2017 has been a big year for stars that have chosen to come out of the closet and let everyone know their sexual orientation. It seems like one can’t even turn around without seeing someone new who’s waving the rainbow flag and telling the world who they really are. This is cool, of course. People shouldn’t feel the need to feel ashamed of who they are. In fact, I’m curious as to why there are so many other celebrities out there who seem to have similar issues when it comes to their sexual orientation, choosing to hide who they really are instead of coming out to everyone. The people on this list are very brave, no matter what you think of the choices that they made. They decided to come out and not care what some people might think of them.
Maybe they’ll inspire some of the other people on this list to finally come out and tell the world that they’re out. After all, while some of the people on this list are out and proud, there are some others that probably should be. It isn’t like they’re really fooling anyone after all. They might as well let their freak flag fly and come out.
Here are 8 Celebs You Didn’t Know Came Out in 2017 (And 7 We’re Still Waiting on).
15. Barry Manilow-Big Surprise?
Well, this is an absolute shock. Who would’ve ever thought that Barry Manilow was gay? I’m being sarcastic, of course. Sometimes, we really don’t need to be told things, as they’re already pretty obvious, but Manilow decided to come out of the closet anyway, and good for him. He told People Magazine that his manager of 4o years was also his lover and now his husband. Once again, this is the kind of secret that really isn’t a secret at all, but still, it’s cool that he came out with it, as there are a lot of people out there who feel nervous about coming out with their decision and can look toward Manilow as someone who was brave enough to come of the closet in 2017.
14. John Travolta-There Are Rumors
John Travolta has long been known as someone whom women went crazy for, especially in his younger days, so why have there long been rumors that he’s in the closet? Men have even come forward and said they have been sexually assaulted by Travolta, and there are rumors he had a long-term boyfriend on the side when he was married to Kelly Preston. Two male masseurs also sued Travolta, claiming he touched them inappropriately, and a former cruise ship worker also sued the actor, claiming he sexually propositioned him. All the cases have been dropped. So, Travolta has either been smeared, or he’s deep in the closet. You’re going to have to figure that out for yourself because Travolta isn’t talking.
13. Kristen Stewart-Out and Proud
Kristen Stewart has been pretty out for a while now, but she finally made it totally official in 2017. “You’re not confused if you’re bisexual,” she told The Guardian. “It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite.” That’s cool, Kristen. I know what isn’t confusing for me either, and that’s watching you hang out with all sorts of hot chicks. I would think the word “aroused” fits way better than “confused.” As odd as some people might think that Kristen is for coming out of the closet as a huge movie star, there’s no doubt that she’s been an inspiration to many different people who are struggling with letting their own sexual orientation be known. Good job, Kristen.
12. Joseph Gordon-Levitt-It Would Surprise No One
This is one guy whom pretty much no one would be surprised by if he came out at some point. He’s played gay characters on screen, and once, when he was asked if he was in the closet, he said, “That would be really tacky — they would win if I had to clarify.” I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this dude just doesn’t care, even a little bit, what people think of him and his sexual orientation and that he totally enjoys messing with people’s minds. Or he could, in fact, be in the closet. If so, I don’t expect him to be walking out of it anytime soon. It seems far more likely that even if he’s in the closet, he would never let anyone know because he enjoys it way too much to have people guessing.
11. Anthony Bowens-In the Ring and Out of the Closet
Anthony Bowens is a wrestler who decided to come out this year. This took a lot of guts, as wrestling not only has a lot of fans that think of themselves as pretty macho but also is a sport that is obviously full contact, which might make some other wrestlers uncomfortable if they’re not open-minded. He told OutSports, “I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I realized I have a unique platform to spread awareness about ongoing issues in the world, to break stereotypes and show everyone that they can be themselves and do whatever they put their minds to no matter what their sexuality is.” So far, there’s been no real negative blowback toward Bowens since he came out of the closet.
10. Vin Diesel-Who Knows?
There have been rumors out there for a long time that Vin Diesel might be in the closet, and when asked about them, he didn’t exactly throw water on the flames saying, “I’m not gonna put it out there on a magazine cover like some other actors. I come from the Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino code of silence. I’m not gonna do that.” So what does that really mean? Does it mean that he’s not going to come out of the closet, or does it mean that he’s not going to talk to the press about his personal life? Either way, the rumors are still out there and will probably continue to be for quite some time that Diesel may, in fact, have some issues that he’s keeping in the closet.
9. Daniel Newman-Walking Out of the Closet
Daniel Newman of The Walking Dead came out this year, saying, “Even though I felt before that I couldn’t talk about my private life, I was like, ‘You know what, this is something that everyone should be comfortable with, being 100 percent themselves and authentic.'” This all makes sense, of course. Everyone should totally be themselves and not worry about what other people think, but then, if that’s the case, why bother talking about your sexuality at all? I’m not putting Newman down; he’s doing the right thing by trying to be inspirational to those out there who are afraid to come out of the closet, but still, we’ll really have gone somewhere as a society once people don’t say anything at all.
8. Queen Latifah-Probably
This one is borderline ridiculous. She’s had boyfriends before, at least in name. She was also once the victim of a carjacking with someone known as her boyfriend, a man named “Sean Moon,” but still, there seems to be very little doubt, at least in my mind, that Queen Latifah is buried deep in the closet. She once said to The New York Times, “I don’t have a problem discussing the topic of somebody being gay, but I do have a problem discussing my personal life… I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want. You do it anyway.” Oh, are you sure? Because I was going to stop, but now that you said I can assume whatever I want, well… I have to tell you I have a pretty good guess.
7. Diora Baird-Shameless About Sexuality
Add Diora Baird, an actress who’s well known for her roles in Wedding Crashers and Shameless to the list of people who came out in the year 2017. She had this to say: “It took me years to accept who I truly was. I tried to be what was expected of me, but I have reached the point where I don’t want to hide anymore,” This seems to be a common theme with these people. They’re super famous, and they have a lot of fans wondering what they are up to in their personal lives, so, therefore, they feel like they have to come out so they can be honest with themselves as well as their fans. Once again, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business but theirs, but, at least, she’s trying to be honest.
6. Alicia Keys-All Signs Point to Yes
Alicia Keys has long had rumors out there that she’s closeted. She once addressed those this way: “I remember when I first started to be in the public eye. Oh my gawd! Everyone had something to say. ‘She’s so hard, she acts like a boy, she must be gay, she should be more feminine!’ In the streets of New York, you had to be tough, you HAD to be hard, people needed to know that you weren’t scared to fight!” Yeah okay, Alicia. We get it, everyone thought you might be in the closet, but really, you were just tough. Keys is married and even has a few kids, but I have to say, I still wouldn’t be at all surprised if she came out of the closet sometime soon. Stranger things have happened.
5. Natalie Morales-Came Out During Pride Month
Natalie Morales sure is adorable, which is good if you’re a lady who’s into her — not so much if you’re a dude. The star of Parks & Recreation came out during Pride Week and said, “I don’t like labeling myself or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer. What ‘queer’ means to me is just simply that I’m not straight. That’s all.” Hey, Natalie. I have to be honest, but that’s what that word means to the rest of us, too. Hey, it’s cool, though. No one’s trying to give you a hard time here. At least you came out to everyone even if it wasn’t the greatest quote in the world. I get it. The pressure was on, and you froze up a little bit. No harm, no foul.
4. Oprah Winfrey-Is Stedman a Beard?
Oprah Winfrey has been long involved with a man named “Stedman,” but they never tied the knot, leaving a lot of people to think that she was actually more involved with her close friend and associate Gayle King and that her relationship with Stedman was just there for show. She had this to say about that: “I’m not even kind of a lesbian. And the reason why [the rumor] irritates me is because it means that somebody must think I’m lying. That’s number one. Number two, why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life.” Yeah, okay, we get it, Oprah, but there’s an old expression that if there’s smoke, there’s often fire, and there’s something about your relationship with Stedman that fails the straight face test.
3. Thomas Dekker-Got Married
This one goes under the same scenario as when Barry Manilow came out. This is really not that big of a shock. A writer on the show Heroes let the cat out of the bag about Dekker, who then said, “My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to ‘out’ me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots.” Again, I really hate to break it to you, Thomas, but I think it’s pretty obvious to most which way you swing. Dekker not only came out this year but also got married. So, you know… he has that going for him.
2. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino-It All Makes Sense
Both Snooki and JWoww have spoken of how The Situation may be a tad bit confused when it comes to his sexual orientation, and when you truly think about it, is that really much of a surprise? The guy is all about his hair, his body, and his laundry. And yeah, I know that’s part of the joke, but it also is not the most macho thing in the world to act like he does, and, in fact, it makes it seem like he might be in the closet. Maybe that would even revive his career a little bit. Who knows? It isn’t like he has anything good going on at this point in his career. Maybe, if he decides to come out, he can get some publicity going on and get some work, although I have to say, I doubt it.
1. Shawn Barber-Gold Medaled at Coming out
Canadian Olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber came out in a big way in 2017, saying, “Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support. I continue to grow as a person and have a great support group. My parents are my greatest support and have helped me through a lot recently. To my friends, you are always my friends, and I love you, too!” Barber is brave for doing this as athletics tends to be just a little bit slower when it comes to accepting homosexuality than does show business, probably in large part because of all the stereotypes that are involved. Barber was brave to come out, as were all the other people who did so in 2017, famous or not.
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