Extra, Extra Read All About It: Celebrities Who Announced They’re Gay
Coming out to your family and loved ones certainly isn’t always an easy thing to do, but these entertainers took it once step further and told the world. Check out this list of celebrities who announced they’re gay.
In 2007, Ellen Page had a breakout role in the sleeper film Juno, starring as a high school student that was going through an unplanned pregnancy. The role earned her nominations for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. While she went on to star in the blockbuster films Inception and X-Men: The Last Stand, Page stole the show this past Valentine’s Day at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time To Thrive” conference by announcing she’s gay. During the emotional speech, Page said she hoped her coming out would make a difference with others struggling to do the same thing.
Funny lady Ellen DeGeneres has been making audiences laugh since her sitcom “Ellen,” aired on NBC back in the 90’s. Towards the end of the show’s four-year run, DeGeneres publicly announced she was a lesbian. Her career took a slight nosedive soon after she appeared on the cover of TIME magazine but the Louisiana native bounced back a couple years later after landing her own talk show. Now in its 11th season, the comedian’s personal life has been just as successful. DeGeneres started dating actress Portia De Rossi in 2004 and the happy couple tied the knot four years later.
Although he was runner-up to Ruben Studdard on season two of “American Idol,” Clay Aiken still managed to launch a successful career in entertainment. During much of his career, rumors ran rampant about his sexual orientation and finally putting all speculation to rest, Aiken revealed he was gay with a cover story on People magazine in 2008, announcing he was a proud father of a son he had with his friend Jaymes Foster, sister of record producer David Foster.
Before he had the world “Livin La Vida Loca,” Ricky Martin was a part of the widely popular Spanish-pop boy band Menudo. After branching out on his own, Martin went on to become an international solo superstar. His own sexuality became a hot topic because of his large gay following, and although he dodged the question for much of his career, in 2010 the Latin singer announced he was gay with a post on his official website. In 2008, Martin became a father to twin boys via surrogate.
After graduating from Southern Louisiana University, where she was also a college hoops star, Robin Roberts got into the field of broadcasting by becoming a local sports reporter before her 15-year stint with ESPN. She joined the anchor table at ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2005 and two years later, the country watched and wished her well when she battled breast cancer. Roberts took another medical leave of absence when she was diagnosed with a bone marrow disease in 2012 and after a long recovery, the Alabama native closed out 2013 with a message on Facebook thanking her family, friends and her girlfriend of ten years for helping her through her darkest hours, making it the first time Roberts publicly spoke about her sexual orientation.
Athlete Jason Collins started his NBA career back in 2001 with the New Jersey Nets but he made national headlines for the first time last year by publicly coming out. Last April, Collins made history by becoming the first active male player to come out as gay. He made the announcement in a story with Sports Illustrated magazine. Collins was previously in an eight-year relationship with former WNBA star Carolyn Moos but the couple broke up in 2009 after he called the wedding off. Moos has since acknowledged she had no idea that Collins was gay.
Wanda Sykes has been working behind the scenes in the world of comedy just as long as she’s been onstage. Becoming one of the most outspoken comedians in America, Sykes revealed that she was gay during speech at a 2008 rally for same-sex marriage in Las Vegas. She surprised her fans by announcing she was newly wed, having married her wife Alex a month earlier. They are now the mothers to a set of twins. Sykes was previously married to record producer Dave Hall for seven years.
Bob Harper worked as a personal trainer to the stars before joining the weight loss reality show “The Biggest Loser.” While he has been previously mum about his sexual orientation, the 48-year-old decided to publicly come out during a recent episode. He made the announcement to inspire a contestant to come out to his own father. Even though he came out to his family when he was just 17 years old, this was the first time he talked about being gay on the show.
Actor Wentworth Miller is best known for playing inmate-on-the-run Michael Scofield in the action-thriller “Prison Break” on Fox. He was also eye candy and the love interest in two of Mariah Carey’s music videos. Last summer Miller turned down an invitation to a film festival in Russia and used the opportunity to publicly denounce the government’s treatment of its gay citizens while simultaneously coming out as a homosexual himself. Miller has said he attempted suicide several times as a teenager before coming out to his family.
A lot of child stars have a hard time transitioning into adulthood while still enjoying a successful career in Hollywood but Jodie Foster was never one of them. Fiercely guarded about her private life, Foster has never spoken out about her sexuality despite the rumors and speculation until the 2013 Golden Globes. During her moving acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Foster finally addressed the elephant in the room: “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago in the Stone Age. But now apparently every celebrity is expected to expose the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a primetime reality show.”
Since joining CNN in 2001, Anderson Cooper has covered numerous high-profile stories including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Sri Lanka and the death of Pope John Paul II. After years of staying silent about his personal life, Cooper became a headline story himself after announcing he was gay. Posting an open letter with the Daily Beast, Anderson said while his family, friends and colleagues had always known he was gay, he hadn’t publicly acknowledged the fact before because “in a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business.”
Frenchie Davis is no stranger to reality singing shows. The “American Idol” alum and “The Voice” semi-finalist rarely talked about her personal life but in an interview with a local newspaper in the summer of 2012, Davis was an open book. She revealed she had been in a one-year relationship with another woman. “I wasn’t out before the relationship, but I wasn’t in,” the Broadway star said. “I dated men and women, though lesbians weren’t feeling the bisexual thing. Now I’m in love with a woman I think I can be with forever.”
Neil Patrick Harris
We fell in love with him for playing a child prodigy in the sitcom “Doogie Howser, MD,” and since his days as a teenage star, Neil Patrick Harris has enjoyed a very successful career in Hollywood. Although he played the womanizing playboy Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother,” Harris was hardly chasing skirts in real life. In 2006, the Broadway star revealed he was gay in an interview with People magazine: “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.”
Her man-crush on Hollywood heavyweight and superstar Tom Cruise was never a secret but for a while comedian Rosie O’Donnell was keeping something very personal from her fans. The one-time talk show host has always been silent about her sexual orientation but during a charity event in 2002, O’Donnell was silent no longer. During part of her comedy set at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City, O’Donnell publicly came out. “I’m a dyke!” she proclaimed. “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 played Alex Keaton’s mom on the 80’s sitcom “Family Ties” but in real life Meredith Baxter was hardly a Stepford mom. The thrice-divorced mother of five surprised a lot of people in December 2009. During an interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show,” Baxter opened up about her battle with breast cancer, recovery from addiction and was also gay. “I am a lesbian and it was a later-in-life recognition,” she told Lauer. “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.”