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60 Most Famous Gay Celebrities: Their Coming Out Stories

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As the world delves more and more into the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, it seems as though the number of famous gay people gets higher and higher. That’s evidenced by the famous gay men and famous gay women on this list who took the brave move of letting people know who they really are and standing with pride for it. Because of this, many of them have become inspirational figures for many around the world who are struggling to find themselves just like these celebrities did. 

Here’s a list of the 60 most famous gay celebrities. 

1. Ellen DeGeneres

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Was there anyone else who could kick off our list of the most famous gay celebrities? Comedian, actor, and former talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres made television history when her character on the sitcom Ellen came out as gay. DeGeneres herself came out publicly on The Oprah Winfrey Show that same year in April 1997. 

Not long after coming out, DeGeneres began a relationship with Anne Heche, and the two remained together for three years. She was then in a close relationship with Alexandra Hedison, a photographer. In 2004, she found her forever relationship when she met actress Portia de Rossi. The pair were married in August 2008 after the same-sex marriage ban was overturned in California. 

Related: 18 Meanest Celebrities of All Time

2. Sir Ian McKellen

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Let’s face it, with his signature “You shall not pass” as Gandalf the Grey, we’d stand to say that there is not a more recognizable person on our list of the most famous gay celebrities than Sir Ian McKellen. While McKellen is best known for bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved wizard to life in both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, his numerous awards, including his knighthood bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, prove his range and contribution to the world of arts.

McKellen has lived as an openly gay man since 1988. Prior to coming out of the closet, he was in two long-term relationships with Brian Taylor (1964-1972) and Sean Mathias (1978-1988), respectively.

“For me, coming out was an absolute revelation,” McKellen once told the Daily Mail.

3. Jim Parsons

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He’s the talented actor who made us fall in love with the irritating genius on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory for 12 seasons, which is why Jim Parsons deserved all four of his Primetime Emmy Awards and a single Golden Globe Award.

The New York Times spilled the beans about Parsons being gay in May 2012 when an article not only noted that fact but also that he’d been in a relationship for the last ten years. Parsons married art director Tod Spiewak in May 2017.

According to Parsons, their relationship is “an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes, taking the dogs out – a regular life, boring love.”

Related: 25 Celebrities Who Are Anti-Vaxxers

4. Neil Patrick Harris

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When it comes to famous gay men, this next entry on our most famous gay celebrities list is Legen; wait for it, dary.

Neil Patrick Harris, a seasoned actor on both the stage and screen, has held roles ranging from Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to nine years as playboy Barney Stinson on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. Is there a role out there he can’t pull off? Considering he’s got a Tony Award, five Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award to his name, we’d say apparently not.

Harris and his husband, David Burtka, whom he has been with since 2004 and married a decade later, have two children, twins born via surrogate, in 2010.

Related: Sweeney Todd Broadway

5. Sir Elton John

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Sir Elton John is one of the most famous British singers in history, and because of that, he is one of the most famous gay men out there, too. The singer, pianist, and composer, most recognized for his tribute single to Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997.” 

John was first known to be openly gay in 1970 when he began a relationship with John Reid, who also became his manager. While they broke up in 1975, Reid remained his manager until 1998. John later married Renate Blauel on February 14, 1984, although the marriage ended in divorce in 1988.

He has been in a relationship with former advertising executive David Furnish since 1993, later marrying him on December 21, 2014. They have two sons born via surrogate, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John on December 25, 2010, and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John on January 11, 2013. 

John has been very outspoken about gay rights, making some controversial statements saying Jesus is a “compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems” and “from my point of view, I would ban religion completely.” 

Related: 30 Crazy Facts About Elton John

6. Freddie Mercury

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Freddie Mercury, who achieved worldwide fame as the lead vocalist and pianist of the rock band Queen, was and still is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the genre’s history.

Many believed Mercury to be openly gay for years, but Mercury himself never fully confirmed it. Mercury had an interesting reply when the New Musical Express asked him, “So how about being bent?” in December 1974. “You’re a crafty cow. Let’s put it this way: there were times when I was young and green. It’s a thing schoolboys go through. I’ve had my share of schoolboy pranks. I’m not going to elaborate further.” 

His final known public relationship was with hairdresser Jim Jutton from 1985 until Mercury died in 1991. 

Related: How Did Freddie Mercury Die?

7. Lance Bass

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When NSYNC first came on the scene, while all in the famous boy band stole our hearts, there was just something about Lance Bass’s hunky bass vocals that made us swoon. His success catapulted him and all the rest of them into the limelight, and he has since pursued other avenues of entertainment, including acting along with his singing.

The July 2006 issue of People magazine was all about Bass, as his coming out as gay was the cover story of the month. “The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say,” he said in the interview. “I don’t think it’s wrong. I’m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve ever been [in] my whole life. I’m just happy.”

Related: Lance Bass Hosts A Boy Band Nostalgia Trip at the Minnesota Zoo

8. Frank Ocean

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Frank Ocean, whose studio albums have been listed among Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” announced that he was gay via an open letter on his Tumblr blog on July 4, 2012. The letter recounted unrequited feelings he had for another boy when he was 19 years old. 

As the blog thanked the man for his influence, it also thanked his friends and mother for their support. “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alright. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore. … I feel like a free man.” 

Ocean’s letter sparked support from fellow members of the hip-hop industry, including Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Further, Russell Simmons wrote in a Global Grind article, “Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.” 

Related: Frank Ocean’s Net Worth & Biography

9. George Michael

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There are few who would argue that George Michael is one of the most famous musicians of all time, as he is widely considered one of the best-selling both as a solo artist and as the lead singer of Wham!

He had an interesting way of discovering his sexual orientation, saying his early fantasies of women “led me to believe I was on the path to heterosexuality,” but when puberty hit, the fantasies changed, which he said “had something to do with my environment.” 

Michael, for many years, claimed himself to be bisexual, but that all changed when he fell in love with a man for the first time. To this, he told The Advocate in 1999, “falling in love with a man ended his conflict over bisexuality. I never had a moral problem with being gay. I thought I had fallen in love with a woman a couple of times. Then I fell in love with a man and realized that none of those things had been love.” 

Michael was in a relationship with Brazilian dress designer Anselmo Feleppa from 1991 to 1993; Kenny Goss, a former flight attendant, from 1996 to 2009; and Fadi Fawaz, a Lebanese-Australian celebrity hairstylist and freelance photographer from 2012 until Michael’s death. 

Related: How Did George Michael Die?

10. Adam Lambert

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Adam Lambert first came to prominence as the runner-up of American Idol’s eighth season. Since then, he has become a global phenomenon, selling more than three million albums and five million singles worldwide. Through it, he has become known for his dynamic vocal performances and training with modern and classic theater genres. 

Lambert was first outed for being gay while competing on American Idol, and he later confirmed it in an interview with Rolling Stone. He was in a relationship with Sauli Koskinen, a Finnish entertainment reporter and reality television personality from 2010 until 2013, and then model Javi Costa Polo from March to November 2019. 

He has continued to be an advocate for gay rights as he noted that while progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. “I still long for the LGBT community’s diversity to be more broadly represented in the entertainment industry. I think larger strides have been made in film and TV, but we are still at the beginning with mainstream music. I consider myself a post-gay man working in a pre-gay industry.” 

11. Ricky Martin

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The epitome of Latin spitfire, Ricky Martin has seen a wide range of success throughout his career in multiple genres like Latin pop, salsa, reggae, and dance. He has also proven his worth as a theater actor on occasion, most notably starring as Marius Pontmercy in the 1996 Broadway production of Les Misérables.

Ricky Martin is one of the famous gay people on our list who was thought to be simply bi-sexual at first as he had public relationships with both men and women, but he came out publicly in March 2010 as fully gay.

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am,” he posted to his website. Martin married painter Jwan Yosef in late 2017. Sadly, the pair announced their separation earlier this year.

Related: The 15 Best Spanish Singers

12. David Bowie

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Next up on our most famous gay celebrities list is one of the most influential figures in 20th-century music. With hits like “Space Oddity” and “Starman” among his list of songs, his career has yet to be forgotten despite his 2016 death. 

Although he was married to a woman at the time, Bowie famously came out as gay (although he later called himself bisexual) in 1972 while interviewing with Michaell Watts of Melody Maker. He told Playboy in 1976, “It’s true. I am bisexual. But I can’t deny that I’ve used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” 

As that quote points to, he was later coy about his claims about being gay and sometimes insinuated that he said he was to get attention.

Related: 15 Crazy David Bowie Facts

13. Brandi Carlile

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Finally, getting around to another one of the famous gay women on our most famous gay celebrities list is, Brandi Carlile. Famed across multiple genres such as folk rock, alternative country, classic rock, and Americana, the “The Story” singer identified herself as a lesbian in November 2002 during an interview with the Los Angeles Times

“I don’t have to have a lot of formality around it. … There were people before me who paved the way.” 

Carlile is married to Catherine Shepherd. The pair married on September 15, 2012, in Wareham, Massachusetts, three months after they announced their engagement. They are now the proud parents of two daughters. 

Related: Brandi Carlile Charms a Sold-Out Grandstand for the Great Minnesota Get Together

14. Lady Gaga

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While not fully gay, “Paparazzi” singer Lady Gaga came out as bisexual during an interview in 2009, noting that her attraction to women inspired her hit song, “Poker Face.” 

“You know what? It’s not a lie that I am bisexual, and I like women, and anyone that wants to twist this into ‘she says she’s bisexual for marketing,’ this is a [expletive] lie. This is who I am and who I have always been.” 

Related: Lady Gaga Facts

15. Leslie Jordan

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Leslie Jordan was one of the most lovable figures in Hollywood, bringing about such character favorites as Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace, Sid on The Cool Kids, and, up until his sudden death last year (2022), Phil on Call Me Kat.

Jordan was a huge advocate for gay rights and issues, participating in AIDS Project Los Angeles. Additionally, he was never not proud of who he was, making him a role model for many. “I firmly believe that God made me this way. I’m not a mistake.”

16. Clay Aiken

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Yet another famous gay man on our list who was a runner-up to the American Idol crown, although technically Clay Aiken was first, having lost to Ruben Studdard in season 2 of the hit reality singing competition. 

Aiken came out as gay in September 2008 following years of speculation by the public. People magazine told the story. In the interview, he said becoming a dad inspired him to come forward. “It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.” 

Related: A List of All American Idol Winners by Year

17. Boy George

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Let’s face it. Boy George is one on our list of the most famous gay celebrities that no one is surprised to appear considering his androgynous style, which caused speculation of that being the case in the first place. Boy George himself confirmed it in his 1995 autobiography Take It Like a Man.  

Boy George said of his figuring it out, “It was kind of gradual, I think. For me, it was other kids calling me a girl. … I knew if I announced it, I’d be immediately unpopular in the playground, but inside of me, I absolutely thought it was totally normal, and this is what’s meant to be.” 

18. Chely Wright

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Another point for the famous gay women on our list is Chely Wright, an activist, author, and country music artist best known for her number-one hit, “Single White Female.” 

Wright came out publicly as gay via her autobiography, published in 2010, becoming one of the first members of country music to do so. 

In comments about her sexual identity, Wright has said: “I hear the world’ tolerance’ – that some people are trying to teach people to be tolerant of gays. I’m not satisfied with that word. I am gay, and I am not seeking to be ‘tolerated.’ One tolerates a toothache, rush-hour traffic, an annoying neighbor with a cluttered yard. I am not a negative to be tolerated.” 

Related: 18 Best Female Country Singers

19. Portia de Rossi

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We had to get to the other half of Ellen DeGeneres eventually. Portia de Rossi, known for her roles in television shows like Ally McBealArrested Development, and Scandal, knew she was a lesbian for many years but told Good Morning America in 2010 that she was always terrified of being exposed while still a young actress in Hollywood. 

Prior to her marriage to DeGeneres (August 16, 2008), she was in a relationship with Francesca Gregorini. The pair broke up because de Rossi and DeGeneres met. “I really, really hated all the pain I put Francesca through, and I really didn’t want to hurt her. But I just couldn’t ignore the feelings I had for Ellen.” 

On August 6, 2010, de Rossi filed a petition to have her name legally changed to Portia Lee James DeGeneres, and it was granted on September 23, 2010.

Related: 19 Cute Couples Halloween Costume Ideas

20. Billy Gilman

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Billy Gilman first broke into the country music scene as a young country artist of only 12 years old, coming out with hits like “One Voice” and “What’s Forever For.” Disappearing for many years, he came back onto the scene with some new music but really came into the limelight again after auditioning for season 11 of The Voice, during which he finished as runner-up for the season. 

Gilman made his public announcement via a video on YouTube titled “My Story by Billy Gilman” on November 20, 2014. “Thank you for all your support, and know that I will always strive to be the best artist that I can be, and now that I have finally found my place as a person, that only makes the music that much better.” 

Related: The Voice 2022 Results

21. Rob Halford

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Rob Halford, famed for being the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, has been openly gay since he revealed himself publicly on MTV in 1998. 

“It’s a wonderful moment when you walk out of the closet. Now I’ve done that, and I’ve freed myself. It’s a great feeling for me to finally let go and make this statement, especially to The Advocate, because this magazine has brought me so much comfort over the years. Obviously, this is just a wonderful day for me.” 

Halford has been happily married to his husband, Thomas, for several years. 

Related: 25 Famous Bald Celebrities

22. Jane Lynch

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Jane Lynch brilliantly played the spitfire arch-nemesis of the glee club, Sue Sylvester, during the hit Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee for six glorious seasons, catapulting her into a new level of fame she had yet to know before. While she’s never hidden her relationships, she has also never had a formal “coming out” moment. 

“I’m an actor, and when people started taking an interest in me, where they wanted to write about me, I didn’t say I wasn’t gay, so I never had that. And I have to give kudos to … all those people who came before and at the height of their career, when they had a lot to lose, stood up and said, this is who I am.” 

Lynch was married to Lara Embry from May 31, 2010, until their divorce in January 2014. She later married her longtime partner, Jennifer Cheyne, in Santa Barbara, California, in November 2021. 

23. Jodie Foster

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Jodie Foster became a teen idol when she appeared in multiple projects on Disney Channel and later became a pivotal face in Hollywood as an adult. 

The question of Foster’s sexual orientation came to a head in 1991 as publications claimed her to be a “closeted lesbian” after The Silence of the Lambs was released. Years later, in 2007, the actress acknowledged that she had been in a 14-year relationship with producer Cydney Bernard. She then addressed her coming out during the 70th Golden Globe Awards when she gave her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, although she never used the words “gay” or “lesbian” within it. 

From her relationship with Bernard, which lasted from 1993 to 2008, Foster has two sons. In 2014, she married Alexandra Hedison, an actress and photographer.  

Related: 44 Most Famous Actresses

24. Lily Tomlin

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Another one of our female gay celebrities on our list is beloved stand-up comedian and sketch comedy actress Lily Tomlin. 

The 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree and the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award winner never formally came out but has been married to her partner Jane Wagner since December 31, 2013, after 42 years together. 

“I certainly never called a press conference or anything like that. People didn’t write about it [back in the 1970s]. Even if they knew, they would [refer to Wagner] as ‘Lily’s collaborator,’ things like that,” Tomlin said in 2006. “Some journalists are just motivated by their own sense of what they want to say or what they feel comfortable saying or writing about.” 

She added later in 2008, “Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane. … In interviews, I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don’t always write about it.” 

25. Wanda Sykes

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Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes, best known for her recurring roles in television shows like The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm, publicly came out as a lesbian in November 2008. Her decision to come out was based on Proposition 8, a ballot proposition in California that intended to ban same-sex marriage. When it passed, she said: “With the legislation that they passed, I can’t just sit by and just watch. I just can’t do it,” and she has been an advocate for gay rights ever since. 

Sykes has been married to her wife Alex Niedbalski, with whom she has two children, since 2008. 

Related: 18 Celebrities Who Beat Cancer

26. Kate McKinnon

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Kate McKinnon comes next on our most famous gay celebrities list, thanks to her work on Saturday Night Live (2012-2022) as well as in movies like Ghostbusters (2016), Bombshell (2019), and Barbie (2023). 

McKinnon opened up about her life as a lesbian at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards whilst presenting Ellen DeGeneres with the Carol Burnett Award. During the presentation, she listed off things that DeGeneres “gave her.” “A road map that is grounded in an expression of joy. … A desire to bring everyone together by laughing about the things that we have in common. … A sense of self. … In 1997, when Ellen’s sitcom was at the height of its popularity, I was in my mother’s basement, lifting weights in front of the mirror and thinking, ‘Am I gay?’ And I was, and I still am. But that’s a very scary thing to suddenly know about yourself. … And the only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV. She risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it. Of course, attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change.” 

27. Cara Cunningham

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Internet sensation Cara Cunningham, who gained fame in 2007 after posting a viral video entitled “Leave Britney Alone!”, came out as a gay transgender woman in August 2021. 

Cunningham’s revelation came following years of struggle from family and the public. “The only gay pride where I live is in my bedroom. We don’t have pride and rainbows here. We have MySpace. We don’t have bathhouses, we have outhouses,” Cunningham said about the gay culture in her hometown. 

28. Melissa Etheridge

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It was January 1993 when singer and songwriter Melissa Etheridge, best known for hits songs like “Bring Me Some Water,” “I’m the Only One,” and “If I Wanted To,” came out as a lesbian. Ever since, she has continued to be an advocate for gay rights and was a huge supporter of former President Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. In fact, it was at a homosexual-themed celebration in his honor that she made the announcement. 

Etheridge was in a long-term partnership with Julie Cypher from 1990 to 2000, with whom she had two children. Their relationship sparked interest from The Advocate following an article, “The Great Dyke Hope” by Judy Weider was released in 1994. In the article was a quote from Etheridge about why she and Cypher wanted to have children. “I think one of the many fears people have about homosexuality is around children. I think that the more gay parents raise good, strong, compassionate people, the better the world will be.” 

Etheridge also dated and had a commitment ceremony with Tammy Lynn Michaels from 2003 until 2010, with whom she shares fraternal twins. She has been married to Linda Wallem since 2014. 

Related: 17 Interesting Melissa Etheridge Facts

29. Little Richard

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Little Richard is a god in the music industry, garnering nicknames like the “Architect of Rock and Roll” thanks to songs like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” and more among his repertoires.

The legend is another one of the most famous gay celebrities who had a rough go as he tried to be his authentic self, getting brutally punished by his father when he would get caught wearing his mother’s makeup and clothing and scrutinized while in the public eye. It seems these things affected his tendency to go back and forth between proclaiming his own homosexuality one minute and demeaning it the next, saying it goes against “the way God wants you to live.” 

Related: How Did Little Richard Die?

30. Lil Nas X

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Country rap singer Lil Nas X, best known for his “Old Town Road,” came out as gay when the song, which became the longest-running number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reigned on the charts. 

Prior to coming out publicly, he came out to his father and sister, feeling that “the universe was signaling him to do so.” 

Related: 44 Interesting Facts about Lil Nas X

31. Barry Manilow

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Where would we be without this famous gay man? Barry Manilow was responsible for songs like “I Write the Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” and “Looks Like We Made It,” which, among others, have shaped a seven-decade career. 

Manilow’s journey to coming out is interesting, considering his long-term relationship with his high school sweetheart, Susan Diexler. However, he came into his own, beginning a relationship with TV executive Garry Kief in 1978. They were married in 2014 after California legalized same-sex marriage. While Suzanne Somers confirmed the marriage rumors, Manilow only officially came out in April 2017. 

In the interview, he said that he’d waited so long to reveal himself because “I thought I would be disappointing [his fans] if they knew I was gay. So, I never did anything. When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy. The reaction was so beautiful – strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.” 

Related: 25 Oldest Singers (Still Alive in 2023)

32. T.J. Osborne

Brothers Osborne - Photo by Braden Doucette
Brothers Osborne – Photo by Braden Doucette

T.J. Osborne, one-half of the hit country duo Brothers Osborne, is one of the famous gay men on our list whose public announcement about his sexual orientation came recently. With his announcement in February 2021, however, he became the first openly gay artist on a major country music label.

Prior to his coming out, Osborne told Time magazine that he felt “guarded” even though he was “very comfortable being gay.” “People will ask, ‘Why does this even need to be talked about?’ and, personally, I agree with that. But for me, to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn’t be like, ‘Oh cool!’”

Related: The Brothers Osborne Rock Mankato

33. Brandy Clark

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Brandy Clark has achieved songwriting stardom in the world of country music, with her songs being recorded by the likes of Sheryl CrowMiranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, and Kacey Musgraves. Because of this, it’s no wonder that she became so popular when she debuted as a solo artist in 2013 and has now been recognized as one of the most famous gay people in the country. 

She said during an interview in 2021, “I’m one hundred percent a lesbian. There’s no gray area. There’s no man that’s going to come out and say, ‘Well, Brandy Clark had a sexual relationship with me in my twenties.’ Nope. Wasn’t going on.” 

Related: The Best Kacey Musgraves Songs

34. Rebel Wilson

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Rebel Wilson is one of the Queens of Comedy thanks to her roles in Bridesmaids and A Few Best Men. She is also the queen of standing up for who you are. She publicly came out via Instagram in June 2022, announcing her relationship with Ramona Agruma. 

“I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince … but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess,” she wrote. The pair got engaged in 2023, which Wilson confirmed via X (formerly known as Twitter) on February 19, 2023. 

35. Luke Evans

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Arguably one of the most handsome movie actors in the business today, Luke Evans must make all the gay men in the world swoon. While the actor, best known for such roles as Shaw in Fast & Furious 6, Bard in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, and Gaston in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, is openly gay, he is very private regarding his personal life. In fact, the only public relationship he’s been known to have was with Jon Korajarena, an actor and model, whom he was with between 2014 and 2016.

“Talent, success, what you do in your personal life – I don’t see how one should have an effect on the other,” he has been noted as saying.

36. Kevin Spacey

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While most of the famous gay men and famous gay women on our list of gay celebrities came into their own fairly early, Kevin Spacey is one who seemingly waited the longest to finally come out of the closet. Even worse, when he did finally come out at 58, it wasn’t for the noblest of reasons.

The actor, best known for his roles in The Usual SuspectsAmerican Beauty, and Netflix’s House of Cards, came out as gay amid sexual misconduct allegations brought against him in 2017. It all came to a head when he made the announcement amid an apology to actor Anthony Rapp, whom he reportedly “misbehaved” with more than 30 years prior.

He ended his apology, saying Rapp’s story “encouraged me to address other things about my life. … As those closest to me know, in my life, I have had relationships with both men and women. I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man.”

37. George Takei

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George Takei, known for being the face of the USS Enterprise, Hikaru Sulu, in Star Trek, revealed that he was gay in 2005 after Arnold Schwarzenegger, then-governor of California, vetoed a same-sex marriage legislation.

“It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through,” said Takei, who has maintained his relationship with longtime partner Brad Altman for decades. “It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen.”

He later said in an interview with Howard Stern, “[We (gay people)] are masculine, we are feminine, we are caring, we are abusive. We are just like straight people in terms of our outward appearance and our behavior. The only difference is that we are oriented to people of our own gender.”

38. Jesse Tyler Ferguson

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Jesse Tyler Ferguson sure brought real-life experience to Mitchell Pritchett during his 11 seasons on the hit sitcom Modern Family. Stillhis own personal journey wasn’t without some hardship.

He reportedly had to tell his father three times before it sunk in. “It’s a coming out process for them as well, and it takes time,” Ferguson said of the experience.

Ferguson married lawyer Justin Mikita on July 20, 2013. The couple then welcomed their children, Beckette Mercer Ferguson-Mikita and Sullivan Louis Ferguson-Mikita, in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

39. Victor Garber

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A true master of the stage and screen, Victor Garber is known for originating roles in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetLend Me a TenorArt, and more on Broadway, and being part of critically acclaimed movies like TitanicMilk, and Argo.

While he did publicly come out as gay in 2012, he has said, “I don’t really talk about it, but everybody knows.” He married his long-term partner, Rainer Andreesen, a Canadian model and artist, in October 2015.

40. Miley Cyrus

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Miley Cyrus is the “Pop Chameleon” and former “Teen Queen” of Disney Channel, raking in success as Hannah Montana before carving her own path as a solo artist with songs like “Party in the U.S.A.,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Flowers.” 

She is one of the famous gay women on our list who is technically bisexual or gender fluid in her own terms. She first came out to her mother when she was 14. “I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open.” She has also said that she “doesn’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl. … [I’m] literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal, and everyone is of age.” 

Following Cyrus’ brief marriage to actor Liam Hemsworth, she began dating Kaitlynn Cartner from August to September 2019. 

Related: 17 Fun Miley Cyrus Facts Flying in Like a Wrecking Ball

41. Sarah Paulson

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Primetime Emmy Award-winning actress Sarah Paulson is best known for her roles in American Horror Story and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, earning her a spot on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2017. 

Paulson has described her sexuality as a “fluid situation.” “If my life choices had to be predicated based on what was expected of me from a community on either side, that’s going to make me feel really straitjacketed, and I don’t want to feel that.” 

Paulson was in a relationship with actress Cherry Jones from 2004 to 2009. Since 2015, she has been in a relationship with her fellow actress, Holland Taylor.

42. Elliot Page

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Elliot Page is one of the famous gay celebrities on our list who identifies as transgender before anything else. Page, known for films like JunoInception, and Days of Future Past, came out as a transgender male on December 1, 2020. Several outlets came out in a show of support, with Nick Adams of GLAAD stating that Page “will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people.” At the same time, Netflix tweeted, “So proud of our superhero! We love you, Elliot!”

43. Drew Barrymore

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Of our list of the most famous gay celebrities, actress Drew Barrymore, known for films like Ever After, Never Been Kissed, and Charlie’s Angels, is another one who considers herself bisexual, first making note of it in 2003 while interviewing with

“Do I like women sexually? Yes, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual. I love a woman’s body. I think a woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body but through someone else.”  

44. Megan Fox

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Megan Fox, the glorified sex symbol of Hollywood, known for her roles in Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesJennifer’s Body, and her breakout role in Hope & Faith, has some pretty hypocritical rules when it comes to her bisexuality, but she indeed owns it. 

Of her bisexuality, she has said that she believes “all humans are born with the ability to be attracted to both sexes.” But, in 2009, she said, “I have no question in my mind about being bisexual. But I’m also a hypocrite. I would never date a girl who was bisexual because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I’d never want to sleep with a girl who had slept with a man.” 

45. Clive Davis

clive davis' net worth
New York, NY – October 16, 2019: Clive Davis attends the New York special screening of Western Stars at Metrograph. Image from Shutterstock.

Clive Davis is arguably one of the most powerful record executives in the music business, having been influential in the careers of such artists as Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, and so many more. It’s no wonder he has five Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to show for it. 

Davis publicly came out as bisexual in 2013 when he released his autobiography, The Soundtrack of My Life, although it’s unknown whether he has ever held a relationship with a man. 

Related: Clive Davis Biography

46. Fergie

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Yet another that swings both ways comes up on our list of the most famous gay people with hip hop singer and rapper Fergie. Best known for her time with the extremely successful Black Eyed Peas, even though she was married to actor Josh Duhamel for ten years, she came out as bisexual in 2009, saying, “Put it this way, I’ve experimented definitely, but I have never had a steady girlfriend.” 

Related: The Black Eyed Peas Biography

47. Kristen Stewart

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Kristen Stewart became a household name when the Twilight Saga first hit theaters in 2008. While she was known to be in a long-term relationship with her co-star Robert Pattinson, she has since been known to date girls. She officially announced she was bisexual in 2017. 

“You’re not confused if you’re bisexual. It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite.” Stewart has been romantically linked to visual effects producer Alicia Cargile, singer Soko, model Stella Maxwell, and stylist Sara Dinkin in recent years. 

48. Doja Cat

Doja cat's net worth Doja Cat performs "Mooo!" at Soundset 2019 in Minneapolis

Rapper and singer Doja Cat, best known for songs like “Say So” and “Paint the Town Red,” has never formally come out as gay, but she has certainly said some things that would suggest it to be the truth. For example, she has stated that she likes “people [she] can have sex with. And you can kinda have sex with anybody.” 

Related: Doja Cat’s Net Worth and Biography

49. Raven-Symone

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Raven-Symoné stole our hearts as Olivia Kendall on The Cosby Show from 1989 to 1992, and she only continued to after starring as Raven Baxter on the hit Disney Channel show That’s So Raven (2003-2007).

While Symoné is yet another on our list of the most famous gay celebrities who has never formally declared herself gay, her actions certainly speak for her. That’s evident by her three-year relationship with AzMarie Livingston and even more so by her marriage to media manager Miranda Maday (June 2020). Meanwhile, she has simply described herself as a “human who loves humans.” 

50. Bella Thorne

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Bella Thorne, known for portraying Margaux Darling in Dirty Sexy Money and Ruth Spivey in My Own Worst Enemy, came out as bisexual in 2016. Three years later, in July 2019, she stated that she was pansexual. 

In an interview with Good Morning America, Thorne stated: “You like beings. You like what you like. It doesn’t have to be a girl or a guy, or a he, a she, a they, a this, or that. It’s literally you like personality. You just like a being.” 

51. Zachary Quinto

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Bringing life to Spock in the Star Trek films and Skylar in Heroes, Zachary Quinto has flawlessly graced the small screen for more than two decades. He made his first notable guest appearances on hit shows like Disney’s Lizzie McGuireCSI, and Touched by an Angel.

Quinto came out publicly in October 2011. His choice to come out was in response to the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, a gay teenager. After news broke, Quinto said he felt that “living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.”

52. Sean Hayes

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Sean Hayes first stole hearts as Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, winning a Primetime Emmy Award and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for his work. Since then, he has been found behind the scenes after founding his company, Hazy Mills Production. The company is behind such hit shows as Hot in ClevelandHollywood Game Night, and Grimm.

While it took many years for Hayes to feel comfortable coming out as gay, he seemed to confirm it in an interview with The Advocate in 2010. “Really? You’re gonna shoot the gay guy down? I never have had a problem saying who I am. I am who I am.” He later added that he believes he has “contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it.”

Hayes married his partner of eight years, Scott Icenogle, in 2014.

53. RuPaul

rupaul by his star on the hollywood walk of fame
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RuPaul is one on our most famous gay celebrities list whose coming out didn’t come as much of a shock. Best known for the reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race, for which he served as producer, judge, and host, the famed drag queen has been openly gay for several decades.

While RuPaul has been married to painter Georges LeBar since 2017, they have an open marriage. He later said of it, “We didn’t decide” to have an open marriage. “The hoax is that monogamy is something that can actually happen.”

54. Dan Levy

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Dan Levy, son of Eugene Levy and co-creator star of the hit CBS sitcom Schitt’s Creek, has been out since he was 18, publicly acknowledging it during an interview with Andy Cohen in 2020.

Levy’s story of coming out is an interesting one as it turns out it was actually his parents, Eugene Levy and Deborah Divine, who approached their son. “We knew for the longest time,” Eugene Levy once said. “We were waiting, and then Mom couldn’t wait any longer.”

55. David Archuleta

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Yet another runner-up in the world of American Idol was David Archuleta in one of the greatest upsets in the show’s history. He’s had a career to show for it, though, coming out with one hit song after another.

Archuleta came out as gay to his family in 2014 but only recently made it public to the world in June 2021. He further has said that part of his struggle to come out was because of his Latter-day Saints faith. “I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, but I felt I needed to bring more awareness to people in my same situation and let you know you’re not alone. You can be part of the LGBTQIA+ community and still believe in God and His gospel plan.”

Related: A Holiday Interview With David Archuleta

56. Rosie O’Donnell

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Rosie O’Donnell has been dominating the small screen for years, garnering the nickname “Queen of Nice” because of her philanthropic efforts during her daytime talk show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, from 1996 to 2002.

O’Donnell publicly came out as a lesbian in early 2002 after she played a lesbian mom on an episode of Will & Grace. The announcement came during her performance at Caroline’s Comedy Club for an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit. “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.”

O’Donnell has been married twice, first to Kellie Carpenter, with whom she has four children, although legally, it wasn’t a long one as it was voided just months after they tied the knot as determined by the California Supreme Court. The pair officially split a few years later. O’Donnell married Michelle Rounds in a private ceremony on June 9, 2012, in New York. They divorced three-and-a-half years later in October 2015.

57. k.d. lang

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Kathryn Dawn Lang, aka k.d. lang, known for hits songs like “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine,” has been openly gay for many years, coming out during an interview with The Advocate in June 1992. Since then, she has been considered a champion of gay rights causes.

One year later, she entered into a domestic partnership with Jamie Price. After separating on September 6, 2011, the partnership was officially dissolved by the Los Angeles County Superior Court on December 30, 2011.

In a 2008 article, she is quoted as saying that “when she isn’t working, [Lang] is mostly a homebody, living quietly with a girlfriend she refers to as ‘my wife’ (although they are not legally married) and her two dogs.”

58. Holland Taylor

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Known for her roles in ABC’s The Practice and CBS’ Two and a Half Men, as well as movies like George of the Jungle and The Stand In, Holland Taylor is one of Hollywood’s finest.

Although she revealed in a WNYC radio interview on November 30, 2015, that most of her relationships have been with women, she did not publicly identify as gay until August 2020. “I’m a very private person, just generally,” Taylor said in an interview. “I would be no matter what my life was, but I was not private in the sense of hiding. I lived my life in public. I think I was 29 or 30 when I had my first relationship with a woman, but I didn’t talk about it per se. It would never have occurred to me to talk about my personal life in an interview anyway.”

59. Sam Smith

most famous gay celebrities
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Singer Sam Smith, known for being featured on the breakthrough single “Latch” with Disclosure and “La La La” with Naughty Boy, publicly came out as gay in May 2014. Smith was in a relationship with actor and model Jonathan Zeizel, who inspired the song “Stay with Me,” which earned Smith a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2015.

“I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys!” Smith also identifies as genderqueer (2017) and began using non-binary pronouns in 2019, stating, “I feel just as much a woman as I am a man. … After a lifetime of being at war with my gender, I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

Related: Sam Smith Gilds Entire Xcel Energy Center

60. Troye Sivan

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To wrap up our list of famous gay people is Troye Sivan, an Australian singer-songwriter and actor. Just as well known for his singing as he is for his acting, thanks to singles like “Happy Little Pill” and “Youth” and roles in films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the Spud film series, Sivan came out to his family in 2010. However, it would be another three years before he came out publicly via YouTube on August 7, 2023.

His decision to come out was partly due to negotiations with EMI Australia, and he did not want it to be a secret from them. “I was about to sign my record deal, and I really wanted to be in charge of how I came out,” he told People. “I didn’t want anyone to take that away from me.”

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Written by Anna Paulson


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