There are a lot of LGBTQ people that struggle every day to come out of the closet, go face that bully again at school, or even pretend to be straight for just another day. These struggles seem to be easier when we can look up at someone with a voice, like a celebrity, and feel like they understand a bit more of our story. This is called representation, and there isn’t enough representation of the gay community in Hollywood. There are tons of celebrities who have an LGBTQ member of their family that are not only beloved but have inspired them to be vocal in support of gay rights and LGBTQ representation in the media.
Some siblings on this list are happy that their celebrity family member supports them so vocally while other sibs are a little bit upset that they were outed to the entire world without being asked first. Madonna’s conservative grandmother found out about her brother being gay from a television interview. Either way, almost all of these famous celebrities have been inspired by their gay, lesbian and transgender sibling to use their monumental platform as a means to help change the world’s small minds about the issues that the LGBTQ community faces every day.
15 Rose McGowan
The Grindhouse actress has appeared in countless films including Quentin Tarantino’s smash hits Death Proof & Planet Terror. Due to her 3+ year relationship with shock king Marilyn Manson and her tell-all book about growing up in an Italian cult and emancipating from her parents at just 15 years old, McGowan has spent a lot of time in the gossip columns.
Something lesser known by the general public is that McGowan has a sister who is openly a lesbian. In a past interview, McGowan stated that she never really thought about whether or not her sister was gay. The most straining moment on their relationship was actually when her sister started dating a man for the first time in her life! For this reason, McGowan was a huge defender of gay marriage rights and was heartbroken when Prop. 8 (proposition banning gay marriage) was passed in California. The actress has been very vocal about how she prefers being around the gay community in comparison to straight people.
14 Cyndi Lauper
Since the beginning of her career, Cyndi Lauper has become a pop icon and she has always used that status to campaign for LGBTQ rights. In fact, Lauper’s song “She Bop” remains as the only song that mentions a gay porno magazine, a feat in itself. In the 80’s she set records with her album on Billboard charts and has sold over 50 million records in her career. Aside from being an epic pop singer and gay rights advocate, specifically youth homelessness in the LGBTQ community. As you can guess by her inclusion on this list, Lauper has a sister who is a lesbian. Lauper also states that most of her friends are LGBTQ as well.
Raised in a Catholic household, for her sister Ellen, coming out obviously wasn’t easy for the family but Lauper has stood right by her sister’s side. That probably gives the singer some extra motivation as she strives to be an ally and advocate for all those in the gay community.
13 Rosie O’Donnell
After living in the public eye for many years and starring in the popular films A League of Their Own and The Flintstones O’Donnell came out as a lesbian in 2002. The star has been very open and honest about her sexuality since then and has even spoken out about adoption and parenting as an LGBTQ person. Since her original talk show fame on The Rosie Show O’Donnell has also more recently been an extra controversial talking head on The View.
O’Donnell’s older brother Daniel is actually a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly and openly gay. The position that he currently fills in the senate was left by none other than Hillary Clinton. He was actually a legislative partner in the Marriage Equality Act that was eventually pushed into law in 2011 and in that same year was featured in Out magazine's Out 100 which highlighted the most inspiring individuals of the community that year.
12 Marlee Matlin
The talented and deaf actress has surely overcome her fair share of obstacles. She won the Academy Award in 1986 for her leading role in Children for a Lesser God and remains the only deaf person to receive the award to this day. But it wasn’t all celebrations, in her autobiography Matlin spotlights two separate occasions in which she was molested by a trusted authority. Growing up the actress had 2 brothers, one of which is now openly gay.
In 2006 the actress was cast in hit lesbian drama The L Word and cited her brother Mark for helping her understand the struggles within the gay community. She is a defender of the rights of the disabled and those that may identify within the LGBTQ spectrum. Matlin also has an honorary doctorate from Gallaudet University and actually resides on the board of trustees of the same university. Both talented and educated, she is a great ally for the community and her brother Mark.
11 Adam Levine
In 2011, Adam Levine reached out for gay rights advocacy by letting the world know that his brother is gay. Unfortunately for Levine, his brother wasn’t thrilled to be outed to the entire world. In a now deleted recent Facebook post he lashed out at the singer for outing him in Out magazine without his permission. Despite this outburst. The Voice coach goes into detail about his brother coming out to their family, that they are very tolerant people that just wanted their son to feel good in his own skin.
Michael Levine stated that his brother just wasn’t thinking about him when he said those words, that he’s now in the spotlight and it is never anything that he wanted. The whole statement began with Adam Levine telling Out magazine, saying he“Can single-handedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired” because his whole family knew Michael was gay since he was 2 years old. This is just a classic tale of someone speaking out of turn, but it’s just because Adam is proud of his brother.
10 Newt Gingrich
Even if we’re not sure exactly what he does, we all know Newt Gingrich’s name. The businessman is also a political consultant, politician, writer and conservative Republican leader. He has been married and divorced twice and is currently married to Callista Gingrich and hoping this doesn’t lead to an affair and divorce like the others. During his reign in the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 Gingrich’s lesbian sister had to speak out against his LGBTQ policies.
Soon after this announcement Candace Gingrich became a rising star in the fight for gay rights. She even served as the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Project spokesperson in 1995. During this quick flash of fame Candace Gingrich (she pronounces it GING-RICK) was named Ms. Magazine’s ‘Women of the Year’ issue and was named one of Esquire’s ‘Women We Love’. In 1996 she released her autobiography Accidental Activist: A Personal and Political Memoir and even starred in an episode of hit American series Friends. The two are never seen together and his sister endorsed Barack Obama in 2012 over her 20 year senior sibling.
9 Ariana Grande
Scream Queens star and hit pop singer Ariana Grande was raised in a household that was both Catholic and gay-friendly. That is because her older half-brother Frankie came out when she was just a young girl and the whole family was proud, not upset. The actress got her start on Broadway in the musical 13, but her brother also performed on Broadway in Mamma-Mia (2007-10) and Rock of Ages (2014-15).
Frankie Grande has been performing in musicals since he was in the 5th grade and triple majored in college. He has a degree from Muhlenberg College in biology, theater and dance and had to choose his path between being a doctor and the theater. Aside from Broadway, Frankie Grande has made some appearances on talk shows and reality shows as himself. It seems that there better be Grande room in Hollywood for this larger than life family.
8 Kevin Smith
It was in the late ‘80s that the Mallrats director’s mother told him that his brother Donald was gay and Smith has remained open minded about sexuality ever since. The celeb stood up for gay rights on Piers Morgan in 2012 speaking about his brother being a good guy that goes to church and doesn’t screw people over.
In 2014 someone hacked Smith’s account and ‘came out’ for him, stating "I have never told anyone this not even my family or close friends. Before this comes out I want to state that I am a gay proud man. #fear."
Smith later commented, "Not me. Been hacked," and then later said, "Proud to be bi-curious, not brave enough to commit."
When the director realized that all love stories on the screen were between a man and a woman, he vowed to always put a homosexual element into his films as a way of showing support.
We all know exactly who Madonna is and most people even know her openly gay brother Christopher Ciccone, especially since he released a tell-all memoir about her life in 2008. The two worked side by side on a number a films, music videos and tours, Ciccone even worked as her backup dancer and was her main confidante in her younger years.
By the time his book was released their professional relationship had been waning for some time, but the memoir but the nail in the coffin and their relationship stifled. The tell all didn’t just set off Madonna, it also turned off a lot of Ciccone’s Hollywood friends and he was very alone for some time. Thankfully, Ciccone has reconnected with his family and now has made real friends that make him happy. Although he is no longer Madonna’s right-hand man Chris Ciccone is doing all right.
6 Chris Evans
Superhero Chris Evans is most well known for his roles as Captain America in the Marvel Comics series and the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four series. He is now romantically connected to Jenny Slate and there is much controversy around their quick and spontaneous relationship. What Chris is not controversial about is his relationship with openly gay brother and fellow actor Scott Evans. The two were raised with 3 other siblings in Massachusetts.
The siblings film funny videos together which gives great pleasure to their huge fanbase. Among these is the two playing the Newlywed Game together and the duo singing Fire and Rain by James Taylor. They didn’t get all the way through the cover because they kept messing around and being silly. It is clear that gay or not these brothers put family first and have a lot of love for each other.
5 Colin Farrell
This action star has also taken action against anti-LGBTQ bigots and spoken very frankly about the beatings that his brother had to take for being an openly gay man. Although Colin is 8 years younger than brother Eamon, he would fight off anti-gay bullies in their childhood days in Ireland. During the fight for gay marriage in Ireland Farrell spoke out as an advocate for the community on Irish television and then wrote an open letter to Ireland’s Sunday World on behalf of his brother and the community citing that it is not a choice whether a person is gay or straight.
In 2009, Eamon approached Colin to be the best man in his wedding that Colin has helped fight so hard for and of course, the younger brother accepted. The two brothers show much love for each other and have risen above the bullies together, and now even in the US Eamon’s marriage is recognized.
4 Anne Hathaway
The Hathaway family was raised Catholic with strong religious values, so much so that young Anne had a calling to be a nun until she turned 15. It was this year that Anne’s brother Michael came out as gay and she was completely distraught by the church’s view of her brother’s sexuality. This eventually inspired her to leave Catholicism. Actually, the entire family converted to Episcopalian after Michael came out. She now claims she is a ‘nondenominational’ Christian’ because she hasn’t yet found the right church for her.
Michael Hathaway is a writer and remains close with his sister. Among the many charities that she’s involved in Anne also supports LGBTQ causes. The family was raised in Brooklyn, New York by a lawyer and former actress who Hathaway credits with inspiring her to enter the industry. The pair’s younger brother Thomas is also pursuing an acting career now.
3 Lena Dunham
This might be one of the weirdest stories of a star that loved their gay sibling, but perhaps she enjoyed her a little bit too much. In her memoir, Dunham describes making her sister kiss her for long periods of time and looking and prodding at her private parts. Despite these weird tales the sisters are on very good terms, Grace even had a spot in a couple of episodes of Dunham’s hit show Girls.
Since coming out in her senior year of high school to her sister and then being forced out of the closet by her sister to her parents, Grace Dunham has progressed into an activist and writer with a published book of poetry. Grace and romantic partner Reina Gosset work together on many projects that involve public speaking, performance art, and writing.
Grace also inspired Lena’s recent Netflix documentary about Brindle & Keep which highlights a tailor that caters to trans and gender nonconforming people.
2 Chloe Grace Moretz
Up and comer Chloe Moretz has not only one but two gay brothers and has been very open about advocating for gay rights. Her brothers came out when she was just 11, a time that she recalls as pivotal for how we view the world and sexuality. Luckily the Moretz household is an open minded one, Chloe mentions that her mother had many LGBTQ friends in college, which is why they welcomed her brothers into the family with open arms.
In an interview for Nylon magazine, Moretz stated that it was so hard for her to watch her brothers get bullied for being gay and added that she frequently stood up for them. Her take on the ‘F-word’ is wise beyond her 18 years and she’s an advocate for halting the use of language that just further divides the human race.
She also speaks out about the anxiety that her brothers felt in lieu of coming out, and that children should just be themselves and not be forced to claim that they are “out” or “gay”. Chloe Moretz is truly a force to be reckoned with and her close knit family will probably be right by her side.
1 David, Patricia and Rosanna Arquette
The Hollywood trio is actually a foursome including trans sister Alexis Arquette, who is an actress that is most famous for her role in Adam Sandler’s hit The Wedding Singer. Unfortunately, we recently lost this sweet soul to a 29-year-old battle with AIDS that led to cardiac arrest. Her sister Patricia recalls being in elementary school as kids when the teacher asked boys and girls to line up in separate lines and how Alexis always lined up with the girls.
Arquette transitioned from male to female in her 30’s and documented the experience in the film Alexis Arquette: She’s Our Brother. Her acting career started in 1989, and her last movie was Blended in 2014.
As per her request, Arquette was listening to "Starman" by David Bowie when she passed on. Also at her request, everyone cheered when she died.
She was survived by her siblings and niece that were all present when she moved on.