Today is National Coming Out Day — a day to celebrate people who are coming out and to recognise those who already have.
Over the years, notable figures in film, TV, music, and sports have come out via magazine covers, lengthy interviews, songs, and speeches to reveal their sexuality to the public.
We’re remembering some of the most notable celebrity coming out moments.
title=”2013: Raven-Symoné came out on Twitter after the Supreme Court overturned the Defence of Marriage Act.”
content=”Former childhood star Raven-Symonè took to Twitter to express her feelings over the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying, ‘I can finally get married. Yay government! So proud of you!’
She later clarified her tweet to E! News, saying, ‘I was excited to hear today that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to.'”
title=”2013: NBA player Jason Collins became the first active athlete in a major American professional sport to come out.”
content=”In the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, NBA player Jason Collins admitted he was gay, saying ‘I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.’
Fellow NBA players voiced their support, including Kobe Bryant who tweeted, ‘Proud of @jasoncollins34. Don’t suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others.'”
title=”2013: Jodie Foster came out in her speech at the Golden Globe Awards.”
content=”Jodie Foster came out while accepting the
Cecile B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2013.
She spoke to reporters backstage saying, ‘The speech kind of speaks for itself. … It’s a big moment. I wanted to say what’s most in my heart.’
The former child star explained in her speech:
I hope you guys weren’t hoping this would be a big coming out speech tonight, because 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, co-workers, 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 honour the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime time reality show. You guys might be surprised, but I am not Honey Boo Boo Child.
title=”2012: Frank Ocean came out as bisexual, changing up the typically homophobic hip-hop game.”
content=”Frank Ocean came out about his sexuality in a message posted to his Tumblr in July 2012.
In the message he detailed a romantic experience he shared with a man four years prior:
In the last year or 3 I’ve screamed at my creator, screamed at the clouds in the sky, for some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like manna somehow.
4 summer ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost… Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping.
Ocean later told GQ about his decision to come out: ‘There’s just some magic in truth and honesty and openness.'”
title=”2012: Anderson Cooper revealed his sexuality in an e-mail: ‘I’m gay, always have been, always will be.'”
content=”After years of speculation, Anderson Cooper came out in a July 2012 e-mail to Andrew Sullivan, who — with Cooper’s permission — posted said letter on The Daily Beast.
In the letter, Cooper said, ‘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.'”
title=”2011: CNN anchor Don Lemon came out in his novel, ‘Transparent.'”
content=”Though he said his colleagues at CNN were always aware of his sexuality, Don Lemon publicly came out in his 2011 novel ‘Transparent.’
‘I think it would be great if everybody could be out,’ he said. ‘But it’s such a personal choice. People have to do it at their own speed. I respect that. I do have to say that the more people who come out, the better it is for everyone.'”
title=”2010: Ricky Martin announced on his website that he is gay.”
content=”Latin singer Ricky Martin took to his website in March 2010 to announce he was gay.
‘I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am,’ Martin said.
He said his twin sons inspired him to be true to himself.
‘To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids were born with,’ Martin wrote. ‘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.'”
title=”2010: Chely Wright became country music’s first openly gay singer.”
content=”When Chely Wright came out on the ‘Today Show,’ she talked about how she had considered suicide and how she had been rejected by the country music community.
Wright’s coming out process was documented in ‘Wish Me Away.’
‘I want it to change hearts and minds. I want it to challenge stereotypes,’ Wright told the LA Times. ‘I also hope that people who don’t think that they know anybody like me might come across it and realise that you don’t have to be gay to believe in the equality movement — you just have to be human.'”
title=”2009: Adam Lambert officially came out in the June 2009 issue of Rolling Stone.”
content=”‘I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m gay,’ the ‘American Idol’ star said in a June 2009 issue of Rolling Stone.
Lambert went on to say, ‘I’m proud of my sexuality. I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.'”
title=”2008: Wanda Sykes came out at a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas.”
content=”Actress/comedian Wanda Sykes was partaking in a November 2008 same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas when she told the crowd she was gay and had recently married.
Sykes later admitted that she hadn’t planned to come out at the rally.
In 2009, Sykes and her wife, Alex, welcomed twins.”
title=”2008: Clay Aiken and his infant son appeared on the cover of People with the headline, ‘Yes, I’m gay.'”
content=”After Aiken’s son was born in August 2008, the singer said he made a promise to publicly acknowledge his sexuality.
‘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,’ he told People magazine.”
title=”2006: Neil Patrick Harris dispelled rumours by coming out in People magazine.”
content=”Actor Neil Patrick Harris came out in an interview with People magazine in November 2006, saying, ‘…I am happy to dispel any rumours 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.’
Harris and long-time partner David Burtka have twins, Harper and Gideon.”
title=”2005: Portia de Rossi announced she was gay on the cover of The Adovcate magazine.”
content=”In August 2005, Portia de Rossi came out in Advocate magazine, saying: ‘I’ve had my years of being not open, many years of it. It’s an honour for me to do this; it’s just nice to be asked.’
In the issue, de Rossi detailed her coming out experience and her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
De Rossi and DeGeneres wed at their home in Los Angeles in 2008.”
title=”2006: Lance Bass appeared on the cover of People with the headline ‘I’m Gay.'”
content=”Lance Bass detailed his coming out experience in a July 2006 issue of People magazine, admitting that he was afraid his sexuality would affect ‘N Sync’s success.
‘I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything,’ revealed Bass at the time.
But eventually the boy-bander came out, saying: ‘The thing is, I’m not ashamed — that’s the one thing I want to say. 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.’
Bass proposed to boyfriend Michael Turchin in August 2013.”
title=”2002: Rosie O’Donnell came out while on a stand-up comedy stage.”
content=”Rosie O’Donnell revealed she was gay by exclaiming ‘I’m a dyke!’ during her act at the Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Carolines Comedy Club in February 2002.
O’Donnell, who has four kids from her first marriage, and current wife Michelle Rounds, welcomed daughter, Dakota, in January 2013.”
title=”1997: Ellen DeGeneres was one of the first celebrities to publicly come out.”
content=”Ellen DeGeneres came out on a 1997 cover of TIME magazine, with the headline ‘Yep, I’m gay.’
In the issue she goes on to say, ‘Now, I feel completely comfortable with myself, and I don’t have to be fearful about something damaging my career if it gets out, because now I’m in control of it — sort of.’
DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi married in 2008 after having dated since 2004.
DeGeneres announced her plans to wed de Rossi during a taping of her talk show in May after California’s Supreme Court ruled a previous ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional.”
title=”But that’s all history, see what’s happening today …”