Fame changes people in a lot of ways. Britney Spears went from your typical sweet, innocent girl next door to a head-shaving, crotch-flashing, out-of-control lunatic (and has since reverted back to some semblance of normalcy). Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, no longer speaks to his parents and even sent back the Christmas gifts they sent him. And let’s not even start on Miley Cyrus, the Olsen twins, or Lindsay Lohan—all adorable kids who careened out of control under the spotlight.
But surely, fame can’t change something that’s ingrained in your genetic code. I know there are pray-the-gay-away fanatics like Michele Bachmann’s husband who claims that s*xual preference is a choice. But let’s cut the bullcrap. I’d love for Michele Bachmann’s husband to take a long look at Richard Simmons and then look me in the eye and tell me that that dude could choose to be attracted to chicks if he wanted. Or that he could drop to his knees, say a prayer, and not be gay anymore. Come on, bro. Ain’t gonna happen.
When you’re gay, it’s part of your DNA, and like we learned in biology class, DNA is immutable. Having said that, it sure seems like a lot of people switch from one team to the other after becoming famous. And 99 times out of 100, they’re defecting from the hetero squad. Being famous probably doesn’t make people gay, but it might give those who are already gay a nice platform to come forward and tell their story when they’re ready. Here are 15 celebs who switched “teams” after becoming famous.
15 Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart’s personal life has been run through the rumor mill like a champion Clydesdale. It started when she was dating her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson, but knocking boots behind his back with director Rupert Sanders. The tabloids had a field day with that one. Even Donald Trump took to Twitter (in other news, the sun rose in the east today) to comment on the scandal. Stewart tried to keep a low profile for a while until a couple years later when her name surfaced in association with several known lesbian entertainers, including Alicia Cargile and Annie Clark. As of 2017, Stewart is dating model Stella Maxwell, and on a recent SNL performance, she left no ambiguity as to her orientation. “I’m so gay,” she announced in her monologue.
14 Rock Hudson
Along with Cary Grant and Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson was one of the top punani dampeners of the mid-20th century. You’d have been hard-pressed to find a woman alive at the time who didn’t swoon over him. With his dark features and chiseled good looks, he was the leading man in blockbusters such as Pillow Talk, Send Me No Flowers, and McMillan & Wife. And for a while, he seemed to like chicks as much as they liked him. He always had a dime on his arm, and from 1955-1958, was married to actress Phyllis Gates. Rumors swirled over the next two decades, though Hudson never came out. He died of AIDS-related complications in 1985 and is now generally regarded as one of the top gay movie stars of the 20th century.
13 Elton John
If you were taking the SAT and one of the analogies in the verbal section paired “Elton John” and “gay,” some of the correct answer pairs might include “white” and “rice,” “equator” and “hot,” or “LeBron James” and “good at basketball.” In fact, Elton’s gayness is such a part of who he is now that many fans—particularly those under 40—don’t even realize that he was ostensibly straight when he first got famous. He even married a chick recording engineer, Renaut Blauel, in 1984. By the time they divorced in 1988, most people knew with which team his allegiances lied. But he went ahead and put all doubts to rest by coming out. In the three decades since, he has been one of the gay community’s biggest champions and most lovable figures.
12 Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is so popular and likable that even hardcore homophobes find it hard to hate her. In the 1990’s, she was a stand-up comedienne known for being perpetually single. In her sitcom that ran from 1994 to 1998, she played a straight chick struggling to navigate the brutal Los Angeles dating scene. The show was loosely based on her real life, and that became even truer in season four as she dropped subtle hints throughout the season about her sexuality. It culminated with the famous airport scene. Speaking to a lesbian character played by Laura Dern, Ellen struggles to get the words out until finally, she grabs a microphone and announces to the entire terminal, “I’m gay!” Ellen went on to become one of the most prominent faces of the gay rights movement of the 2010’s.
11 Anne Heche
After coming out of the closet, Ellen DeGeneres’ first high-profile lesbian relationship was with actress Anne Heche. A famous soap star in the ‘80s, Heche only dated men until her entanglement with DeGeneres, which started in 1997. Gay marriage wasn’t legal in any state then, but Vermont had a civil union bill working its way through the legislature. Heche and DeGeneres stated they’d get hitched there if the bill passed. They broke up in 2000 before they had the chance to become America’s first legally-bound celebrity gay couple. Ellen went on to marry actress Portia de Rossi in 2008. They’ve since had a baby and seem blissfully happy. As for what happened with Heche’s personal life? Stay tuned to find out.
10 Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson was a child star who decided as an adult that Hollywood wasn’t for her and became a writer instead. She wrote a piece for Cracked.com that talked about the tendency of child stars to become ne’er-do-wells later in life. Wilson racked up an impressive filmography as a kid, with prominent roles in Mrs. Doubtfire (playing Robin Williams’ daughter), Miracle on 34th Street (in the starring role of Susan Walker), and as the title character in Matilda. Her cousin is conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro. She decided to re-enter the spotlight after the 2016 terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which killed more than 50 people. Showing solidarity with the victims, the majority of the people who were gay, lesbian, or bisexual, Wilson came out as bisexual herself.
9 Ellen Page
The chick who played Juno won our hearts in 2007 with her sweet but not saccharine portrayal of a knocked-up teenage chick. The film’s budget was barely enough to buy an old Magnavox camcorder, but after receiving a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival, Juno became one of 2007’s biggest sleeper hits. You didn’t hear much about Page’s personal life for many years, though she was highly active politically, touting her vegan lifestyle and speaking out against the oppression in Burma. She’s also big into yoga, meditation, and studying Eastern religions. In 2014, she spoke at a Human Rights Conference in Vegas and officially came out as gay. As of 2017, she’s dating Samantha Thomas, an artist and surfer.
8 Matt Bomer
A guy like Matt Bomer exemplifies why it makes no sense for any straight dude to claim to have a problem with homosexuals. You look at Matt, the dude’s ridiculously handsome and talented, and then you find out he’s gay, and your only reaction as a dude should be, “Thank God. Less competition for me.” His screen credits include the TV series American Horror Story and the first Magic Mike film. Matt’s been with his partner, publicist Simon Halls, for many years. They have three kids via surrogacy and got married in 2011. But they kept all that on the d-low for a long time. Matt didn’t publicly come out as gay until 2012. Since then, he’s been a leading advocate for gay rights and does a ton of humanitarian work on behalf of AIDS research.
7 Sam Smith
The rate of gravity, established by Newton, is 9.8 meters per squared second. But that was before Sam Smith came around and caused chicks’ panties to defy that rate with their speed in hitting the floor. Play “Lay Me Down” on a date with a chick and you’re sure to make it an extra base around the diamond. And if you play “Stay With Me” and don’t score, hate to say it, but you probably never will. Best of all, you don’t have to compete for chicks with Smith himself (if you did, you might as well learn to love fapping, because you’d never win). Smith came out of the closet in a subtle way in 2014. Talking about his debut album, he said it was about a dude he loved who didn’t love him back.
6 Reid Ewing
Modern Family fans know Reid Ewing as Dylan Marshall. He’s Haley’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, and as such, he doesn’t appear in every episode. But when he’s on the screen, chicks seem to love him. He’s a good-looking dude, though part of that is because he’s had a ton of plastic surgery. So much, in fact, that in 2015, he admitted he had become addicted to going under the knife. Fearing a Joan Rivers-like end result, Ewing vowed to give up nips and tucks cold turkey. That same year, he made an off-handed comment on Twitter, calling another male actor “hot AF.” Another Twitter user (not Trump) responded and asked Ewing if he just came out of the closet. Ewing’s response was “I was never in.” Mic drop!
5 Michael Sam
Michael Sam isn’t a worldwide celebrity like Ellen. But if you follow college football, you got to know him well during his years at the University of Missouri. A defensive end, he led the SEC in tackles for loss and quarterback sacks his senior year. He came out of the closet just before the 2014 NFL draft, and when the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams took him in the seventh round, TV cameras showed him exchanging a celebratory kiss with his boyfriend. He didn’t make the Rams’ final roster which, of course, caused social justice warriors to come out of the woodwork claiming his sexuality was the reason. But the reality is, while Sam was a beast in college, his size (255 pounds) and speed (4.91 in the 40) weren’t quite up to snuff for an NFL defensive line.
4 Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza, who plays April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation, is an interesting addition to this list. She’s dated dudes her entire career, including Superbad’s Michael Cera, whom she said she almost married once during a trip to Vegas. She met writer/director Jeff Baena in 2011, and they’ve been dating ever since and now live together. But when it comes to sexuality, Plaza feels the same way as many disillusioned voters do about politics. She doesn’t identify with either side. In 2016, she came out as third-party, telling The Advocate, “I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it.” Given that Aubrey’s hot and talented, we’ll speculate that she has no shortage of potential suitors, especially now that her dating pool has doubled.
3 Jason Collins
NBA center Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete to actively play in a major sports league (in the United States, that means the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL) when he came out of the closet in 2014. He was always a middle-of-the-pack center, not a star like Shaq or David Robinson. So if you’re not a hardcore basketball fan, you might not have heard of him. But you probably remember the controversy that emerged when former NBA star Tim Hardaway, in a radio interview, responded to a question of whether he’d accept Collins as a teammate by saying “no” and then elaborating with, “I hate gay people.” Ouch! Not the response most people were looking for. Hardaway apologized and decided to educate himself about the gay community, and has since done humanitarian work on its behalf. Meanwhile, Collins is now retired from basketball.
2 Trey Pearson
As the leader of a Christian rock band, Everyday Sunday’s Trey Pearson faced a dilemma common to religious folk who realize they dig the same gender. They want to be who they are, but oftentimes, who they are doesn’t square with their beliefs...or those of their family and close friends. So when Pearson came out in 2016, he decided to use his status as a platform to help close the gap between the religious and gay communities. He penned an open letter to fans in which he put forth his belief that his faith and orientation don’t have to be mutually exclusive. He talked about all the years he tried to “pray the gay away” and how it simply doesn’t work. He even remains close friends with his former wife, Lauren, whom he claims his orientation prevented him from being able to satisfy in the sheets.
1 Anne Heche...Again
Anne Heche is the LeBron James of switching teams. She started out with the team she grew up in, the straight squad. Then, she had the opportunity to take her talents elsewhere and team up with another superstar (that being Ellen DeGeneres). After a few years, that got stale so she came back “home” and rejoined her old team. The only thing missing was the emotional letter and burning jerseys. While on tour with DeGeneres, she fell for one of the cameramen, a dude, Coleman Laffoon, and the pair got married in 2001. A contentious divorce followed in 2007, in which Laffoon accused Heche of being an unfit parent to their child. Heche has since been in a partnership with actor James Tupper, with whom she also has one child.