Any celebrity who has positioned themselves front and center in the public eye has been the subject of at least a few gay rumors. For many celebrities, being rumored as being part of the LGBTQ community means that they truly have made it in the industry. It signifies that they’ve become so famous that the public actually cares about which gender they’re sleeping with. For the celebrities themselves, it’s something all too invasive to approach them about and rather disrespectful to bring up in an interview or conversation. Not to mention that it can be frustrating to go into an interview to promote something, and instead get bombarded with questions about sexual preference and other extremely personal matters. While it’s convenient to condemn the media as a bunch of vultures, the truth of the matter is that the public is very much to blame.
Salons and barbershops are equally defined by the rumors spread in between hair clippings and it seems that no matter who we are or how old we get, we’re all a fan of gossip. Nothing is more gossip worthy to the public than the celebrity news that tabloids and gossip magazines churn out to amuse and entertain. For whatever reason, most human minds tend to be fascinated by the idea of sex (some more than others), and in some cases, that fascination is more of an obsession. Combining our curiosity of sex and celebrities, people have gone to great lengths to not only find out who these celebs are having sex with, but also methods in proving that they are indeed homosexual. Some celebrities are surrounded by gay rumors for their entire careers and that couldn’t be more true for our next 15 entries.
15. Kelly Clarkson
For much of her career, possibly since her American Idol days, people have been of the assumption that Kelly Clarkson was gay. It’s difficult to say why these rumors ever started. The only reason that Clarkson figured that was the case was because she has mostly led a single life. During a 2011 visit to The View, she told the talk show hosts that she comes from a small town where everyone gets married pretty quickly and at a very young age. So with her being the oddball out who wasn’t married yet, some people assumed that she was gay. She addressed her sexual preference during an E! News interview later that year when she stated, “I’m pretty sure I’ve never made out with a girl. It’s just not helping me because I’m straight. No boy wants to hit on me because I make mean songs about them, and they think I’m gay.” It wasn’t until her 2013 marriage to talent manager, Brandon Blackstock, that people started to believe that she was indeed straight.
14. Tyler Perry
For some reason, when you make a living dressing up as a sassy, heavyset black woman, no one believes you when you tell them you’re straight. At least that’s the type of prejudice that Tyler Perry has faced ever since hitting it big on the Hollywood scene. When he announced in 2014 that he was expecting his first child with his girlfriend, people were shocked. They couldn’t fathom that the man behind the Madea mask could be straight. They could not understand that a man in Perry’s position would only put on a dress and don a feminine voice for the sake of comedy. It should be simple to understand, but since a lot of men aren’t so willing to put on a dress for any reason (not even money), it’s a little difficult to wrap their heads around this concept. Some people demanded to see DNA tests to prove Perry actually fathered a child and that this wasn’t some sort of gay cover up. Believe it or not, Madea really is the father, so it doesn’t seem like the world needs Maury’s help to figure this one out.
13. Janelle Monae
A common thread with celebrity rumors involving homosexuality is that the public starts to wonder about sexual preference when a favorite celeb refuses to talk about their personal or romantic life. This lack of admission to the public often causes the world to assume that the celebrity is gay. Janelle Monae is one great example of this. Monae has always been known to shut down numerous interviewers (most infamously doing so during a Breakfast Club radio interview from a few years back) who have tried to get her to spill the beans about her love life. Not to mention, Monae’s unique pantsuit style look and some eyebrow raising lyrics from her critically acclaimed Electric Lady album were enough to help increase suspicion regarding Monae’s sexuality. However, as long as Monae continues to choose to keep her career separate from her private life, we may never know if Monae is a member of the LGBTQ community.
12. Ryan Seacrest
For as long as he has enjoyed a career in front of the camera, Ryan Seacrest has been long suspected of being gay. Such rumors have surrounded the former American Idol host for so long that it has actually become a bit of a running gag. Even Julianne Hough at one point thought that Ryan Seacrest was gay. Keep in mind that Julianne Hough used to date Ryan Seacrest for two years. As for why the majority of people thought Seacrest was gay, we can probably blame this one on stereotypes regarding how effeminate gay men look. Seacrest has often appeared, by masculine standards, too “clean” to be straight. From his plucked eyebrows to his clean shave look, even his well-dressed demeanor has been called into question. Yet, others realize that it’s not an admission of homosexuality that he so happens to have the money to look so dabber. Admittedly, if the majority of the general public had the net worth as astounding as Ryan Seacrest, they’d probably get the same kind of makeover.
11. Taylor Swift
When fans really want a juicy LGBTQ related rumor to be true, those fans may find themselves grasping at straws to validate that rumor with proof that isn’t really there. The few rumors regarding Taylor Swift being a lesbian (or, at the very least, bisexual) are a great example of this. Every time Swift finds herself crossing paths with a fellow celebrity who happens to be a woman, the Internet collectively jumps to the conclusion that the two are, as Pennsatucky coined it on Orange is the New Black, “lesbianing together.” The Internet did this when Swift met Lorde, Selena Gomez, and even with her very own BFF, model Karlie Kloss. A couple years ago, a video went viral where Swift and her BFF were supposedly kissing at a party. The video was far too grainy to even tell for sure whether or not it was indeed Kloss and Swift in the video. By the looks of it, in all likelihood, they were just whispering to one another. For now at least, Swift seems too busy shacking up with various Hollywood men to date any women.
10. Anyone from One Direction
While the rumors (let’s call them assumptions) surrounding One Direction are more of a pipe dream for pre-teen girls than any real speculation, many young fans of the band would be ecstatic if any of the stablemates were to come out of the closet. Especially if it were revealed that any one of these bandmates were gay with each other. There have been online fanfictions and tribute sites dedicated to fans trying to find the smallest details about the bandmates that could suggest any one of them could be gay. Whether it’s about Lirry, Zouis, Niam, or any of the other dozens of ship names their fans have created for them, the thought that some of the band members may be a couple seems to be pretty appealing to most One Direction fans. As of now, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and former bandmate Zayn Malik have all admitted that they are straight and haven’t admitted to ever being in a relationship with one another. If they never do, at least the fans will always have their steamy fanfictions about the boys to rely on.
9. Miley Cyrus
When the formerly dubbed Hannah Montana first cut off her long, brown locks in favor of trying out a shorter, bleach blonde and buzzed look, Miley Cyrus started receiving questions about her sexuality. This was around the time when the former Disney Channel sensation was first speculated to be a lesbian. The pop star would respond to these rumors by saying that she had no problem with the rumors because “being a lesbian isn’t a bad thing.” According to Cyrus, she could and has been called much worse. This quote was taken during a 2013 interview, but as early as last year (as the rumors regarding her sexuality persisted), it seems that Cyrus has been far more open to being a member of the LGBTQ community. She told Paper magazine that she is “literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age.”
8. Kevin Spacey
For as long as he has been a top star in Hollywood, Kevin Spacey has rarely (if ever) been seen with a partner on his arm. This has led to much speculation that the Oscar winner might be gay. In addition to that, stories have come out in recent years insinuating that Spacey was once seen groping (specifically, playing butt bongos on) a male model at a party as well as a story concerning Spacey getting mugged in an area notorious for gay hookups. The truth is, as he stated in an interview with Gotham, “I’ve just never believed in pimping my personal life out for publicity. I’m not interested in doing it. Never will do it. They can gossip all they want; they can speculate all they want.” The closest glimpse the public ever received (and probably ever will get) of the actor’s private life came during a speech where he thanked his then-girlfriend, Dianne Dreyer, upon winning the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in American Beauty.
7. Whoopi Goldberg
For much of her career, Whoopi Goldberg has been rumored to be a lesbian. This could be due to the fact that her most famous acting roles (including her Oscar-nominated performance in The Color Purple) showcased her playing queer characters. On the contrary, Goldberg says she identifies as straight and this has been corroborated since her last few marriages have been with men. Further speculation could be in part because Goldberg admitted in an interview that she never loved any of the men she married, and in another interview insisted she will never get married again. She claimed that she was “not meant to be married.” She’s also admitted that she relates with the gay community because, to her, “no one was trying to claim [her], nobody wanted [her]. Black folks didn’t want [her]. Nobody wanted [her]. But [she has] always been claimed by the gay community. Always.” For that reason, Goldberg identifies as a straight ally to the LGBTQ community.
6. Young Thug
Young Thug has been a rather controversial figure in the rap industry for his unique sense of fashion. As a musician, Young Thug has been compared to the likes of Prince and David Bowie for his eccentric wardrobe (most recently donning a dress for the cover of his latest mixtape, Jeffrey), and the daring way that he’s been able to challenge masculine stereotypes. Despite being slotted to marry his fiancee in the near future (Thug hinted recently that he may very well be wearing a bride’s dress at his wedding), there has been wide speculation that he may be gay. Many fans within the hip-hop culture can’t accept that Young Thug enjoys an androgynous or gender-fluid lifestyle. It seems that many hip hop fans would be more comfortable labeling Young Thug as gay rather than accept a more complex answer. Judging by how he addressed the numerous gay rumors in his song “Serious,” Thug appears frustrated at the accusations and doesn’t have any secrets to hide pertaining to homosexuality.
5. Queen Latifah
For the entirety of her career, Queen Latifah has made sure to keep her private life out of the public eye. She’s made sure not to divulge any details about her love life, and has always managed to keep information about who she’s dating completely private. As she once told the Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t feel the need to discuss my private life… There’s the part of my life that the public and I share together. And there’s the part that’s mine to keep for myself. And that’s mine. For me.” While that is reasonable, especially considering how invasive those in the media can be, many people like to interpret that Latifah refusing to talk about certain aspects of her life means that she’s hiding a homosexual lifestyle. Yet, others realize that this is a wild conclusion to jump to. The fact that photographers followed her on a vacation to snap pictures of her rumored girlfriend in 2014 only proves Latifah’s point. Whether she’s gay or not, it’s really none of our business.
4. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise has been the ongoing subject of gay rumors for years now. Despite being married 3 times to 3 different women, many moviegoers continue to obsess about what Cruise does behind closed doors and who he likes to do it with. While all of this speculation relies on hearsay without having any actual evidence, people have obsessed about Cruise’s sexuality since as far back as the 80s. Gossip regarding Cruise’s sexual orientation has ranged from allegations of a 30-year relationship with John Travolta (who has a place on this list later on) to lawsuits made against a gay adult star who claimed that his affair with Cruise destroyed Cruise’s marriage to Nicole Kidman. Rumors of Tom Cruise being a closeted homosexual got so out of hand in 2005 that the writers of South Park wrote an episode about how Cruise refused to literally come out of a closet. Not surprisingly, Cruise has yet to come out of any closet in real life.
3. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has been engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Stedman Graham, ever since 1992 without the two ever going through with a marriage ceremony. Oprah has expressed in numerous interviews that she’s realized in recent years that she has no interest in taking up the wife title, but will continue dating Graham. In an Access Hollywood interview, she mentioned how she believes that being a wife holds too many responsibilities that she doesn’t believe she’s capable of juggling with her business endeavors. As understandable as that may sound, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating that Stedman is merely Oprah’s “beard” (a heterosexual cover up for living a secret homosexual lifestyle) while Oprah’s true lover is her BFF, Gayle King. Oprah has professed that King is as close as a sister to her, but many people seem to be obsessed with the thought of the two being together as an item.
2. John Travolta
Rumors surrounding the sexuality of John Travolta have circulated since as early as the 80s. It’s gotten to the point where it seems that paparazzi only follow Travolta around to catch incriminating photos of him with other men. Often times, they’ve succeeded (most notably catching shots of Travolta locking lips with family nanny, Jeff Kathrein) and sometimes, Travolta doesn’t need photographic evidence to get people speculating whether or not he’s gay. Over the years, the likes of male masseurs and pilots have claimed to be romantically linked to Travolta in some capacity. Yet, every time accusations like these are thrown his way, Travolta denies them. Despite the recently Emmy nominated actor continuing to acknowledge these claims as false and despite his marriage to Kelly Preston lasting since 1991, rumors about his sexuality tend to resurface every once in awhile. Until we get an actual verbal confirmation from Travolta himself, we may never know.
1. Jada & Will Smith
For most of their marriage, Jada and Will Smith have been rumored to be swingers. The bulk of the rumor is that the two like to swing both ways when they pick up new partners. Apparently, Will likes to swing with guys and Jada likes to swing with girls. While neither party has confirmed this, Jada alluded to it recently in an interview with Howard Stern. In 2015, she told Stern, “You’ve got to trust who you’re with. And at the end of the day, I’m not here to be anybody’s watcher. I’m not [Will’s] watcher. He’s a grown man. Here’s what I trust — I trust that the man that Will is, is the man of integrity. So, he’s got all the freedom in the world. As long as Will can look himself in the mirror and be okay, I’m good.” While her response remains vague, Jada did peak our interest as far as how a swinger relationship can work. If the Smiths do happen to swing with same sex partners, it seems to be working as the two have been married for almost 20 years now. If they are swingers and that lifestyle keeps their marriage strong, then more power to them.