It’s officially Pride month, and that means that the entire month of June is dedicated to celebrating stories of amazing LGBTQ+ individuals of all walks who have fought for the rights of their community, and their own rights to live happy and prosperous lives with the equality we all deserve.
Throughout the years, there have been so many incredible and inspiring coming out stories, and they come in all different varieties. Some celebrities prefer to keep things subtle, some have their whole lives shaken up, and others like to laugh it off. It just goes to show that there are as many ways to come out as there are people in the world.
In the spirit of pride, it’s time to look at a few inspiring and unique celebrity coming out stories. Even though this list couldn’t possibly include all of the relevant celebrities and coming out stories, here are a few that stand out and make for great coming out stories.
Six inspiring celebrity coming out stories:
Jameela Jamil is known for quite a lot of things, including being an incredible actress and an activist. However, it wasn’t until she joined the cast of Legendary that she came out as queer after a wave of backlash due to her existing in a queer-designated space. However, her coming out gave notice to the bisexual and queer communities, specifically surrounding how people often see bisexuality as invisible.
She said of coming out after joining the show, “I think people were just like, ‘Why would you even care, you don’t care about this community at all, you’re just doing this for fame, etc.’ I wanted to explain that the reason I’m doing this is because my love for ballroom and representation, and for just honouring this community, comes from the fact that I’ve been a silent member of this community, a secret member of this community, for my whole life, and I’ve looked to them and looked towards them and been inspired by them and wanted to join them in a more open way outside of just my private circle, but felt too afraid to because of my background, because of being South Asian.”
It takes a lot of bravery to stand up and come out publically like that, and she handled the complicated nature of the situation with grace.
Speaking of Jameela Jamil, it was in a conversation with the actress that singer Sam Smith came out as non-binary. Not only did they have an open conversation about gender and gender identity, but they did so in a way that felt explorative and accessible.
They said of their gender identity, “I’ve always had a little bit of a war going within my body and my mind. I do think like a woman sometimes, in my head. Sometimes I’ve questioned ‘Do I want a sex change?’ It’s something I still think about, like, ‘Do I want to?’ I’m not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It’s all on the spectrum.”
It sort of seems like Miley Cyrus has been openly queer as long as we can remember, but that very clearly hasn’t been the case. She used to be a Disney star, after all. Technically, she came out as pansexual in 2015, talking publically about coming out to her mom and other members of her close circle.
Since then, she’s been open about the fluidity of gender and sexuality in her life, saying, “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age. Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
She’s unapologetic about her queerness, and there’s something brave and inspiring about just how committed and carefree she manages to be all at the same time.
This one is by far my personal favourite, and not just because Kristen Stewart is one of my favourite people. It was pretty clear for many years that Stewart was a part of the LGBTQ+ community, even if she didn’t say all that much directly about it. She’s mostly been dating women for the past few years.
However, when the star hosted Saturday Night Live, she ended her monologue by saying “I’m like, so gay, dude,” to a proud, cheering crowd. Okay, this wasn’t the very first time she talked publically about her sexuality, but what a way to make the big splash!
Specifically, Stewart has stated that she identifies as bisexual. She even said once, “The first time I ever dated a girl, I was immediately being asked if I was a lesbian. And it’s like: ‘God, I’m 21 years old. I felt like maybe there were things that have hurt people I’ve been with. Not because I felt ashamed of being openly gay but because I didn’t like giving myself to the public, in a way.” So really, it’s great that she took her time and said what she wanted to say on her own terms.
Say what you will about Ellen Degeneres, but when she came out, it literally shook the world, and went down in history as one of the most iconic coming out stories in media to this day. From her cover story of Time proudly stating, “Yep, I’m gay,’ to the episode of her show in which she came out in cannon, she made a big step for 1990s media.
Although her show would later get cancelled, it gave way to her eventually getting her own talk show, which led to the widespread success she had for many years. She gave representation to queer women during a time where the mainstream media didn’t have all that much of it, and it was an exceptionally brave move.
After spending many years working as an actor under his female name and image in Hollywood, Elliot Page shook things up and took the brave leap mid-career to come out as transgender. He came out with a statement shared on Instagram, which allowed for a subtle coming-out moment when it comes to public interaction.
In his statement, he said, “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.”
He’s continued to live fully as his authentic self ever since, and it’s incredible to see him thrive being who he truly wants to be.