As homosexuality gains more and more publicity and support throughout the world, more and more people are coming out as gays or lesbians. There are also bisexuals, transgender, and asexual people who are feeling more comfortable than ever with their sexual orientation. LBGTQA groups are cropping up around the nation and world. With that being said, not only are everyday citizens revealing their true selves, but so are celebs.
From politicians and actors to athletes and musicians, we are seeing loads of people come out as gay and lesbian. So here is our list of 20 Famous Gay People Who Were Once Married to the Opposite Sex. Some of these celebs used their heterosexual marriages as a cover-up so that they could keep their private life under wraps. Others may have been bisexual, and still others may not have wanted to come out until later on. As more and more support continues to flood in for the LGBTQA community, we may see this list grow bigger and bigger.
Some of these celebs may have known for a long time that they were gay. Others may have had doubts about their heterosexuality, but were unsure about exploring it. Still others have embraced their sexual orientation, whether they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
20 Elton John
Before he was Sir Elton Hercules John, he was Reginald Kenneth Dwight. His first intimate love was with Linda Woodrow, a female secretary. She is even referred to in the song “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” Elton John then married Renate Blauel on Valentine’s Day of 1984. Many speculated that this marriage was simply a ploy to hide that Elton John was a gay man. The singer later divorced Blauel in 1988, and proclaimed that he was now “comfortable” being gay. Even so, back in 1976, Elton John revealed in a magazine interview that he was a bisexual. He continues to support gay rights.
19 Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes is a very famous comedian. She is also a writer, actress, and does the occasional voice work. She is the winner of various awards, including an Emmy for her work on The Chris Rock Show. From 1991 to 1998, Sykes was married to Dave Hall, a record producer. And a man. In 2008 she came out and stated that she was gay. In October 2008, she married her same-sex partner, Alex Niedbalski, who is French. In 2009, the couple welcomed twins Olivia and Lucas (Alex gave birth to them.) Sykes has been a supporter of gay rights for quite some time now.
18 Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde is a widely-known author, as well as a poet and playwright. His wit has been revered and adored throughout various generations. Wilde was married to Constance Lloyd, the daughter of a counsel man to the Queen of England. They married in 1884 in London. Before this time, Wilde’s writings had been rather supportive of homosexuality. It turns out that Wilde was a gay man himself. He was actually arrested for being a homosexual in 1895. Were he alive and kicking today, he would have been perhaps one of the brightest and most prevalent supporter of the LGBTQ community.
17 Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi, born Mandy Rogers, is a gorgeous woman from Australia. She starred alongside Hugh Grant in the movie Sirens. In 1997, she shot to higher fame in the movie Scream 2. She also starred in the hit television series Ally McBeal. She was previously married to Mel Metcalfe (from 1996 to 1999.) She then married gay comedienne and talk-show host Ellen Degeneres in 2008, and they are still married. They are a famous example of a lesbian couple and they are lauded in the public sphere by supporters of the LGBTQ community. Her ex-husband actually left her to be with her sister-in-law.
16 Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson, also known as Cecil Antonio, was a director and producer in English theater. He died in 1991 after five decades of work and is most famous for directing Tom Jones. Richardson was first married to Vanessa Redgrave from 1962 to 1967. They even had two daughters together, Natasha and Joely. Richardson then deserted Redgrave for another woman, Jeanne Moreau. He also had intimate relations with Grizelda Grimond. Richardson was a bisexual, and he did not come out openly about it until he was diagnosed with HIV. He ended up dying from the disease.
15 Little Richard
Little Richard was the stage name of Richard Wayne Pennian a legendary recording artist, musician, and songwriter. He was a pivotal figure in pop culture and music since the late 1940s, and he has been honored for his musical work on multiple occasions. His sexual orientation has been widely talked about. Richard once said that since he was a child he felt like a girl and was caught playing with makeup and girls clothes. He also dressed in drag at some points. In 1956, Richard dated Audrey Robinson and he married Ernestine Campbell in 1959. The couple adopted a son, Danny Jones. Little Richard got divorced in 1963, and claimed that he was an omnisexual.
14 Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo was an extremely famous Mexican painter. She had a tragic childhood and adult life, marrying Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, not once, but twice. The two artists had a tumultuous relationship, to say the least. Frida Kahlo was actually a bisexual, and she has become an excellent example of a feminist figure in popular culture. She had quite an androgynous look, and she was also said to have had affairs with both men and women while she was married. No doubt that played a part in her rocky relationship with Rivera. Besides being a bisexual figure for the masses, she was an excellent painter.
13 Peter Allen
Peter Allen was a songwriter and entertainer from Australia. He died in 1992. Some of his most famous songwriting skills were portrayed by Olivia Newton-John and Elkie Brooks. Allen was married to Liza Minellli for seven years before ending the relationship in divorce. A little bit later, Allen revealed that he was gay. He had a long-term boyfriend, Gregory Connell. Both Connell and Allen died of AIDS. In fact, Allen became one of the first famous Australians to contract an AIDS-related illness. From the early 1970s until 1984, Allen was a prevalent figure in the gay community. His partner Connell also helped with some of Allen’s stage shows, and even sang backup in “I Go to Rio.”
12 Anne Heche
Anne Heche was born into a fundamentalist Christian family in Ohio. She became an actress and had a father who was inflicted with AIDS. Only when he was about to die did he come clean about his homosexuality. Heche later appeared in the soap opera Another World. She achieved more and more fame and even dated Ellen Degeneres for a time. Yet, Heche was also romantically involved with Steve Martin. Heche dealt with some mental issues and a dual-personality. She then married a cameraman, Coleman Laffoon and had a child with him. Her sexual orientation was for a long time quite confusing to the public as well as fans.
11 Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli died back in 1986, but was a famous stage director and film director. He was also the father of celeb Liza Minnelli, whom he fathered together with his wife, Judy Garland. Their marriage ended in 1951. He then married Georgette Magnani (1954 to 1958), followed by Danice Radosavljevic (1962 to 1971) and finally Margaretta Lee Anderson (1980 to 1986.) There were many rumors circulating around Vincente’s sexual orientation. Many said he was gay or bisexual. Biographies show that he lived life as an openly gay man, but Hollywood life forced the celeb to go back into gay hiding.
10 Pete Burns
Pete Burns is also known as Peter Jozzeppi. He is an English singer-songwriter and also appeared on television as a host. He was the founding member of the band Dead or Alive, which formed in 1980. In 1978, he married a hairdresser, Lynne Corlett. They were married for nearly 30 years, before separating in 2006. He then came out as gay and became engaged to his partner, Michael Simpson. The two men were married in a civil partnership on July 6, 2006. They divorced after just 10 months of marriage, with Burns saying that being married to a woman is much better than being married to a man.
9 Jack Wrangler
Jack Wrangler died in 2009 at the age of 62. He was a gay-and-straight American adult film actor. He was also a theater producer and director. Wrangler was quite open about his sexual orientation and he wanted to be a huge part of the gay-liberation movement. He was married to singer Margaret Whiting for 15 years. She was accused of turning Wrangler into a straight man. Yet, Wrangler continued to say that he was gay and not bisexual. Confusing much? Even though he was gay, he said he would never be able to live the “gay lifestyle.” Interesting.
8 Richard Cromwell
Richard Cromwell was born LeRoy Melvin Radabaugh and lived from 1910 to 1960. He was an actor and was also known as Dick Cromwell. He was married once to Angela Lansbury, yet only for a short period of time. Lansbury was unhappy with the marriage as much as Cromwell. According to reports and biographies, Cromwell told Lansbury that he was a gay man. Even so, the two continued to be friends after the split. Cromwell’s popularity lives on and he was known for many different films, such as Shanghaied Love, The Age of Consent, Emma, Jezebel, and Baby Face Morgan.
7 Michael Huffington
Michael Huffington is a politician in the United States. He is also a supporter of the LGBTQ community and has worked as a producer of film. He is a Republican and was married to Arianna Huffington (who also founded The Huffington Post) from 1993 to 1995. In 1998, The Huffington Post revealed that Michael Huffington was a bisexual. Michael helped with founding a summer fellowship LGTBQ program at Stanford University. He also blogged for The Huffington Post and in 2009 he spoke at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. During his younger years, he was an intern for George H.W. Bush.
6 Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. He died in 1985 and was an actor in the United States, having shot to fame in the 1950s and 1960s in films like Magnificent Obsession and All The Heaven Allows. Hudson worked hard to keep his personal life private. In 1955, he was nearly exposed as a gay man by Confidential magazine. Soon afterwards, he married Phyllis Gates (both for love and for a cover-up.) The Advocate ended up publishing a report that Gates herself was a lesbian. Hudson later took the last name Nabors and engaged in a long-term relationship with Stan Cadwallader. They married when same-sex marriage became legal.
5 Cole Porter
Cole Porter was a composer and songwriter from the United States. He was a natural in musical theater and rose to fame in the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote lyrics and music and had a very expensive affinity for the finer things in life. He and Linda Lee Thomas got married in 1919 and she most likely knew about Porter’s homosexuality. The marriage was mostly for money anyway, and it provided a nice cover-up. Porter and Thomas stayed married until Thomas died in 1954. The two lived a lavish life and Porter was known for throwing wild and extravagant parties, as well as using recreational drugs.
4 Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming is a Scottish-American actor. He is also an author and activist. He has starred not only in movies, but on television and in plays as well. He also wrote loads of op-ed publications for print media. Cumming was first married to Hilary Lyon for eight years and Saffron Burrows for two years. He now lives with Grant Shaffer, whom he has a civil partnership with. They remarried in 2012 on their fifth anniversary together. Cummings is an LGBTQ activist and supports many LGBTQ organizations, such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign.
3 Peter Marc Jacobson
Peter Marc Jacobson is a writer for television, as well as an actor, director, and producer from the United States. He is most known for the sitcom The Nanny. He was actually married to the star, Fran Drescher. The couple was violently robbed in their Los Angeles home. The two robbers were armed and assaulted Jacobson before raping Drescher with Jacobson forced to watch. The couple divorced in 1999, although they separated years beforehand. Soon afterwards, Jacobson came out as a gay man, which was the reason for the split from Drescher. The couple then returned to television again with Happily Divorced.
2 Jonathan Plummer
Jonathan Plummer publicized his sexual orientation as well as his realization of the whole ordeal on the Oprah Winfrey show. Plummer is the ex-husband of Terry McMillan, and he was married to her for six years. Plummer says that he was not aware that he was gay while he was married to McMillan. He added that his culture was very conservative and looked down on homosexuality. He was supposedly heterosexual when he married McMillan and it was not until he was 20 years old that he realized he was gay. Oprah was very pushy in figuring out how he did not know he was a homosexual.
1 Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a widely famous singer, songwriter and producer from England. He was the front man for the popular rock band Queen. He had a very outspoken and extravagant stage persona and is most known for songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions.” Freddie was involved with Mary Austin for quite some time. The relationship ended when he told her he was gay. He then started a relationship with radio DJ Kenny Everett. Freddie was an openly gay man, yet did not take part in LGBTQ activism. Freddie contracted HIV and died at the age of 45.
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