Coming out as gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, or anything on the LGBTQ spectrum is hard. You run the risk of destroying your friendships, relationships, public image, and trust with others. Your sexuality and orientation can hurt your job, your social standing, and many other aspects of your life. Now imagine being in a heterosexual relationship and having to come out to your spouse that you are actually attracted to the same sex. That is what happened to the famous people on our list of 15 LGBTQ Celebs You Forgot Came Out While Married. This list spans decades and decades, showing us that the LGBTQ experience and struggle has been real, and continues to be a major topic in today’s world.
Now that it is 2017, we can look back at some of the hot topics from past years, and LGBTQ rights and equity has been one of the most prolific. Celebrities and everyday people have been coming out and expressing their sexuality and orientation. Bella Thorne, Mara Wilson, Kristen Stewart, Shane Dawson...these are just some of the public figures who shared that they are not 100% straight. In fact, how many people truly are totally straight?
There is even a spectrum of sexuality (The Kinsey Test) that can help you reflect on your sexual preferences and identity. Today people are discovering that they are polyamorous, pansexual, bisexual, and so much more. All of this is to say that we hope you are comfortable with who you are and that you know you are worthy just as you are. Now let’s get to that list!
15 Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King may be known as a worldwide professional tennis star, but she also has fame in being the wife of talk show host Larry King for 22 years. From 1965 to 1987, Billie Jean and Larry were wife and husband...until she came out as a lesbian. Interestingly enough, Billie Jean became accurately aware of her homosexuality in 1968 (yes, just three years after she was married to a man!) So why did she stay with Larry until the late 1980s? Who knows. We do know that Larry revealed to the world that Billie Jean had an abortion in the early 1970s, and he spilled this crucial information without letting Billie Jean know first. Whoops! In the end, Billie Jean divorced from Larry, but not before her extramarital affair with Marilyn Barnett was brought to the public’s attention. Billie Jean, unfortunately, lost a lot of fans and product endorsements; she was also the first openly gay women’s tennis player.
14 Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli is quite an intriguing character because he sort of lived a double life. On the one hand, he had his life in Los Angeles, in which he was a totally straight guy. However, on the East Coast in New York, he was able to let loose and be his true, homosexual self (apparently, Los Angeles was not very gay-friendly back in the day!) Although Minnelli was definitely a gay guy, that didn’t stop him from marrying four different women; among them Judy Garland, Georgette Magnani, Danica Radosavljevic, and Margaretta Lee Anderson. It is suspected that at least one of Minnelli’s wives knew about his homosexuality, although he probably used his marriages as a way to cover all that up. He even had two children, one each with Judy and Georgette. Minnelli passed way back in 1986, but he is still one of the most interesting LGBTQ figures in history.
13 Tony Richardson
This English film producer was born Cecil Antonio "Tony" Richardson in 1928. In his career, he directed a number of films such as The Entertainer, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun, and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.
He was with a number of women before coming out as bisexual. His first wife was Vanessa Redgrave, whom he was married to from 1962 to 1967. After that, Richardson got together with Jeanne Moreau, and he also had relations with Grizelda Grimond in the 1970s. It was not until Richardson was afflicted with the AIDS virus that he opened up about his sexuality, revealing to others that he was bisexual. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, AIDS/HIV was a sickness that was most prevalent among gay men. The fact that Richardson contracted the disease was definitely a huge wake-up call. He passed away in 1991 at the age of 63.
12 Jonathan Plummer
Jonathan Plummer dropped a bombshell revelation on his wife, Terry McMillan when he came out as gay. The couple was married from 1998 to 2005, and once Plummer came out about his sexuality, McMillan took a vow of hate against him. You may recall Plummer’s interview on the famous couch of Oprah Winfrey back in the day. Three months after Plummer came out to McMillan, she filed for divorce. The divorce filings were settled, but in 2007, McMillan hired a lawyer and sued Plummer for $40 million for public humiliation. She took his admission of homosexuality as a plot to slander her name and public image as a prolific writer. A bit selfish, yes, but these days the conflict has simmered down, thankfully! Even so, Oprah ended up getting torn up for saying in 2011 that Plummer seemed “gayer” than the initial interview she had with him. Tsk, tsk, Oprah.
11 Cole Porter
Broadway pioneer Cole Porter may have been a married man with a wife, but he was hiding something beneath that “perfect” veneer. He actually got married to hide his homosexuality, and his wife knew about him being a gay man. However, at that time, she married him for the social status and was willing to protect him from the truth. Porter met Linda Lee Thomas in 1918, and they married a year later. Linda was absolutely aware that Cole was gay, but the couple agreed that a marriage together would sustain their social standing and be beneficial to them both. Forget about marrying for love, right? Well, Cole and Linda did care for each other a lot, and they actually remained married until Linda passed away in 1954. So it’s a twisted, happy love story, we guess! Porter continued to live lavishly until his death 10 years later in 1964.
10 Lauren Morelli
Sometimes people become very inspired by their work. Such is the case with Lauren Morelli, also known as the writer for the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. As most people know, this TV show explores lesbian love and relationships unabashedly. It turns out that the show’s writer, Morelli, used the show’s themes to get some insight into her own personal life. She had been married to Steve Basilone for two years when she came out as a lesbian. Morelli then turned to one of the actresses of Orange is the New Black - Samira Wiley - to take as her new girlfriend. Morelli said that while she was writing the love scene between the show’s characters Alex and Piper, she got to thinking deeply about her own sexuality. That is when she realized that she was attracted to women, and she told her hubby. The two were civil about it, and now Morelli is out and happy.
9 Al Reynolds
Sometimes even a star can’t make a gay guy go straight. Just ask Star Jones, who was married to Al Reynolds. Now, this story is more speculation, but the story is that Star and Al were married when it came to light that he was attracted to men, not women. The divorce was highly publicized and of course, rumors were running rampant, thanks to gossip magazines, websites, and the annoying paparazzi. Al spoke to Essence about it briefly and said that the tabloids and talk about his sexuality have affected him in all aspects of his life: his job, his family, and his mental well-being. He has been very low key about his dating life and sexual preferences, but he did say that he no longer was in love with Star and that he was dating someone else. Whether they were a man or a woman is up for you to decide!
8 Oscar Wilde
Back in the days of Oscar Wilde, it wasn’t cool to be a homosexual. In fact, Wilde ended up in jail for being gay. When the Marquess of Queensberry publicly revealed that Wilde was a homosexual, he tried to sue him. Unfortunately, the tables were turned, and in 1895, Wilde was taken to prison on charges of “gross indecency” and “sodomy”. So, how did the Marquess of Queensberry know about Wilde’s sexuality? Well, the literary mastermind happened to be in a romantic relationship with his son, Lord Alfred Douglas. Douglas penned a poem that mentioned “the love that dare not speak its name”, and it was brought up in question against Wilde. He was also connected to Alfred Taylor, with whom he shared sexual connections with. Both men ended up being sentenced to two years of hard labor for their “indecency”. By the way, Wilde was married to Constance Lloyd.
7 Richard Cromwell
Married for just one year from 1945 to 1946, actor Richard Cromwell had Angela Lansbury for a wife. However, it was clear that things were not all peaches and cream. After all, a one-year marriage means that something is seriously wrong. Richard would complain tirelessly of Angela’s inclination to sip tea at all hours and leave the tea bags all over the house. Sounds a bit petty, right? Well, Angela, had her complaints as well. It turns out that Richard was gay and was not all that interested in her anyway. Plus, Richard and Angela had a 15-year age gap between them (he was 35 and she was 19), so that is another monkey wrench thrown into the situation. Both parties expressed regret for the marriage, although they remained friends with each other throughout life. Richard passed away in 1960, and Angela was married to Peter Shaw from 1949 to 2003.
6 James McGreevey
What would you say if a seminary student and politician was revealed to be gay? This was the dilemma when the truth came out about James McGreevey. He served as the governor of New Jersey from 2002 to 2004, and he resigned after a huge debacle over his sexuality came to the forefront. In 2002, McGreevey gave the position of Homeland Security Adviser to Golan Cipel, and that raised a lot of eyebrows, especially since Cipel was obviously not the best choice for the position. It was revealed that McGreevey had been having an extramarital affair with Cipel, and the New Jersey governor came out as gay in 2004. He then resigned from his political position, which led to his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, divorcing him. James McGreevey was previously married to another woman: Karen Joan Schutz. Besides his gay affair, McGreevey was riddled with rumors of extortion during his term as governor.
5 Michael Huffington
Serving in the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995, Michael Huffington was a power player in the world of politics. These days he is a firm supporter of the LGBTQ movement who is known for previously being married to Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post. The two married in the spring of 1986 and had two children together before filing for a divorce in 1997 after Michael revealed to Arianna that he was bisexual. Michael’s sexuality was publicly discussed in 1998, when he officially came out, after losing in the race for Senate. He proclaimed that he was “glad” he lost the race and that his homosexuality is an undeniable part of who he is. Then in 2006, he became a blogger for The Huffington Post. He regularly writes about LGBTQ topics. So we guess that things turned out all right between he and Arianna.
4 Anne Heche
47-year-old Anne Heche is all over the place; maybe she is having a mid-life crisis. While she spent her younger years dating specifically only men, she then switched it up and began a romantic relationship with Ellen Degeneres. Their romance was a high-profile event, and they became the “it” lesbian couple of Hollywood. It seemed that the two were head over heels in love with each other.
Then in 2000, Anne split from Ellen and decided that she wasn’t into women anymore. She began dating Coleman Laffoon, a man that she met while on one of Ellen’s comedy tours. Sort of a douchebag move, no?
Six years later, Laffoon filed for divorce, claiming that Anne had some seriously strange behaviors. Well, it’s partly true, because Anne reportedly abandoned Laffoon for James Tupper and had a baby and may have also strayed into the arms of women while her relationship with Laffoon was falling apart.
Anne later revealed that she was sexually abused as a child, and was “insane” for the first three decades of her life.
3 Little Richard
Where do we begin with Little Richard? His first real romantic relationship was with a 16-year-old girl named Audrey Robinson. In 1957, he married Ernestine Campbell, which came as a shock to the public and his fans, because Little Richard was generally accepted to be a gay man. While he had never come out to the public, many suspected that he was a closeted homosexual, so the news of him marrying a woman was not foreseen at all. In 1963, Little Richard and Ernestine got a divorce, and Ernestine tried to claim that their relationship was “normal”, they just weren’t right for each other. Of course, other people thought there was another reason why the marriage didn’t work out. It is rumored that Little Richard revealed his homosexuality to Ernestine, and that caused the split. After all, the performer had spent the 1950s dressing up in drag and performing in vaudeville acts.
2 Dwight Eubanks
Do you recognize Dwight Eubanks from The Real Housewives of Atlanta? He starred on the Bravo show and became known for his flamboyant behavior and mannerisms. He was the best (gay) friend of Nene Leakes; a gossiping dandy who worked at an upscale hair salon. So when Eubanks revealed that he was getting married to a woman, everyone was totally shocked. That’s when we all realized that Eubanks was bisexual, not gay. His wife was totally cool with him being into both men and women, and with his “celebrity” status, she probably didn’t even mind, anyway. Even so, some speculated that Eubanks was tying the knot with her only to gain more publicity and talk about his own upcoming show, another reality series on Bravo. Despite being bisexual, Eubanks admitted that women seem more interested in him than men do. He says guys tend to be much more standoffish, but we wouldn't be surprised if that hasn't stopped him from entertaining at least a few offers post-marriage.
1 Bryan Lourd
The former husband of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, Bryan Lourd is a talent scout with the Creative Artists Agency. He married Fisher in 1991, and they had a child together. However, when Lourd came out as a bisexual man, Fisher decided to divorce him (this happened in 1994). Lourd then began a romantic relationship with Bruce Bozzi, whom he married in 2016. They are still living together and are happy as can be. As for Fisher, she suffered emotional when her hubby preferred another man over her. She spiraled into a depression but eventually managed to become friendly with both Lourd and his lover (even if she joked that Bruce was now her daughter’s step-mother). Billie Catherine Lourd is the 24-year-old daughter of Fisher and Lourd. She works as an actress and even appeared as a young Princess Leia (an homage to her mom) in 2015’s Star Wars movie.