LGBTQ Hollywood: 29 Stars Who Came Out in 2020, From Jameela Jamil to Elliot Page
Justice Smith and Niecy Nash are among the many celebrities who now identify with the LGBTQ community
DJ Qualls • The comedic actor, best known for “Road Trip,” “The New Guy” and “Z Nation,” came out in a January 2020 tweet. “Yep, I’m gay. Been gay this whole time,” he wrote. “Tired of worrying about what people would think of me. Tired of worrying about what it would do to my career.”
Witold Sadowy • It’s never too late to speak your truth. Acclaimed Polish stage actor Witold Sadowy used the occasion of his 100th birthday in January 2020 in an interview with TVP Kultura. “For me, the most important thing is the survival of the truth,” he said. “I am proud that I am an honest man. I didn’t get married, and I didn’t have children, something I really regret. But I was born different. I’m gay.”
Jameela Jamil • The star of “The Good Place” came out as “queer” in February 2020 after receiving some pushback for her role as MC of a new HBO Max series about ballroom voguing. “Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she tweeted. “I added a rainbow to my name when I felt ready a few years ago, as it’s not easy within the south Asian community to be accepted, and I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter. But I kept it low because I was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon-jumping over something that caused me a lot of confusion, fear, and turmoil when I was a kid.”
Rosario Dawson • The star of “Sin City” and “Briarpatch” came out as a member of the LGBT community in a February 2020 Bustle interview clarifying a 2018 “Happy Pride Month” Instagram post. “I mean, it’s not inaccurate, but I never did come out come out. I mean, I guess I am now,” said the actress, who recently dated Sen. Cory Booker. “I’ve never had a relationship in that space, so it’s never felt like an authentic calling to me.”
Rick Cosnett • The star of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Quantico” and “The Flash” came out as gay in a short Instagram video in February 2020. “I’ve made a promise to myself to live my truth every day and sometimes that is a really hard thing to do when you have all these subconscious things that you don’t even know about from childhood and society and from just life,” he said.
Da Brat • Rapper Da Brat surprised fans in March 2020 by sharing a birthday gift from her girlfriend, Kaleidoscope Hair CEO Jesseca Dupart. “I’ve always been a kind of private person until I met my heart’s match who handles some things differently than I do,” she wrote on Instagram. “It’s so overwhelming that often I find myself in a daze hoping to never get pinched to see if it’s real so I can live in this dream forever.”
Dominique Provost-Chalkley • In a March 2020 personal essay on StartTheWave.org, British-Canadian actress came out as “queer” — just like the title character she played on SyFy’s “Wynonna Earp.” “As soon as I became sexually aware, I was attracted to all shapes and genders,” she wrote. “Playing a queer character and meeting the fans that are drawn to her, I guess I’ve reevaluated how I am to face this part of me.”
J. August Richards • The actor, best known for his work on “Angel” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” came out as gay in an April 2020 Instagram post. Playing a gay doctor on ABC’s “Council of Dads,” Richards said, “required me to show up fully in a way that I don’t always when I’m working. I knew that I could not portray this gay man honestly without letting you all know that I am a gay man myself.”
Rebecca Black • The YouTube sensation, best known for the 2011 viral hit “Friday,” came out as “queer” in an April 2020 podcast interview. “I made a conscious decision to not, like, ‘come out,'” she explained. “People started asking and I stopped not responding.”
Auli’i Cravalho • The actress and singer, who voiced the title character in Disney’s 2016 animated hit “Moana” and then starred as Ariel in 2019’s “The Little Mermaid Live!” came out as bisexual in an April 2020 TikTok video. (She actually lip-syncs to the “No, I’m bi” lyrics to Eminem’s “Those Kinda Nights.”)
Lili Reinhart • The “Riverdale” actress publicly came out as bisexual in an Instagram Story in June. “Although I’ve never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman,” she wrote.
Justice Smith • The actor, who starred in “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” came out in a June Instagram video while attending a Black Lives Matter protest with his boyfriend. “I want to reiterate this sentiment: if your revolution does not include Black Queer voices, it is anti-Black,” he said. “If your revolution is okay with letting Black trans people like #TonyMcDade slip through the cracks in order to solely liberate Black cishet men, it is anti-Black.”
Madison Bailey • During a June Instagram video, the star of the Netflix teen series “Outer Banks” came out as pansexual. “I feel zero shame,” she said. “I feel lighter, I feel happier that I can just be so open and honest.”
Corey Fogelmanis • The young actor, who starred in Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World” and the 2019 horror movie “Ma,” came out as queer in a June Instagram post. “I walked alongside my LGBTQ+ siblings for my first LA pride today,” he wrote. “While not my first year identifying with this community (my letter is Q.), I have yet to do anything in the past to further elevate the freedoms and acceptance of queer people in America.”
Nikki Blonsky • The actress, who starred opposite Zac Efron in the 2007 big-screen musical “Hairspray,” found a very Broadway way to announce her sexuality in June: posting a TikTok video lip-syncing to Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out.”
Taylor Schilling • The star of “Orange Is the New Black” used a Pride Month Instagram post to identify herself as a lesbian and introduce her girlfriend, Emily Ritz.
Ben Aldridge • The British actor, who plays Bruce Wayne’s father on Epix’s “Pennyworth” and the memorable Arsehole Guy on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag,” came out via Instagram. “I love the LGBTQ+ community and am incredibly proud and thankful to be a part of it,” he wrote. “So much won. So much more to fight for.”
Pearl Mackie • The “Doctor Who” actress took to Instagram in June to declare: “Proud to be bisexual. Proud to be Black. Proud of all my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters and everyone in between.”
Chyler Leigh • In a blog post on the Create Change website in June, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” actress opened up about how playing a lesbian character on “Supergirl” inspired her to explore her own truth. “What I didn’t realize was how the scene where she finally confessed her truth would leap off the pages of the script and genuinely become a variation of my own,” she wrote, adding, “It’s been a long and lonely road for both my husband and myself.”
Tegan Nox • The WWE NXT wrestler came out as lesbian in a July Instagram post. “My life has always been a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ situation, but I felt like it was the right time,” she later told Newsweek, adding that “99 percent of the reactions have been positive.”
Nicholas Petricca • The Walk the Moon frontman and “Shut Up and Dance” singer waited until the final day of Pride Month to come out as bisexual. “i have feelings for, am attracted to both men and women, and i have had experiences with both men and women, and i’m proud of it,” he said via Instagram.
Sara Ramirez • The “Grey’s Anatomy” actor started identifying as nonbinary on their social accounts: “In me is the capacity to be Girlish boy Boyish girl Boyish boy Girlish girl All Neither #nonbinary”
Tinashe • In an August interview in the U.K.’s Gay Times, the singer and star of TV’s “Rent” opened up about her bisexuality. “It’s not like all bisexual people like men and women equally – or like all bisexual people are a certain type of person,” she said. “Human beings are so versatile. I don’t understand why we’re so obsessed with categorizing each other.”
Francois Arnaud • In a series of August Instagram posts, Canadian actor Francois Arnaud (“Blindspot”) opened up about his bisexuality — and his long reluctance to discuss it. “Silence has the perverse effect of perpetuating those stereotypes, making bi guys invisible, and leading people to doubt that we even exist,” he wrote. “I’ve always considered myself bisexual. Not confused or trying to look edgy. Not disloyal. Not ashamed.”
Niecy Nash • The Emmy-nominated actress and star of “Reno 911!” “Claws” and “When They See Us” came out in August — while announcing her wedding to musician Jessica Betts: “#LoveWins”
Franchesca Ramsey • The comedian and actress who hosts MTV’s “Decoded” publicly identified as bisexual in a series of tweets timed to October’s National Coming Out Day: “i didn’t feel any real pressure to come out, my personal life is my personal business BUT i don’t take my visibility for granted & i know how important and affirming it is to see someone like you out in the world being and loving who they are.”
Hugh Sheridan • In October, the Australian actor and “Packed to the Rafters” star published a personal essay in Stellar magazine coming out as gay — and shared how “older gay mentors” encouraged him to keep closeted to protect his career. “I was told that if I was anything but straight I’d never find work,” he recalled. “By sharing my story now, and becoming more transparent, maybe I can help to give others who are private a break.”
Braunwyn Windham-Burke • In a December GLAAD interview and Instagram post, the “Real Housewives of Orange County” star came out as lesbian. “It feels so good to finally be living my truth,” she said. “At 43 years old, I’ve finally been able to accept this part of myself and I’ve realized there are no rules about when someone should come out.”
Elliot Page • The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for the title role in the 2007 film “Juno,” publicly came out as transgender in a December 1 Instagram post. The 33-year-old noted that while he goes by he/him/his pronouns, he is also comfortable using nonbinary gender-neutral pronouns, including they/them. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” Page wrote.
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