This article was originally published on Kueez
Coming out is extremely difficult, and it can take a while to figure out how to tell people. It is even more challenging to come out when you are a public figure because of all the added opinions. These celebrities announced that they identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, and their stories are so powerful. Find out which stars have come out and remember as RuPaul says, "If you can't love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else."
1. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore has been in show business since she was three years old, so she is used to the public opinions, but that does not mean it was easy for her to come out in 2003. She announced that she was bisexual, yet people are still shocked by this because it is never discussed.
Barrymore said that she has always considered herself bisexual and that she thinks it is just as beautiful for two women to be together as it is for a man and woman.
2. Alyson Stoner
Alyson Stoner has come a long way since she shot to fame as a dancer in Missy Elliot's music video. In 2018, she wrote a letter for Teen Vogue, revealing that she had been dealing with a spiritual battle because she found herself attracted to a woman despite her lifelong religious beliefs.
Stoner wrote that a pastor had tried to eliminate her attraction to this woman, but she decided to live her truth. She said she could love whoever she wants regardless of gender identity and expression.
3. Jameela Jamil
Unfortunately, Jameela Jamil did not get to come out in a way she intended because of harsh words on the internet. She announced on social media that she would be judging a show about vogueing, but received backlash because "she is not from the LGBTQ+ community, so she shouldn't be a judge on a show that stems from drag culture."
Jamil quickly responded with a tweet stating, "This is why I never officially came out as queer." She explained how difficult it was growing up in a South Asian community where no one was openly out.
4. Amber Heard
Over the past decade, LGBTQ+ rights have progressed greatly, but back in 2008, it was a huge shock when Amber Heard publicly announced she identifies as bisexual. Her close friends and family were worried she wouldn't get another job in Hollywood because of discrimination.
She decided to come out when she felt herself falling in love with photographer Tasya van Ree. In an interview, Heard was asked if the rumors were true about her having a girlfriend, and she said yes. She has been very open about her sexuality since.
5. Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough was just a few months into her marriage to Brooks Laich when she announced that after soul-searching, she is not straight. She told her husband first, and he was confused. Hough told him, "I'm not straight, but I chose to be with you."
Hough identifies as bisexual, and she has shown the world it is never too late to talk about identity with the people you love.
6. Tim Cook
Although Tim Cook is the CEO of one of the most talked-about companies in the world, he likes to keep his life private. After many rumors, he decided to open up about something very personal.
In 2014, he wrote an open letter and publicly came out as a proud gay man. In his letter, he said he has never denied his sexuality but chose not to address it publicly. He has always hoped to work towards social progress with his public platform.
Nikki De Jager or NikkiTutorials on YouTube has over 13 million subscribers on her makeup channel, and this year, she came out in an emotional video as transgender. Sadly, this was not how she wanted to announce this, but someone blackmailed her into sharing this private part of her life.
In the video, De Jager stated, "I was born in the wrong body, which means I am transgender." Nikki received such positive and amazing messages on social media, and she hopes to use her immense platform to advocate for trans rights.
8. Willow Smith
Willow Smith is the youngest child of Jada and Will Smith, so she has been famous since birth. Her family has always challenged social norms, and recently, her parents announced that they are in a thruple with another woman.
Willow came out as bisexual and polyamorous. She has been open about the idea of loving more than one person at a time because an emotional connection with someone is a beautiful thing.
9. Gillian Anderson
Gillian Anderson publicly came out in 2012 during an interview with Out Magazine. She talked about a woman she had been in a relationship with for a while during high school.
Her former girlfriend passed away in 2011, and Anderson wanted to honor her memory by being honest and open about their relationship.
10. Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter grew up in the public eye, and he has been figuring himself out throughout the past few years. On his Twitter account, he talked about how he can find boys and girls attractive. However, he back-tracked by saying that his tweet about sexuality got misconstrued.
At the end of the day, sexuality is not a black and white subject, so there are no definitive answers for his personal identity.
11. Ariana Grande
In 2019, Ariana Grande released a song called "Monopoly," in which she sang, "I like women and men." Her fans were confused and wondered if that was her way of coming out.
Also, in the music video for her song "break up with your girlfriend, I'm bored," she was seen about to kiss a woman before the video ended. She has never publicly confirmed her sexuality because she doesn't feel the need to label herself.
12. Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz had a unique way of coming out to the public. He wrote an open letter to the LGBTQ+ community in Billboard Magazine, and closed it by writing, "I am bi your side, all ways." Fans picked up on the spelling, and rumors began to circulate.
Mraz was open about his past experiences with men even while dating his wife. This made him confused, but his wife explained it as him having two spirits, one that loves men and one that loves women.
13. Paris Jackson
While Paris Jackson does not like to label her sexuality, people have assumed that she is bisexual because she has been with both men and women.
She was never secretive about her sexuality, and she made an official coming out post on Instagram, she said, "How many times have I referred to the community as 'my fellow LGBTQ+.' I've been apart of this community for years."
14. Auli’i Cravalho
As the voice of Disney's Moana and the singer behind, "How Far I'll Go," Auli'i Cravalho has shown the world she will always do her best to live her truth.
Cravalho was asked by a fan on Twitter if she like girls, and she replied that she identifies as bisexual.
15. Billy Joe Armstrong
Billy Joe Armstrong is known for his powerful voice in the band Green Day. He has been open about his sexuality and how he identifies as bisexual, but people usually forget this fact about him.
Armstrong came out in 1995 during an interview. He said, "I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling that it is taboo."
16. Vanessa Carlton
You might recognize Vanessa Carlton as the singer behind the classic "A Thousand Miles." In 2010 she was performing at Nashville Pride, and she saw a same-sex couple in the audience. She said she felt their pain in a way, and wanted to connect with them.
During that concert, she felt comfortable to announce that she identifies as bisexual. She then changed the pronouns in her song "Ordinary Day" to show it could be about a male or woman.
17. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato has been on a long public journey with her sexuality. She is still finding herself and figuring out life, but one thing is for sure that she is open to a relationship with a man or a woman.
Lovato revealed that she came out to her parents in 2017, and it was an emotional conversation, but beautiful. Ultimately, Demi can be whoever she wants to be because that is her choice, not anyone else's.
18. Kristian Nairn
Kristian Nairn portrayed Hodor on Game of Thrones, who was known for blurting out his own name on the show. However, in real life, Nairn is more reserved.
Nairn didn't come out publicly until he was asked in an interview. He said that he is apart of the gay community, and although he has never hidden his sexuality, he has never felt the need to talk about it.
19. Rebecca Black
You might have tried to forget about the song "Friday," but that does not mean we should forget about Rebecca Black. At 22 years old, Black has publicly come out as queer.
She said that to her, the word "queer" feels nice because she has dated many types of people, and it gives her more freedom to be open.
Since she first rose to fame in 2015, Halsey has been an activist for the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn't until 2017 that she said she identified as bisexual. After that, she was using female pronouns in her songs because she didn't feel the need to hide her true self.
Halsey also made it clear that although she is young, sexuality is not a phase you grow out of, but something you continue to grow in as you get older.
21. Clive Davis
Clive Davis is known for his work with some of the biggest names in music, including Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, and Alicia Keys. Not many people know that he identifies as bisexual.
In his autobiography, he revealed that he had past relationships with men, the first being at Studio 54. Davis had been in long-term relationships with both men and women.
22. Lili Reinhart
Lili Reinhart shocked fans recently when she posted about an LGBTQ+ peaceful protest in West Hollywood on her Instagram.
In her post, she wrote that although she had never publicly announced it before, she has been bisexual for a while. It was never discussed because she had been in a very public relationship with Cole Sprouse, so no one questioned her sexuality. Just because someone is dating one gender does not mean that they can't love people of other gender identities.
"Oh, snap!" Raven Symone has been making big moves since her days on Disney's That's So Raven. In 2013, when same-sex marriage became legal, Raven tweeted "I can finally get married. Yay government!" This was her way of coming out to the world.
Since she had been in the entertainment industry since she was young, there was pressure for Raven to stay in the closet for the sake of her career. It was a close friend who told her that coming out would help so many young children.
24. Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez has been a big name in Hollywood for years. She has never had a public relationship, and people have continued to speculate about her sexuality. In 2013, she revealed her thoughts on the subject.
She told Us magazine that she likes both men and women, and she is curious. Rodriguez opened up because she wants to be honest with who she is and see where that takes her.
25. Abbi Jacobson
Abbi Jacobson was the star of Broad City, which received a positive reaction from the LGBTQ+ community. When she came out as bisexual, the community embraced her with open arms.
Jacobsen said that she dates both men and women. She added that she loves anyone who is funny, and she is open to any possibility.
26. Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X is known for his mega-hit "Old Town Road." During Pride month 2019, he shared a series of cryptic tweets to listen closely to his EP "7." He also added a rainbow emoji.
Fans started to speculate that this was his way of coming out, so Lil Nas X tweeted, "thought I made it obvious." It was a very public way to come out but also low-key.
Pink has referred to herself for a long time as "an honorary lesbian of Los Angeles," but she does not identify as lesbian, rather bisexual. She has made it clear that she believes labels of sexuality and gender are fluid.
Pink says she just wants to live her life and not be labeled as anything specific. She doesn't want to be put into a box because her sexuality is her business.
28. Stacey London
Stacy London is known for her time on What Not to Wear, and she hasn't been in the spotlight recently until she announced her relationship with musician Cat Yezback. On New Year's Eve 2019, she wrote posted a photo of herself and Yezback with the caption, "girlfriend, and has been for over a year."
London has never chosen to label herself, but has only spoken about who she loves, whether that is a man or woman is irrelevant.
29. Lilly Singh
Lilly Singh in a YouTube sensation with 15 million subscribers and growing. In 2019, she took to Twitter to announced she is bisexual and finally felt like she was embracing her authentic self.
Singh said that growing up in a South Asian family, it was significant for her to come out. After she announced it publicly, she had a meet and greet in India, and many people who met her came out to her.
30. DJ Qualls
DJ Qualls is known for his roles in Road Trip and The New Guy, and at the age of 41, he came out as gay. Qualls is proud of his sexuality as he should be.
Qualls's coming out was special because he announced it on stage at a Jim Jeffries show and then tweeted about it.
31. Sam Smith
Singer-songwriter Same Smith has grown in their music and personal life throughout their time in the public eye. In 2019, they were interviewed by Jameela Jamil, where they came out as non-binary.
Non-binary means that Smith does not identify as a male or female, but somewhere in between. They said that they are a mixture of all different things, and every person is a special creation. Also, Smith uses the pronouns they and them.
32. Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae is known for her fierce style and killer vocals, but few people know that she identifies as pansexual. In an interview with Rolling Stone she said, "Being a black queer woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women, she considers herself to be a free a** motherf****r."
Monae has been open about her journey with sexual identity and realized it does not matter how someone else identifies; she loves people regardless.
33. Niki Albon
Niki Albon is a British vlogger who has a channel with his twin Sammer. They have about 184 thousand subscribers, and Niki posted a video in February coming out as gay for his 28th birthday.
After posting the video, he shared how he finally felt like himself, and he didn't have to hide part of his life anymore. Niki was so happy to be able to start the year living his most authentic life.
34. Ricky Dillon
Ricky Dillon is a popular YouTuber who has amassed over 3.2 million subscribers. He made a video in February coming out as gay and he said how difficult it was to post.
Dillon wanted to be able to share his true self with the world finally. Also, he said that growing up in a Christian household, being gay was wrong, so he had to hide this part of his life for so long.
35. Hayley Kiyoko
Hayley Kiyoko is a pop sensation and the "lesbian Jesus," according to Twitter. In 2015 she released her hit single "Girls Like Girls," which was her way of publicly coming out.
However, Kiyoka said she knew she was gay since she was six years old. Hayley is an advocate for the LQBTQ+ community, and she was recently featured on Rupaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race.
36. Caitlyn Jenner
In 2015, Caitlyn Jenner made history when she came out at transgender. Her life had been in the public eye since she was an Olympic gold medalist, and her marriage to Kris Jenner played out on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Caitlyn's transition was documented on parts of KUWTK. She showed many people that it is never too late to live your truth and embrace yourself.
37. Jason Collins
Former NBA play, Jason Collins, was the first openly LGBTQ male athlete in one of the four major US sports leagues. He came out in 2013 in a column for Sports Illustrated.
Collins said, "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay." He played for 12 seasons before coming out, and it just felt like the right time for him. Collins was happy to be able to start conversations that needed to be had within the sports world.
38. Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean is known for his talented vocals and inspiring so many people around the world. In 2012, he came out in a Tumblr post, which detailed how he fell in love with a man. His post received so much positive praise and resonated with many people in the LGBTQ+ community.
In an interview with GQ, Ocean said that he did not want to label himself in his Tumblr post. He said that he feels more fluid when it comes to romance.
39. J. August Richards
J. August Richards is known for his role as Charles Gunn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel and as Mike Peterson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In April he came out publicly as gay.
Richards said he knew it was important for him to use his platform to be a role model for other people who might be struggling with their identity.
40. Tatiana Ringsby
In May, social media influencer and model, Tatiana Ringsby came out as bisexual in a TikTok video. In the video, she brought her parents a cake that said, "Surprise I'm bi" written in icing.
As an influencer, Tatiana can help so many young people who look up to her and inspire them to live their authentic lives as well.
41. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres was one of the first mainstream celebrities to come out publicly. In 1997, she graced the cover of Time magazine with the headline, "Yep, I'm gay."
Despite being a gay icon today, DeGeneres received backlash from religious groups and advertisers when she initially came out.
42. Guillaume Cizeron
Guillaume Cizeron is a french ice dancer and Olympic silver medalist who publicly came out as gay in May 2020. He shared a photo of him and his boyfriend to Instagram, and he so many positive messages.
Cizeron said he never addressed his sexuality publicly, but never felt like he was hiding anything. It was just his way of confirming any speculations.