It may seem that more and more people are embracing their sexuality and being unafraid of revealing their true selves. Just think about recent times and how many celebs have come out of the closet. The days and weeks after the June 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida was a huge catalyst for many celebrities (and common folks) to come out. Mara Wilson and Jaden Smith were just two of the celebrities who explained their stance. Other celebrities either came totally out of the closet, said they fall somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, or said that they didn’t want to put a label on their sexuality (like Cara Delevingne). But, 2016 is nearly over, so how about a little trip down memory lane with our list of 15 Celebrities You May Have Forgotten Came Out in 2015.
Finding out that one of your favorite actors, singers, or athletes is gay, trans, bisexual, or lesbian can be amazing, frightening, disheartening, or inspiring...or any other kind of emotion. It really depends on who you are. This is list of celebrities that you might already know are part of the LGBTQ community, but maybe you forgot. And there may be famous people on this list that you didn’t know were LGBTQ at all. 2015 was overshadowed with Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner coming out and transitioning into a woman. So let’s show these other celebs some love! If you want to support LGBTQ rights and equality, there are many organizations out there, both established and up-and-coming. Spread the word!
15 Tatum O’Neal
2015 was the year that Tatum O’Neal was totally real with her sexual preferences and her orientation. The celeb identifies as a woman who likes men and women, but she usually finds herself gravitating towards female partners rather than males. According to O’Neal, women are gentle, fascinating, and smarter. Sounds like someone might be a bit biased! Either that, or O’Neal has had some crappy intimate partners in the past. Guys tend to get a bad rap for being clueless and dumber than women, but it really does depend on the person. Even so, O’Neal finds her female partners to be clever and witty enough to match her intellect, plus they are easier on the eyes. O’Neal didn’t flat-out say that she was bisexual, but her dating preferences confirm that she is. O’Neal has three children from her ex-husband, John McEnroe. Now she is just dating around and isn’t in a serious relationship.
14 Gus Kenworthy
You may not know about Gus Kenworthy unless you are a sports fan. Kenworthy is an Olympic silver-medal-winning freestyle skier who compete in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Athletes are usually less apt to open up about their sexuality than actors are, but Kenworthy is one example of an openly gay athlete. In October of 2015, Kenworthy came out of the closet, becoming one of the first action-sports figures from the Olympic Games to come out. Right now, Kenworthy is dating Matthew Wilkas. In June of 2016, Kenworthy appeared on Steve Harvey’s Family Feud and competed to raise awareness and funds for the LGBTQ community. On the show, Kenworthy wore a casual black T-shirt with a rainbow decal that said #BETRUE. His charity of choice was the Happy Hippie Foundation, which provides support for homeless LGBTQ youth. Check it out and if you feel called to do so, donate!
13 Patricia Velasquez
It took 40 years, but supermodel Patricia Velasquez finally decided that it was time to set the record straight...she was a lesbian. The beauty from Venezuela made a name for herself in South America by showing off designer runway fashions. She has been in the industry since 1997 and has appeared in ads for Victoria’s Secret and Chanel. Patricia was also named one of Maxim’s Hot 100 Women of 2001 (and she was also a mainstay in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition). If you don’t keep track of models, then you might recognize Patricia from her acting stints in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. She came out in early 2015 via her memoir, Straight Walk (a metaphor for your sexuality and her modeling career). Patricia used the memoir to discuss her relationship with Sandra Bernhard and how that helped her to realize that she was indeed a lesbian.
12 Demi Lovato
Singer and actress Demi Lovato has been outspoken about her personal journey and struggles for years now. She is known around the world as one of the most open and honest celebrities, and her fan following is incredible. Lovato took to Twitter after the horrendous massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida this past summer. In the post, she gave her full support for the entire LGBTQ community, stating that she was standing with them. Back in 2015, Lovato spoke to People magazine and said that she doesn’t want to put a label on her sexuality, which basically means that she is bisexual. Even some of her song lyrics and social media posts hint to that fact. For all intents and purposes, it is safe to say that Lovato is into both men and women, and she is totally okay with that (her fans are too)! Her sexuality would never ruin her career.
11 Kristen Stewart
The Kristen Stewart - Robert Pattinson relationship was a huge deal, and they were a seemingly odd power couple in Hollywood. They somehow made it work on the big screen in the Twilight saga, but then the romance continued into their actual real lives. And we thought that they would be together forever, but then something really freaky happened. Stewart had an affair and cheated on Pattinson with her Snow White and The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. Whoops! That destroyed her world for a while, and needless to say, her prospects with Pattinson were over. She also wasn’t going to get together with Sanders for real; the guys was married with children (although his wife divorced him). Instead, Stewart took a step back and assessed the situation. When she reemerged in the public eye, she was seen stepping out with a woman - her girlfriend. Stewart came out of the closet and confirmed that she was bisexual.
10 Lily-Rose Depp
If the last name sounds familiar, it definitely should: Lily-Rose Depp is the daughter of the famous Johnny Depp and his long-time partner Vanessa Paradis. Depp is just 17 years old, but she is a surefire beauty. She works as a model and actress and gets to travel the globe. Given her famous father and her status as a worldwide celeb, Depp has a good amount of influence. She used it for good in the summer of 2015 when she teamed up with photographer iOTillett Wright for a campaign about LGBTQ topics. The campaign was called Self Evident Truths and featured people who identify as gay, lesbian, trans, queer, bisexual...basically anything besides 100% heterosexual. In a photograph for Instagram featuring Depp there was a caption that implied that Depp falls “Somewhere on the vast spectrum," which means that she ain’t 100% straight!
9 Yusaf Mack
A boxer coming out as an LGBTQ man? It happened in November of 2015 when Yusaf Mack revealed to the world that he was bisexual. Mack explained on a Philadelphia news station that he was so tired of holding in his true self (something that we hear from a lot of LGBTQ people who finally come out of the closet). Mack went on to say that he is living his life; he is bisexual and now he is really living his life. He’s not hurting anyone, just being who he feels he truly is. What’s so wrong with that? The admission of his bisexuality came just a week after he had denied being involved in a gay film project that was leaked onto DawgPoundUSA.com. Mack said that he didn’t recall the project at all, and that he must have been drugged when it happened. Mmhmm, right. He eventually confessed to being voluntarily involved in it, and his status as a bi-boxer was quite a revelation.
8 Keke Palmer
Former Nickelodeon actress Keke Palmer has taken the stance that many celebrities her age do in terms of coming out as LGBTQ; she is not identifying herself with one single label. According to Palmer, she does not want to clarify that she is lesbian or bisexual when the very next day she might identify more closely with something else. While it would be easier to say that she is bisexual, Palmer prefers to just drop the labels and be fluid. She released a music video in 2015 for “I Don’t Belong To You,” in which she leaves her music video boyfriend and then catches up with a girl. It had plenty of people surmising that this music video was her proclamation that she was coming out of the closet. Her announcement and lack of a label have not hurt her acting career; she is set to star in the new season of the TV show Scream Queens.
7 Jussie Smollett
At 33 years old, Jussie Smollett is one of the hottest African American actors on television. You probably know him from the hit series Empire, on which he plays the character of Jamal Lyon. Just like his character Jamal, Smollett identifies as a homosexual. Smollett came out on the Ellen Degeneres show (a warm and welcoming place to come out of the closet!) in the spring of 2015, and he experienced a ton of support from the live audience. Being an actor who is African American, Smollett already has the short end of the stick. Add to that the fact that he is an openly gay man, and that is another strike against him. Even though it’s 2016, there is still tons of homophobia and hate hurled against the LGBTQ community. Surely Smollett has lived through that, both in his personal and professional lives, but he is still going. He’s hopeful that working as a gay black man will help others.
6 Austin Rhodes
Austin Rhodes is just 20 years old and he is an openly gay model, actor and YouTube celeb. One of the first people he came out to was his twin brother, Aaron Rhodes. And guess what, Aaron is gay, too! Anyway the manner in which Austin and his bro were first introduced to the world was when they filmed themselves coming out to their dad for the first time. That project could have seriously backfired, but it made the two brothers YouTube sensations. It doesn’t hurt that both Austin and Aaron are absolutely gorgeous and would get both guys and girls hot under the collar! The young men were scouted, thanks to YouTube, and then they clinched a modeling deal with Wilhelmina Models. The coming-out video has been viewed over dozens of millions of times, but it hasn’t been all fun and games. Given that they were first YouTube stars and they’re gay, Hollywood directors aren’t quite clamoring to cast them.
5 Aaron Rhodes
Double trouble with Aaron Rhodes, the older twin by seven minutes. Just like his brother, he prefers men to women, and he is openly gay just like Austin. Aaron appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show with his bro and talked about the process of embracing his true identity and letting his family know. That is not an easy thing, and there are still times when Aaron and Austin struggle with being accepted by others. Aaron was actually the first brother to come out as gay, but once Austin heard the news, he said that he liked guys too. While the men have been featured in PAPER Magazine, their acting careers are not exactly budding. The made guest appearances on Scream Queens, but that’s about it for their acting roles. No film offers and no leads in TV. At least they have their modeling career, which might be more forgiving of open homosexuality.
4 Nyle DiMarco
In October of 2015, Nyle Dimarco of America’s Next Top Model fame revealed that his sexuality is fluid, and he can go for both guys and gals. That’s good news for everyone, right? Dimarco is a total hottie with a body, and his being gay or bisexual or queer or whatever doesn’t change that fact. Ever since his admission that he is sexually fluid, Dimarco has been a huge proponent of LGBTQ rights. His Twitter feed is regularly filled with posts about how one’s sexuality is not a choice, but is an innate part of themselves. Nyle is not only a male, sexually-fluid model who won ANTM’s 22nd cycle, but he is deaf. He appeared as a star on Dancing With the Stars and WON. So not only does he advocate for LGBTQ rights, but he is an activist for deaf people as well. Why aren’t more people signing Dimarco on to their film or TV projects? Could they just be scared of his confidence?
3 Matt Cage
Professional wrestler Matt Cage made huge headlines when he came out as a gay man in June of 2015. Stating that he no longer wanted to “act” like a straight man, Cage was very open and honest about his sexuality and his true self. He used his Facebook account to clear up any questions, because he previously said he was bisexual. He later deemed himself gay and interested only in other men. Despite being terrified that he would be publicly rejected by others, Matt received an outpouring of support. The 28-year-old has achieved such honors as the All-American Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship, the Dynasty Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, and the Great American Wrestling Central States Championship. While not superbly well-known, Matt has made a name for himself on the independent wrestling circuit. Hopefully his admission won’t hurt his career. In this day and age, we certainly hope it won’t!
2 Michael Angelakos
You should hear Michael Angelakos sing; it will remind you of the Massachusetts-based band Passion Pit. That’s because Angelakos is the frontman of the band, and his falsetto vocals, skinny jeans, and hipster hair had left hints to some people that the singer was gay. In 2015, Angelakos confirmed any rumors about it: he was now an openly gay singer. This was especially interesting because Angelakos had married a woman - Kristy Mucci - in 2013. And just 2 years later, he was opening up that he was a homosexual and then divorced his wife. That’s a bit jarring! Still, his sexuality was not a factor for fans of Passion Pit. The unique sounds, relatable lyrics, and stunning live shows are enough for fans to declare their everlasting love for Angelakos and his band. That’s what we call passion! Their fourth studio album, Kindred, was released in April 2015 and was incredibly successful.
1 Holland Taylor
She’s 73 years old, and yet it wasn’t until 2015 that Holland Taylor was adamant and clear about who she was. Stating that she didn’t need to “come out” because she “lives out,” Taylor proclaimed her place in the LGBTQ community and it was all good. In fact, another LGBTQ actress, Sarah Paulson said that she was in love with Taylor and guess what? Now the two actresses are a lovely same-sex couple. Taylor explained that due to her age, realizing her true sexuality and orientation was not as natural or fluid for her as it may be for people growing up in today’s times. For her, it was a slow and bumpy process, but now she knows who she is and she is one hundred percent cool with it. Taylor is also a bit of a cougar, if we do say so. She is 73, but her girlfriend Paulson is in her early 40s. Oh well, love is love, right?!