: I promise that I will share my story and be 100% transparent, because knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel can just be that ray of hope that keeps somebody with us, that keeps him alive, and lets them know, 'Yes, I can do this too.'"
"The Real Housewives of Orange County" star Braunwyn Windham-Burke publicly came out as a gay woman in December 2020. She shared the news about her sexuality in a video interview with GLAAD, explaining, "I'm finally comfortable enough to say I like women. I'm gay. I'm a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I'm a lesbian. It has taken me 42 years to say that but I am so proud of where I am right now. I'm so happy where I am. To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice." She further shared that she had a new girlfriend (they split in early 2021) but planned to stay married to Sean Burke, her husband of more than 20 years with whom she has seven children. "I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family," she said. "But I'm not attracted to men and I never have been." Sean took to his Instagram Story to publicly support his wife. "I love you. I'm proud of you. And I support you. Always," he wrote.
In December 2020, Elliot Page — who was previously known as Ellen Page — took to social media to publicly come out as transgender. The "Juno" and "Umbrella Academy" actor will use the pronouns he/they. "I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life," he wrote in part in a lengthy post. "I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. … I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer." The announcement came six years after Elliot publicly came out as gay during the 2014 Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive conference benefiting LGBT youth in Las Vegas. "I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility," they said at the time. "I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission … 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, Elliot announced his marriage to dancer-choreographer Emma Portner. In January 2021, they confirmed plans to divorce. In March 2021, Elliot became the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Time magazine. In the cover story, the "Umbrella Academy" star revealed that they underwent top surgery to remove breast tissue. "It has completely transformed my life," he told Time, adding that it was "not only life-changing but lifesaving."
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."
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."
When "Reno 911!" alum Niecy Nash announced that she'd married musician Jessica Betts in August 2020, it signaled that she wasn't straight, though she's declined to put a label on her sexuality. The "Selma" and "Claws" actress, who was previously twice wed to men, later told People magazine her marriage to Jessica wasn't an official coming out moment. She described it as "going into myself and being honest about who I love," explaining, "I'm not limiting myself on what that love is supposed to look like." According to Niecy, her marriage to a woman "has absolutely nothing to do with gender and it has everything to do with her soul," adding, "I was not suppressing my sexuality my whole life. I love who I love. At one point in my life, I married twice and I love those people. And today I love this person. I've done everything I wanted to do on my own terms and my own way. So my choice now in a partner has nothing to do with who I've always been. It's a matter of who I am in this moment."
Four years after publicly coming out as bisexual, "Grey's Anatomy" alum Sara Ramirez came 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.
In June 2020, actress Lili Reinhart publicly came out as bisexual. The "Riverdale" star 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."
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."
"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 sexual 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 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."
In March 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 in February 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 in February 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."
DJ Qualls, who initially found fame in the 2000 comedy "Road Trip," took to Twitter in January 2020 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 (they've since split). 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 "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 (from whom she's since split), "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 in June 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.
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."
Josie Totah, who stars on the rebooted Peacock version of "Saved By the Bell" and found fame on the Disney Channel's "Jessie," came out as a transgender female in an essay for Time magazine at 17 in August 2018. She shared her new name and 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 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. In August 2019, the "Where's Waldo" voice actor 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's 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.
YouTube star and late night television host Lilly Singh 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% 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" that 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 LGBTQIA+ community in a speech while accepting a Courage Award from the Point Foundation.
During a July 2018 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 LGBTQIA+ 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 August 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 was 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 partner, writer Blake Knight, in his post. They announced their engagement in 2019.
"Westworld" actress Tessa Thompson publicly came out in an interview with Net-a-Porter published in June 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 was 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 a May 2018 Rolling Stone 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 in July 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."
"Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg publicly came out as a gay woman in June 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 an Ariana Grande song to share his truth. "#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande," he tweeted, marking the first time he'd publicly labeled his sexual identity. 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 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 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's 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 in March 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."
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's 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 was a tomboy growing up, and I remember my mom asking me when I was 10, 'Are you attracted to boys or girls?' I said I don't know. Now I consider myself bisexual, and 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 in September 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. "As we start a new year, there is something I want to share with you. You see, I'm gay," he shared on Instagram. "This is not a choice I made, but something I've known about myself my whole life. Through life's twists and turns, marriage, divorce, fatherhood, successes, failures — I've landed on this day, a day when I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been. And I'm finally comfortable enough for everyone to know this truth about me. Thanks for following me and supporting me over the years. As we continue our journey, I hope this news won't change how you see me. I'm still the same Cody I always was. You just know a little more about me now. My hope for the future is to live the most honest, authentic, loving, and open life possible. Here's to being happy with yourself, no matter who you are, who you love, where you come from, or what cards life has dealt you."
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 in June 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 in September 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 planning 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 on Instagram, "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 March 2017 to announce that he's gay and proud. He followed up in an interview with People magazine, 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 publicly confessed 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."
"Arrow" star 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 in 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, actor 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, a Hollywood publicist, 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."
"Modern Family" star Reid Ewing publicly revealed he's gay in November 2015 on Twitter. 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 identity, 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. The "Big Bang Theory" star married his boyfriend of 15 years, graphic designer Todd Spiewak, in 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, "Will & Grace" star Sean Hayes publicly 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 in June 2016. 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 read, "Gay Power." In the caption, he 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 kicked off 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 fiancé 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" in which he didn't directly come out of the closet, "Empire" star Jussie Smollett spoke to the talk show host backstage and confirmed his sexual identity 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, "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts came out on Facebook in a touching post. "At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude," she shared. "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 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 decided to share his truth in 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.
The pages of Sports Illustrated is not a conventional place to come out, but NBA star Jason Collins decided to share his truth in 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, TV journalist Anderson Cooper outed himself in an email to political blogger Andrew Sullivan in 2012. The CNN star 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."
After years of speculation about his sexuality, music star Ricky Martin came out in a statement on his website in March 2010, writing, "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."
Elton John came out as bisexual in in October 1976 issue of Rolling Stone. In 1984, he married a woman, recording engineer Renate Blauel. They divorced in 1988 — the same year Elton told Rolling Stone he was "comfortable being gay."
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, New Kids on the Block 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!"
"Star Trek" and "Heroes" actor Zachary Quinto didn't speak publicly about his sexual orientation until October 2011 when, in an interview with New York Magazine, the actor opened up for the first time about life as "a gay man."
How did Rosie O'Donnell come out? The comedian guest starred as a gay woman on "Will & Grace" and followed it up by announcing it officially in a stand-up gig at a 2002 benefit. "I'm a dy**! 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 said.
In a 2006 interview with People magazine, "How I Met Your Mother" star 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."
Music star Barry Manilow never addressed his sexuality publicly until he came out by quietly marrying his partner of more than 30 years, Garry Kief. The two married in a private ceremony in 2014 at Barry's Palm Springs, California, home.
Cynthia Nixon never made an official coming out announcement. 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," the "Sex and the City" star told The Telegraph in 2008.
*NSYNC singer Lance Bass revealed that he's 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 said.
Tom Cruise's "Top Gun" co-star Kelly McGillis came out in 2009 in an interview for the website 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 said.
In a June 2009 Rolling Stone interview, singer Adam Lambert — who came to fame on "American Idol" — revealed that he couldn't wait to openly discuss his sexual orientation, which he long 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 ['Idol'] 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 a gay man in a letter in August 2013. The "Prison Break" star sent it 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, which 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."
Comedian Wanda Sykes took to the stage at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas in 2008 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.
Actor T.R. Knight told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres he found the courage to come out publicly in a 2006 statement to People magazine after "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Isaiah Washington used an anti-gay slur on the set. "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."
Actor Victor Garber acknowledged his partner in an interview with Canada's Forever Young News in 2012. "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 Rainer, whom he married in 2015. "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, "Family Ties" star 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 was arrested after being caught engaging in a sexual act by an undercover police officer in a public bathroom in Beverly Hills in 1998, he appeared on CNN 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," the late pop star, who was gay, explained. "I don't think I ever wanted to address [my sexuality] and certainly not quite this way."
Although she had mentioned then-partner Cydney Bernard in 2007, actress-director Jodie Foster used her 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech time to publicly come out. "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," said Jodie, who married photographer Alexandra Hedison in 2014.
In August 2013, actress 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, Broadway star Nathan Lane publicly 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."
Country music singer Ty Herndon shared his truth with 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."
Singer Billy Gilman announced that he's gay on the same day country music singer Ty Herndon came out. In November 2014, Billy posted a video on YouTube and explained how Ty inspired him to follow suit. "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, "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, singer Clay Aiken, who came to fame on "American Idol," confirmed that he's gay in a People magazine cover story featuring his baby boy. "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," Clay said.