Coming out in Hollywood

Updated 8:01 AM ET, Fri March 23, 2018
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While accepting a humanitarian award in 2012, "White Collar" star Matt Bomer said he "especially" wanted to thank "my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is." The actor married publicist Simon Halls in 2011, and the pair had their three children via surrogacy. Getty Images
"House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey came out via a statement on Twitter after he was accused of alleged sexual misconduct in 1986 by actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey apologized to Rapp in the statement and also said, "I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man." Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Aaron Carter shared a note with fans on Twitter in August saying that when he was around 13 years old he "started to find boys and girls attractive." The singer went on to say that at the age of 17 he had his first experience "with a male that I had an attraction to who I also worked with and grew up with." Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Actress Kristen Stewart referred to herself as "so gay" during her monologue when she hosted "Saturday Night Live" in February. In August she opened up more about her sexuality in an interview with Harper's Bazaar U.K. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Actor Thomas Dekker, known for his roles in "Heroes" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," came out publicly via a tweeted statement in July after he said "a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to 'out' me." Dekker also revealed that he had married in April. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Singer Barry Manilow married longtime partner and manager Garry Kief in a secret ceremony in 2014. Manilow came out after news of the marriage was made public in 2015. Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Actor Colton Haynes attends the 2015 March Of Dimes Celebration Of Babies at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on December 4. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
Jussie Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, on the Fox TV show "Empire" came out, and so did the actor. Smollett confirmed that he is gay during a chat with Ellen DeGeneres. Earlier, his co-star Malik Yoba had been quoted saying that "I know Jussie; he is gay, and he's very committed to issues around the LGBT community." Yoba later said he had been misquoted. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for GQ
Joel Grey told People magazine that he doesn't like labels, but "if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man." The Oscar winner and Broadway star is in his 80s. Getty Images/Thos Robinson
Country singer Ty Herndon says he started revealing his sexuality to friends and family years ago, but he came out publicly in 2014 in an interview with People magazine. Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Another country singer, Billy Gilman, also came out after being inspired by Herndon, posting a message to YouTube. Ed Rode/AP
Raven-Symone was in a relationship with a woman at the time, but the actress told Oprah Winfrey in 2014 that she doesn't want to be labeled as gay. "I want to be labeled as a human who loves humans," she said. Getty Images
Writer Lauren Morelli said that working on "Orange Is the New Black" helped her realize that she was gay. In March 2017 she married one of the show's stars, Samira Wiley. Theo Wargo/Getty Images/File
Anna Paquin celebrated LGBT Pride Month in June 2014 by proudly declaring her status as a "happily married bisexual mother." The "True Blood" actress has been wed to her co-star Stephen Moyer, right, since 2010, the same year she initially shared her sexual orientation with the public. "Marriage is about love," Paquin tweeted on June 8, "not gender." Getty Images
Actress Ellen Page announced she is gay at a Human Rights Campaign event in February 2014. "I am tired of hiding, and I am tired of lying by omission," Page told the crowd. Mark Davis/Getty Images/File
In December 2013, "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts came out as a lesbian in a Facebook post reflecting on the past year and thanking fans for their support after her bone marrow transplant. It was also the first public acknowledgment of her partner, Amber Laign. "I am grateful for my entire family, my longtime girlfriend Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together," Roberts wrote. Ida Mae AStute/ABC/Getty Images
In a column in the New York Times, Maria Bello described the process of falling in love with her female best friend, Clare, and how that affected her relationship with her 12-year-old son. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program/File
Bob Harper's confirmation that he's gay came about as a desire to comfort a "Biggest Loser" contestant. On a November 2013 episode, personal trainer Harper, 48, talked about his sexuality for the first time on the reality weight loss competition in an effort to show the contestant that he doesn't have to be ashamed. "I'm gay," Harper said. "I knew a very long time ago that I was gay. ... And being gay doesn't mean that you are less than anybody else. It's just who you are." Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images/File
Maulik Pancholy's sexuality wasn't a secret, but he did take the extra step of going on the record about it in November 2013 -- just in case someone out there wasn't clear. The actor, who memorably portrayed the obsessive and loyal assistant Jonathan on "30 Rock," told Out magazine that he's been in a relationship for nine years. "It feels like a nice time to be celebrating something like that, especially on the heels of the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions," the actor said. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/File
Ellen DeGeneres came out shortly after her character Ellen, on an ABC sitcom, came out on-air amid controversy in 1997. "I never wanted to be the lesbian actress," DeGeneres told Time magazine. "I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth." DeGeneres' wife, Portia de Rossi, also kept her sexuality a secret for many years. Getty Images
"Fast & Furious" star Michelle Rodriguez told EW, "I've gone both ways. I do as I please," while discussing how many have assumed she is gay. Jason Merritt/Getty Images
"Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller came out after he withdrew from the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in protest of Russia's anti-gay policies. Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images
'NSync singer Lance Bass appeared on the cover of People in August 2006 with the headline "I'm Gay." "I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys' careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything," Bass told the magazine in explaining why he didn't come out sooner. Getty Images
CNN's Anderson Cooper came out publicly as gay in an e-mail message to the Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, which was posted to the site in July 2012. Getty Images
In May 2012, a New York Times story about "The Normal Heart's" Jim Parsons revealed that the "Big Bang Theory" actor is gay and in a 10-year relationship. Getty Images
Actor Zachary Quinto said he was inspired to acknowledge his homosexuality in October 2011 after a 14-year-old, who was apparently being harassed over his sexuality, killed himself. "In light of Jamey's death, it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality." Getty Images
"There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality," Chely Wright told People when she came out in 2010. Getty Images
Pop singer Ricky Martin declared publicly in March 2010 what he avoided discussing for years. "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," Martin wrote on his official website. "I am very blessed to be who I am." Getty Images
In April 1998, British pop star George Michael told CNN that he was gay. "This is as good of a time as any," the Wham! singer said. "I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I'm in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years." The pop star died in December 2016. Getty Images
After years as a stand-up comedian and actress, Rosie O'Donnell came out two months before her talk show went off-air in 2002. The announcement came during a comedy routine at the Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Carolines Comedy Club in New York. "I don't know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing," she said during her act. "People are confused, they're shocked, like this is a big revelation to somebody." Getty Images
British singer Elton John discussed his bisexuality for the first time in a 1976 Rolling Stone interview. "There's nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex," he said. "I think everybody's bisexual to a certain degree. I don't think it's just me. It's not a bad thing to be." John married David Furnish in December 2005. Getty Images
Stand-up comedian and actress Wanda Sykes announced her sexual orientation -- and her marriage -- in 2008 at a rally for gay marriage. "You know, I don't really talk about my sexual orientation," Sykes said. "I didn't feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. ... But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. I said, 'You know what? Now I gotta get in your face.' " Sykes was referring to the passage of Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, in California days after her wedding. Getty Images
Reports of "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon's relationship with Christine Marinoni surfaced in 2004, six years after the television show's premiere. Nixon discussed her relationship with New York Magazine in 2006, saying, "I never felt like there was an unconscious part of me around that woke up or that came out of the closet; there wasn't a struggle; there wasn't an attempt to suppress. I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I'm a public figure." Getty Images
Once known best as the TV character he played during childhood, Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris has continued his successful acting career as an adult. Harris often walks the red carpet with partner David Burtka and starred in the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." He told People magazine in 2006 that he is, in fact, gay. "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man." Getty Images
"Family Ties" actress Meredith Baxter confirmed in December 2009 rumors that she is a lesbian. "Anyone who's a friend of mine, anyone who knows and cares about me, knows," the actress explained to Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. "It's no secret that I'm gay, but it has been to the greater world." Baxter is in a long-term relationship with a building contractor, Nancy Locke. Getty Images
He had an 11-year run on "Frasier," but it wasn't until he returned to Broadway in 2007 that David Hyde Pierce confirmed his sexuality. The actor is married to writer/producer/director Brian Hargrove. Pierce first talked about his partner in an Associated Press interview about his Tony-nominated performance in "Curtains." Getty Images