Hollywood is not a place known for embracing differences, and being open minded. It seems that we are moving in right direction lately, however, it’s still taking quite some time. We’ll get there, though, it will just be a while. Although we still have very little minorities and LGBTQ characters being portrayed in TV and movies, there is a growing community of talented actors trying to break through.
There are plenty of LGBTQ actors who often are stuck playing ‘straight’ roles to suit the Hollywood frenzy and whatever titles are trending. You probably never would have even guessed if you didn’t have your nose consistently buried in gossip mags or religiously followed them.
Age is nothing but a number, actors of all ages and genre-specific talents belong to the LGBTQ community, and we didn’t even know it. You will find quite a few on this list belong to the American Horror Story franchise. The creator, Ryan Murphy is gay himself, and it seems like he’s one of the few Hollywood elite who makes a point to cast not just LGBTQ actors, but very talented ones at that. Ryan Murphy was also a co-creator of Glee—both shows are incredibly different from one another.
Neil Patrick Harris has also been a well-known LGBTQ activist, but played a total playboy in the beloved How I Met Your Mother. A lot of his most notable roles were when he played a straight man. So, what’s the deal, Tinseltown? Why isn’t Hollywood casting more LGBTQ actors, and why aren’t there more relatable roles?
15 Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer is quite a beauty and has flashed his wonderful abs on screen every now and then. But did you know this often type casted playboy was gay? And yes, he is also a reoccurring actor on the American Horror Story series. He came out in 2012 but was actually married a year prior to coming out to the public. We only found out during an award speech where he thanked him; that took many of us by surprise.
He’s played a bi-curious vampire on screen, but other that has played strictly straight roles. Matt has even admitted that hiding his sexual orientation is what made him a better actor. That should make you think twice about what kind of pressures we put on actors.
14 Josh Hutcherson
Josh Hutcherson made a name for himself when he was cast alongside Jennifer Lawrence for the hit movie series, the Hunger Games. He played the love interest of Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence’s character. We swooned over this sweet looking boy.
In an interview with OUT magazine, Josh answered questions we were dying to hear about his sexuality. He has been a vocal fighter for gay rights ever since. However, he has yet to play a role as a gay man. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because there really aren’t any out there. This is all too common in Hollywood—so much talent, so little roles. Josh has produced various films, and starred in them, but still, no openly gay roles. Maybe he can help change this.
13 Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez has played powerful female roles. She is best known for her continuous appearances as a major character in the Fast and the Furious franchise. What, are they on like movie eight now or something? This action star is changing the genre for women who want to take on similar roles.
This actress came out as bisexual years ago and has since made her romances public. She is not shy about facing any rumors gossip. She claims to be intrigued by both sexes and doesn’t have a preference over one. She is not ashamed of her past relationships and has been vocal about her sexuality. As a Latina, she refuses to hide her romantic past and stands strong against naysayers. She will even sit courtside and kiss super models.
12 Jonathan Bennett
Don’t you recognize this face from the soon-to-be classic, Mean Girls? Jonathan Bennett is mostly known for his role as Aaron Samuels in the hit comedy. He played the major love interest of a love triangle between mean high school girls. Yes, Jonathan was quite a heartthrob for some time. But did you know that he is gay? I sure didn’t!
Jonathan is more recently known as the host of cake wars. We spent our childhoods dreaming of an Aaron Samuels-like guy to sweep us off our feet. Little did we know that in real life this actor would have no interest In us high school girls. Jonathan hasn’t played any major roles that hit us quite as hard as his role in Mean Girls, and no roles as a gay male either.
11 Colton Haynes
I don’t know about you, but I usually recognize Colton Haynes by his mesmerizing abs first, then his beautifully sculpted face later. Ever since his debut in Teen Wolf, Colton has taken our hearts with his handsome looks—even that’s an understatement. Hello, this guy is hot and fit! He took our breaths away at first sight.
And…this hottie is batting for the other team. He will have to stay in our fantasies ladies, but gentlemen you just got luckier. Haynes had a recent bought of anxiety over his personal life. In 2016 stories of a ‘secret’ gay past came up. Colton faced them head on and came out publically after seeking treatment for his anxiety. This year he even announced his engagement to florist Jeff Leatham.
10 Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin has played many leading roles that have lead to her successful career. One of them was as Sookie Stackhouse in the supernatural HBO series True Blood, where she met and married her co-star Stephen Moyer. They also have an adorable set of twins. After announcing her engagement came out as bisexual during a PSA for the Give a Damn Campaign.
Even then, Anna has refused to label herself based on her sexuality. She continues to believe that she falls for people based on personality, not gender. Even so, Anna believes in total equality, no matter someone’s sexual preferences, and continues to move with the LGBTQ community. Since her relationship with women we in the past, and never questioned, Anna, didn’t feel the need to share her sexual preferences until the cause.
9 Luke Evans
You probably recognize Luke Evans from various stints as ‘oh, the super hot guy from that movie’. He has a face that hard to forget, but also a basic name that you’re never really expecting. The Welsh actor spent much of his time in London embracing his openly gay life.
Luke has claimed that he’s never really tried to hide it. He did also claim that his acting career never suffered because of his sexuality. However, Luke has played various roles where he is wanted by women. Another gay man put in consistently ‘straight’ roles. Though Luke is gay and proud, he rarely shares his personal life with the media. We are usually left breathlessly waiting for him to appear on red carpets to do interviews, but he rarely gives away anything on his private or romantic life.
8 Cynthia Nixon
We fell in love with Cynthia Nixon when she played Miranda Hobbes on the legendary series, Sex and the City. Miranda paved the way for the modern woman; she makes her own money, and doesn’t need a man…but a man would be nice. She was powerful and appreciated her friendships far more often than she sought romance.
But did you know that Cynthia Nixon is bisexual? She spent most of her on screen love falling for a platitude of unsuitable men, but this actress is now married to education activist, Christine Marinoni. The two have been fighting for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US ever since. Nixon said she had never been involved with a woman or fallen for one until wife Christine came along, and now officially identifies as bisexual.
7 Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey is a great English actor who has taken on notable roles in both American and British films and TV shows. He played Dr. Frankenstein, obsessed with the beautiful Billie Piper in Penny Dreadful, and Henry Knight in Sherlock. Russell has taken on a couple of gay roles like in the original HBO series, Looking. He is not afraid to take on either role, and will continue to use his talents to expand his career.
As a teen his homosexuality wasn’t very accepted by his family members. He has never hidden or lied to the media regarding his sexuality. He is one of the few gay actors who have actually taken on a healthy dose of both straight and gay roles. Hopefully this will continue!
6 Sarah Paulson
Sarah Paulson is a major part of the American Horror Story series that keeps us on our toes every year. Throughout her career in Hollywood, she has dated both men and women but never came out as bi-sexual. Last year she confirmed her relationship with fellow actress Holland Taylor, but still, refuses to put a label on her sexuality.
She has never hidden her relationships from the public, however, her not labeling herself has people feeling tepid. While everyone is entitled to their privacy, many feel she would still make a great role model in the LGBTQ community. What’s your view on this? Either way, Sarah’s romance with Holland has inspired the best in many of us. She has played a lesbian character in a couple of seasons of American Horror Story.
5 Cheyenne Jackson
Of course, another American Horror Story alum makes the list. They are everywhere. Cheyenne Jackson has usually played smaller roles on screen. But he really shines in his musical talents. He paved his own way through a slew of successful Broadway acts. And why not? This stud was meant to take center stage.
In 2008 he came out on the magazine cover of the Advocate. Ever since Cheyenne has been an activist in the LGBTQ community. Despite his advocacy and openness, Hollywood has yet to offer him an outstanding role as an LGBTQ character. He still often plays ‘straight’ roles that are offered to him. But Cheyenne doesn’t often have romantic focused roles either. He often guest stars, but the roles he plays are pretty platonic.
4 Ellen Page
Ellen Page is an A-list movie star, and a major activist in the LGBTQ community. She skirted around rumors of her being a lesbian for a bit, but officially came out during a Human Rights Campaign’s speech in 2014. Ellen often plays ‘straight’ roles where she has romantic involvements with male characters.
However, most recently, she’s come out and accused Hollywood of having double standards when it came to actors’ sexuality. She claims that since she has come out as a lesbian, Hollywood directors haven’t wanted to cast her in ‘straight’ roles. More recently she has made a jump and taken on gay rolls. This isn’t totally due to her preferences, however. It seems Hollywood no longer sees her as a possible ‘straight woman’ in their movies. Either way, Ellen is immensely talented.
3 Wentworth Miller
You probably recognize Wentworth Miller from his role on Prison Break. He came out more recently, otherwise, I don’t think we would have ever known. He has played more masculine roles, and let’s face it, ladies, we’ve all been drooling over him. He is a handsome looking guy.
The Gold Globe winner even denied being gay in a story for InStyle magazine back in 2007. So, yeah, he had us fooled. We were all wondering if we could be the girl that Wentworth needed. However, in 2013, he came out through an exclusive letter he penned for GLAAD. Russia has a horrible reputation with the LGBTQ community, and he refused to attend a film festival because of it. This also forced us to lose hope in ever becoming Wentworth’s secret girlfriend.
2 Maria Bello
Maria Bello may not disregard any labels we place on her, but she’s not thrilled to take them on either. More notably the actress co-starred in the major movie A History of Violence alongside Viggo Mortensen where she played his wife. And yes, this is the movie with that steamy scene.
Maria is not afraid to take on sexy roles. But A History of Violence is more known for an epic sex scene where she and Viggo Mortensen violently attack one another and passionately make love on a staircase…only to leave him still unforgiven for past sins. Maria has played other major roles where she was the interest of male co-stars. And she was married to a man, but she identifies as bisexual. She had one major relationship with a woman, she won’t deny that. But she’s not comfortable with a label on her sexuality.
1 Jodi Foster
‘Hello, Clarice.’ Okay, yes, Jodi Foster is a Hollywood legend. She has played many incredible roles, and has done so since she was just a child. It really wasn’t until 2013, though, that Jodi officially came out. What took her so long? Well, reps for Jodi say she is a very private person, which is understandable. Fame means you get very little privacy, so you fight for whatever you can. However, many speculated it was her duty to be openly gay and show Hollywood how it’s done.
While accepting an award at the Golden Globes she came out to the world, and was accepted very well for it. She married her girlfriend, photographer Alexandra Hedison a year later. Jodi still manages to keep her life quite private, but it’s nice to see that an A-lister is standing with the LGBTQ community.