20 Emotional and Inspiring Celebrity Coming Out Stories

"It is a part of who I am—but it is not at all my defining feature."

coming out
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you're a celebrity, a lot is asked of you. People want to know your stance on politics, your favorite hobbies, your relationship status, and how you might choose to label your sexuality and gender identity. These are all very private things, and many of us would never even consider casually mentioning them to strangers. So when a celebrity uses their platform to share a personal narrative like their coming out, it's an incredibly brave thing to do. Not all announcements are easy or simple: Some are on the covers of magazines, plot lines in television shows, or even the butt of a joke on Saturday Night Live. Regardless of the means, it's a very raw and emotional thing to do—but these celebrities are committed to being role models to younger members of the LGBTQ+ community who may be struggling with their own identities.

Ahead, celebrity coming out stories featuring stars from Tessa Thompson to Kristen Stewart. Some are heartfelt declarations of love and identity, and others remind us of how far we have to come as a country to ensure equality for our LGBTQ+ friends. If you're wondering where you can start, you can check our list on Black-led LGBTQ + organizations you can donate to now and forever.

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Bianca Rodriguez

Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.