Out and Proud: Famous Queer People and Their Stories
When Chris Colfer came out at 19 years of age, he became one of the youngest openly gay people working in Hollywood. His breakout role was Kurt Hummel on the hit show Glee! — and when Kurt came out on the TV show, so did Chris in real life.
Chris has spoken out about the bullying he faced in high school, and how he felt that it was important to stand up and be yourself, especially when placed in a position of having influence over the young fans of his TV show. Now, he’s an actor, producer, and author who focuses on telling stories about kids that are smart, kind, and don’t always fit in.
Elton John is the person on this list with the earliest public mention of his possible homosexuality. He told Rolling Stone magazine in 1976 that he was attracted to both men and women, and it wasn’t until 1988 that he clarified that he was gay.
Now, John says that he didn’t fully come out earlier because he thought that everyone already knew that he was gay. John has been married to his current partner David Furnish since 2005, they were one of the first couples to enter a legal civil partnership in the UK. Elton John is also the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which raises money to fund programs that prevent the spread of HIV.
Comedian Wanda Sykes had no intention of coming out to a crowd of people at a Proposition 8 rally in 2008. However, once she got up on the podium and started speaking from her heart, she could no longer hide the fact that she was personally invested in seeing the ban overturned.
Sykes has been married to her wife Alex since 2008, and came out publicly as both a lesbian and a married woman at the same time. She says that it took until she was 40 to come out to her mother, which led to a period of rockiness in their relationship before her mother accepted her sexuality.