As we all know, back in the day, speaking up and letting people know that you were a member of the LGBTQ community was pretty dangerous and very stressful. Many people stayed hidden, refusing to tell anyone or allowing others to know what they did behind closed doors because they felt at risk.
In this day and age, many things have changed; most notably people have changed, and more and more members of the community are finally coming out and proudly announcing who they are and who they love.
Some even prefer to make big entrances into the LGBTQ community by way of cakes, roller coasters, banners, speeches, social media posts and even essays in magazines.
Over the past year (2018), several famous celebrities have either come out of the closet and shared their orientation with the world or have otherwise confirmed what their fans already thought to be true.
Here we have it. Keep scrolling to find out which famous faces came out in 2018 and how they chose to express it.
23 Janelle Monáe
Many women from the LGBTQ community have come forward and questioned Janelle Monae, but it wasn’t until her interview with Rolling Stones in April, 2018 that she would come clean and come out to the world and all her fans.
During her interview Janelle talked about who she really was: "Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women — I consider myself to be a free [...]."
At first, Janelle identified as bi, but she later changed her identification when she read more about what pan means. She told Rolling Stones that she identified with things that make a person pan, too.
22 Alyson Stoner
It was during an essay in Teen Vogue that Alyson Stoner came out to the world.
"[My female friend] and I continued to hang out and began sending good morning texts. Then we made dinner and watched Orange Is the New Black. Then we vented and supported each other. Then cuddled. Then kissed and kissed some more. OK, we were in a relationship. I fell in love with a woman," she wrote.
She admitted that at first, it was difficult for her to accept that she was not just straight. She took to therapy working through her fears and was eventually able to proudly proclaim: "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways."
21 Rita Ora
When Rita Ora released her song "Girls," which was what she called a bi anthem, it got a lot of hate from the LGBTQ community. Other people from the community said that Rita was fueling the male gaze in her song and trivializing women’s love for other women.
As Refinery29 reports, Rita defended her song by speaking up about how it represented her own experiences. "Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life," she wrote on Twitter. "I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”
20 Amandla Stenberg
Fans around the world were surprised when Amandla Stenberg boldly came out on Teen Vogue’s Snapchat. While live, she told the world that she identifies as non-binary.
According to Refinery29, earlier this year during a conversation with singer King Princess for Wonderland Magazine, Amandla opened up and told King Princess that she was gay, meaning she was attracted to women only.
"I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I’m gay — not bi, not pan, but gay — with a romantic love for women," she said. "All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my truest self were rectified as I unraveled a long web of denial and self-deprivation."
19 Ronan Farrow
It was during an April awards show that Ronan Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, came forth and confirmed something during a speech he did while accepting his award.
According to Refinery29, Ronan said in his speech:
"Being a part of the LGBTQ community, which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it and has been such a stalwart source of support through the [...] reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible — that has been an incredible source of strength for me," he said. "LGBTQ people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there.”
18 Brendon Urie
Brendon Urie, the front-man for the band Panic! At The Disco (popular for their current hit, High Hopes), officially came out as pan in an interview that he did with Paper magazine in July of last year (2018).
"I'm married to a woman and I'm very much in love with her but I'm not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person," he said. "I guess you could qualify me as pansexual, because I really don't care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart's in the right place. I'm definitely attracted to men too. It's just people that I am attracted to."
17 Collin Martin
This past June (2018), Collin Martin, who is a Major League Soccer player, came out as gay via social media.
According to Refinery29, the athlete wrote his coming out speech on his Twitter account after receiving support from his team and his closest co-workers.
“Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay," he said. "I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.”
16 Cory Michael Smith
According to Refinery29, it was his role in the movie 1985 that led Cory to embrace who he really is. In the movie, he plays a man named Adrian who is living with a disease. Adrian has one more holiday left in him and he wants to spend that with his family back in Texas. While there, he opens up to them and tells them he is gay.
During an interview with The Daily Beast, Cory opened up about how he can relate to his character and how scary it is coming out to family. He said that his family dealt with the news with "a lot of love", but it took "a lot of time," the site reports.
15 Garrett Clayton
It was just this past August (2018) that actor Garret Clayton, best known for his roles in Teen Beach Movie and The Fosters Fame, took to his IG to announce to the world and his fans that he's queer.
In his post, Garrett started off by writing about a movie role that he had accepted and then mentioned his long-term male partner. He wrote:
"When I read the script for REACH, I immediately knew it was a film I had to be a part of. I have personally dealt with [things] within my own family, intense bullying in high school, and - on top of it all - myself and the man I’ve been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events. These topics — not always easy to discuss — are all close to my heart, and, knowing how serious they are, I wanted to share this with you all."
14 Jake Choi
Jake Choi, an actor known for his roles in hit comedy shows such as Single Parents and The Good Place, came out while filming the movie Front Cover.
During an interview with Very Good Light, Jake said, "Ever since I was young, all the images you saw around you, or at least for me, [were] catered towards [straight people]. I was an athlete. When you’re an athlete everything is hyper masculine and hetero. That’s where you think you’re supposed to be and everything else is abnormal and you’re not supposed to do that. When I shot the movie, I identified as straight – that’s how I was conditioned. Now, I identify as fluid."
13 Tessa Thompson
For some time now, members of the LGBTQ community have speculated about actress Tessa Thompson. In fact, they have gone so far as to say that Tessa and Janelle Monáe are more than just friends, especially since both came out in 2018 in interviews, as Refinery29 reports.
In June, Tessa told Net-A-Porter that the rumours have been tough.
“Janelle and I are just really private people and we’re both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence,” Tessa said. “I can take things for granted because of my family – it’s so free and you can be anything that you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, or a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion.”
12 Joey Pollari
Fans might recognize Joey Pollari from the role he played in Love, Simon. Joey opened up to Advocate about how his experience and that of his movie character were quite different. Joey came out to his friends and family when he was just 18. It was a positive experience, but he battled with coming out to himself.
“A lot of the trouble was self-shame. I do believe a system of power, of patriarchy, of masculinity did impact me," he said. "The greatest difficulty I found was that it didn't match my idea of myself. It seemed incongruent with the future I imagined."
11 Josie Totah
Josie Totah came out to the world as trans during an essay she wrote for Time magazine back in August, 2018.
"I let myself be shoved into a box: 'J.J. Totah, gay boy,'" she wrote. "People kept assuming my identity. I understand that they didn’t really know better. I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself."
She went on to say, "My pronouns are she, her and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah."
Singer Kehlani has been pestered time and time again about what she identifies as. Finally, she got tired of all the questions and people accusing her of who she really was and decided to come out to the world.
According to Refinery29, Kehlani finally expressed herself on her Twitter account.
“Cuz I keep [getting] asked…I’m queer. Not bi, not straight,” she wrote. “I’m attracted to women, men, REALLY attracted to queer men, non-binary people, intersex people, trans people... Hello good morning. Does that answer your questions?”
9 Kevin McHale
When Kevin McHale, star of Glee, came out via Twitter, it was completely accidental. According to Refinery29, the actor's post said, "#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me."
As soon as fans saw his post, they started blowing up his Twitter page with congrats.
"People were like, ‘Oh, you just came out.’ I was like, did I?” he said, as Out magazine reports.
Fans already should have known that he was dating a man, Austin McKenzie to be exact. They met while filming an episode of the ABC show When We Rise. During the interview, Kevin was asked why he never came out before and he answered that his partner was afraid. His partner had a very accepting family, but there was one member that he was terrified of finding out.
8 Lee Pace
When Lee Pace decided to take on the role as a gay man in a Tony-nominated play called Angels In America, some reporters decided to use that as the opportunity to learn his who he was.
According to Refinery29, the actor had this response:
"I’ve dated men. I’ve dated women. I don’t know why anyone would care. I’m an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don’t know what to say — I find your question intrusive."
Some members of the LGBTQ community were upset over how upset and angry Lee sounded. He later apologized on Twitter but said privacy is really important to him.
7 Reece King
Model Reece King came out at the start of the year (in 2018) during an interview with Gay Times Magazine.
“I realized that whatever I said, it became a distraction. Anything I did or posted online, people would just ask about who I’m interested in, so I just built up this defense of saying ‘That’s not important,’" he said in the interview. "But I guess it’s stuck with me because it really isn’t important, so now I just say ‘yeah, I am [bi].’”
6 Lucas Hedges
When actor Lucas Hedges played the role of a gay boy sent away by his parents who weren't accepting of him, it inspired him to speak up about who he really was.
"I owe it to this part to speak as honestly as possible," he told Vulture during an interview. "In the early stages of my life, some of the people I was most infatuated with were my closest male friends. That was the case through high school, and I think I was always aware that while for the most part I was attracted to women, I existed on a spectrum. I felt ashamed that I wasn’t 100% because it was clear that one side of [who I am attracted to] presents issues, and the other doesn’t as much. I recognize myself as existing on that spectrum: Not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily [bi]."
5 Paris Jackson
Paris Jackson took to social media in July, 2018 to verify who she was to the world and all of her loving fans. According to Refinery29, she wouldn’t call it her “coming out,” because she has always been pretty open about her fluidity.
"I came out when I was 14," she began. "I’ve referred to the community as ‘my fellow LGBTQ+’ on stage before. I’ve talked about having a crush on girls when I was 8 in my Rolling Stone article. There are pictures of me kissing girls online."
She added, "And I'm not '[bi].' I just love people for people. I don't label myself so please don't label me. Thank you!"
4 Jason Mraz
Stories started to surface when singer Jason Mraz (popular for songs such as, I'm Yours, and I Won't Give Up) wrote a beautiful poem for Billboard's pride month and it ended with the words, "I am bi your side." It was a short ending, but certainly a strong one.
Since the release of the poem, Jason has admitted that he indeed has had some experiences with other men. In fact, he even admitted that he has had relations with men while dating Christina Carano, who is now his wife.
3 Bebe Rexha
Singer Bebe Rexha (popular for songs such as, Meant To Be and I'm A Mess) is one of the stars of Rita Ora's song called "Girls." When opening up about who she really is on The Dan Wootton Interview podcast, she expressed that she could see herself with a male or a female partner in future.
“At the end of the day love is love and I don't think it should be labelled any which way," she said, as The Sun reports. "I've never looked at it like that in my life. It's whether someone makes you feel something in your tummy or not."
2 Felix Jaehn
For those of you who don’t know exactly who Felix Jaehn is, well, we'll tell you. He is a German DJ and producer who first rose to fame back in the year 2015 with a remix of OMI’s No. 1 song, “Cheerleader.” We all remember that song, right?
According to Billboard, the 24-year-old producer came out back in February of 2018 as bi while doing an interview for a German magazine called Zeit. During his interview, Felix Jaehn openly talked about how he hopes to one day find that special person he will share the rest of his life with, be it man or woman. We applaud his courage.
1 Sasha Lane
For those of you who don’t know who Sasha Lane is, she made her acting debut in the movie American Honey back in the year 2016. But it was actually when she was promoting her new Drama/Romance film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (which came out in July of 2018), that she finally decided to open up about who she really is and what she identifies as.
“The story really hit home for me,” she said, as Billboard reports, “coming from a household where my brother’s gay and I’m gay.”