Following the slew of celebrities that came out in 2012 more and more public figures were inspired to join the out celebrities. One by one, more people are feeling comfortable in their own skin; feeling able to come out and live publicly whether they are LGBTQ or not. Aside from being a great year for LGBTQ representation, 2013 was the year that the words “selfie” and “twerk” entered the American lexicon.
It was also the year that we lost Fast & the Furious star Paul Walker as well as the unforgettable former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. Something that was super prominent across the board in 2013 was the rise of social media across every demographic. Things like the Edward Snowden case and the capture of the Boston marathon bomber showed us just how powerful these online media platforms can be.
Some celebrities proved the power of social media in 2013 by using Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or Facebook posts to let the world casually know that they were gay or bisexual. Others chose more formal platforms like awards show speeches to let the world know who they really were. These celebrities took a stand for LGBTQ awareness in 2013 in various ways, all of which made a difference for gay representation in the world.
15 Tom Daley
As the youngest diver to ever compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics Tom Daley knew even then that he was attracted to men, but he didn’t yet have the courage to admit it to the entire world. The young man has been splattered through the media for almost his entire life. His A-level results, the tragic death of his father and even his own Olympic synchro diving doctor blaming their bronze on him were all experienced in the spotlight of the public eye.
In the Spring of 2013 Tom Daley went to a dinner party and met screenwriter and Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and it was love at first site. The diver had relationships with women where he was attracted to them but with Black everything was different, his love was more intense than ever. It was because of this that Daley came out in a powerful Youtube video in that same year.
14 Bob Harper
Americans know Bob Harper as a trainer from hit television series The Biggest Loser from NBC. In an episode featured in 2013 Harper came out in a scene on the reality series in hopes of inspiring contestant Bobby from the 15th season of the show. The episode featured Bobby’s parents coming to visit and Harper could tell that the relationship between Bobby and his parents were strained. This was when Harper decided to sit down with the young man and share the experience that he had coming out to his father 31 years prior. Harper shared this news after Bobby’s parents had already left but the expression of truth helped the contestant believe in himself more. After the show aired many fans took to Twitter to express their support of Harper coming out to which he responded with gracious thanks. The personal trainer is also a vegan and trains some major celebrities when he’s not appearing the hit weight loss show.
13 Ben Whishaw
This British actor has voiced the character Paddington in the animated feature but is most known for playing Hamlet on stage. He has been a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theater at Hitchins’ Queen Mother Theater, he also attended Henlow Middle School prior to Samuel Whitbread Community College in Shefford. This background gave him the foundation it takes to make it in the London theater scene as an adult. The community college manages an offshoot theater company called Big Spirit where Whishaw found success in multiple productions. One of these Big Spirit productions is called If This Is A Man in which he played a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp. The troupe adapted it into a physical theater piece and performed in the Edinburgh Festival in 1995 where they received five stars and critical acclaim, this marked his entry into the theater world. He entered into a civil partnership with composer Mark Bradshaw in 2012 and sometime in the next year he stopped declining to answer and publicly came out as a gay man.
12 Maria Bello
Known from movies and television dating all the way back to the early ‘90’s, Maria Bello might be best known for her role in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly. She first started working on television in shows like Misery Loves Company, Nowhere Man, and a real breakthrough as the main character of short-lived primetime series Mr. & Mrs. Smith. After her work on the fourth season of ER as a pediatrician, Bellow made the jump into film with movies like The Cooler and A History of Violence, both of which landed her Golden Globe nominations.
Outside of her acting career Maria Bello has been an involved activist for Darfur and Haiti. She’s also a published author after writing the book Whatever … Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves. It was in this book that Bello came out as bisexual, a surprise to fans that were familiar with her marriage to Dan McDermott.
11 Darren Young
Born Frederick Douglas Rosser III, the professional wrestler uses the name Darren Young in WWE and Raw. The young man is a former WWE Tag Team Champion who has wrestled in the private forum as well as for the Raw and WWE brand. Born in the ‘80’s Young was into wrestling as a boy and was determined to make a place for himself in the world of professional wrestling. Young has said in interviews that his favorite wrestlers are Shawn Michaels and Ricky Steamboat.
In a 2013 interview Darren Young came out as gay to the public, this made him the first professional wrestler to come out while they were still competing in the circuit. Other pros like Chris Kanyon, Pat Patterson, and Orlando Jordan came out as LBGTQ but only after they had retired from WWE. Darren Young has been in a relationship with his boyfriend Nick since 2011.
The singer hails from the Philippines and rose to fame after being spotted on YouTube and she released her first studio album in 2010. Oprah called the pint-sized singer the “most talented girl in the world” and she became the first Asian solo singer to enter the Top 10 spots in the Billboard Top 200. After releasing her first single through a live performance on The Oprah Winfrey Show Charice moved onto acting with a spot on popular series Glee as Sunshine Corazon. Quickly thereafter the singer landed a spot as the judge on the Philippine version of The X Factor.
When being interviewed for a Filipino publication in June of 2013 Charice was asked plainly about rumors that she was a lesbian to which she plainly responded, “Yes, I’m a lesbian”. This was only the beginning of coming out for Charice, in an interview last year the young singer came out as having the soul of a man but the body of a woman. Her journey is personal but sharing it with the world gives hope to all the world.
9 Clive Davis
Famed music industry executive, record producer, and A&R executive and has won five Grammy awards as a non-performer and is even in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Davis was the president of Columbia Records in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s before founding Arista records where he was president until the year 2000. Clive Davis has always played a big part in music but comes from modest beginnings. Davis was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in a Jewish household in the Brooklyn neighborhood Crown Heights. Both of his parents passed away when he was just a teenager, leaving him broke and forced to move in with his sister in Queens, New York. After going both to NYU and Harvard Law School on a full scholarship Davis blew up to the fame we mentioned before. In 2013 Clive Davis published his autobiography The Soundtrack of My Life where he revealed that he was bisexual in hopes that he would help people further understand bisexuality.
8 Maulik Pancholy
The actor has voiced a couple of super popular animated television characters as well as his beloved role as Sanjay Patel in Showtime original series Weeds by Jenji Kohan. Another hilarious character in his repertoire was Jonathan on witty & spunky NBC comedy 30 Rock. Maulik was born in Dayton, Ohio but his family moved around quite a bit before he settled at Northwestern University where he majored in theater. Pancholy later acquired his master’s degree from the Yale School of drama before he entered into the acting world full time.
He has also worked on shows like The Sopranos, The Comeback, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent in addition to some work on stage in small but prominent theater productions. Maulik Pancholy came out in Out magazine discussing his long-term partner chef Ryan Corvaia. After getting engaged at the Taj Mahal in 2014 the couple married that same year, they’re still together today.
7 Robbie Rogers
The British-born American soccer player, Robbie Rogers played for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS as a winger and left back. Before moving stateside Rogers was a winger for Leeds where found success on the goal and the team. In 2013 he decided to come out as gay and then immediately retire from football. At this point in the sport, he was the first British soccer player to come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990. In an interview with The Guardian Rogers said that he retired at the young age of 25 because he wanted to avoid the scrutiny of fans and the press on top of dealing with the world knowing something that he’d previously kept a secret. Rogers spoke at an LGBTQ event in Portland, Oregon where he said he felt like a coward for leaving the sport, which might have fueled his drive to play in the professional arena once again in Los Angeles.
6 Robin Roberts
This television broadcaster got her start in sports reporting and was a prominent figure on ESPN for 15 years before becoming a co-anchor on the AM television staple Good Morning America. After growing up in Mississippi Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana where she received a degree in communications and graduated cum laude. The reporter was a standout basketball player on the women’s basketball team with 1000 career rebounds and one of the only three Lady Lions to get 1000 career points. In 1983 Roberts got her first sports reporter job with a small station in Mississippi before landing a spot with ESPN in 1990. She became well known on Sportscenter and even had a catchphrase, “Go On With Your Bad Self!” After battling breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in 2012 and 2013 Robin Roberts came out through a thankful post on Facebook where she thanked her girlfriend among other quite prominent figures in her life.
5 Brian Boitano
As a little boy, Brian Boitano was already competing at the world when he won the bronze medal at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 1978. In 1982 Brian Boitano made headlines as the first American who landed a triple axel. The legendary skater made us wait five years before unveiling his signature jump ‘Tano triple lutz’ where he would raise his left arm above his head. Boitano was known as a technician and helped push men’s figure skating to new levels. In the 1988 Winter Olympics Boitano battled Brian Orser for the title, this was the last big stand of the skater.
Much after his heyday Brian Boitano came out publicly as gay in conjunction with being named to the United States delegation to the 2014 World Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This act was one of a few that have been sparked by the very anti-LGBTQ message from the Russian government.
4 Matt Dallas
This American actor was born in Phoenix, Arizona and attended the Arizona School of the Artsafter becoming interested in acting when he was twelve years old after attending theater with his grandmother. In 2006 Dallas landed the lead role in the ABC Family show, Kyle XY which lasted for three seasons. The show was canceled after the third season in 2009 after which Dallas did some small movies and music videos. He has continued acting and trying out for roles but hasn’t landed anything huge since his role on the ABC Family science-fiction dramedy. At the beginning of 2013 Matt Dallas came out with a celebratory announcement: he was getting engaged to longtime partner Blue Hamilton. There had been speculation about his sexuality for years but he had refused to comment until the New Year social media post. The pair are married and announced via YouTube that they had adopted their son Crow.
3 Michelle Rodriguez
Gay rumors have been following Michelle Rodriguez since she hit the scene in Hollywood but she remained immensely private on the subject until 2013. That year the Avatar actress wanted to be able to live openly and stop hiding from the paparazzi and press, she credits her change in approach to getting older. She has been on and off about openly addressing her sexuality since the first rumors about her enjoying women over men came up in 2006. In 2007 she made some seriously ambiguous comments about how she isn’t prominent enough in the industry to be open about her sexuality preferences. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly the star finally addressed those rumors and let the world that she prefers both men and women; it just depends on how she feels about that person. Rodriguez claims that she’s just too dang curious not to see what it is like to be with women and men, we’re glad she can finally be open with the press.
2 Wentworth Miller
The Prison Break star was invited to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival and took the opportunity to take a stand for LGBTQ rights. He wrote back in an impassioned public letter that was published by GLAAD in which he let the world and the film festival director know that he had to decline because he is gay. Miller addressed that he was deeply troubled by the attitude and treatment toward gay men by the country that he claims in his ancestry. Since coming out Miller has been able to be open about his struggles with depression but cites opening up about his sexuality a freeing experience. He felt that it was his job to act a certain way because his face was on billboards, but being gay doesn’t affect his ability to be a good actor, and that’s what he’s realized now. The way that Miller chose to come out was acknowledged by GLAAD and many LGBTQ people across the world commended him for reaching out.
1 Jodie Foster
This well-decorated movie star has been in the public eye since she was just a girl. Her first big role in Taxi Driver was when she was only fourteen and she won an Academy Award for her role. At that point, she noticed the way that the life that a former child star usually lives and decided to change the pattern. Foster attended Yale University in 1981 and achieved her degree before returning back to Hollywood to star in more critically acclaimed movies. The Golden Globes honored the actress in 2013 with the Cecil B. DeMille award and she took the opportunity to come out during her acceptance speech. She was cryptic, meandering and some would say cringe-worthy as she danced around the obvious point in a nervous way. At the time of her coming out speech, Foster was single but she has since married Alexandra Hedison. the pair have two children together.
Sources: theguardian.com, ew.com, huffingtonpost.com, hollywoodlife.com, huffingtonpost.com
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