THE PINK LIST - ACTORS

For decades, coming out of the closet was considered career suicide for the stars of the silver screen. Now, almost fifty years on from Stonewall, the list of LGBT actors and actresses appearing in cinema is growing bigger and bigger, as performers no longer feel the need to keep their sexuality behind closed doors. These stars have public visibility, which has given LGBT people the icons they need, seeing themselves reflected on screen, just as straight people do in most films since the dawn of cinema. 

From classic Hollywood to the present day, The Pink Lens has compiled this list of the actors and actresses who have come out, or whose sexuality has been confirmed posthumously. From international megastars to European indie performers... get ready for THE PINK LIST!

DREW BARRYMORE

"Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual. I love a woman's body. I think a woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally - I love it."

Barrymore has been married to two men, but came out as bisexual in 2003. Since then, she has been outspoken in her support of the LGBT+ Community, though guarded about her own sexuality. 

Credits include: Never Been Kissed, Scream, Whip It, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The Wedding Singer, Donnie Darko

MARIA BELLO

"People are kinda still a bit puritanical, perhaps. People don't expect a woman to feel so open about her sexuality on screen. I think more actors are doing it and being open to that and not being afraid of it, so it's becoming less of a thing."

Bello came out as bisexual in 2013 proudly introducing the world to her same-sex partner, Clare Munn. She later wrote a book championing LGBT Rights entitled 'Whatever... Love Is Love: Questioning The Labels We Give Ourselves'. 

Credits include: A History Of Violence, Prisoners, Coyote Ugly, Thank You For Smoking, The Mummy 3

SANDRA BERNHARD

"Gay pride's beautiful. If somebody needs to be expressing that, then it's a positive thing."

Bernhard played one of the first openly gay characters on television starring in Roseanne, during which she also came out as bisexual. Since then, she has been a staunch supporter of LGBT Rights. 

Credits include: The King Of Comedy, Hudson Hawk, Wrongfully Accused, Without You I'm Nothing, Roseanne

DIRK BOGARDE

Despite never officially coming out, Bogarde is known to have spent most of his life living with his partner, Gareth Forwood. Despite starring in some of the earliest LGBT films, the British star would not come out as he felt this would limit his career. But his refusal to enter into a marriage of convenience to mask his sexual preference to the public is believed to be the reason his stardom waned in Hollywood. He died in 1999. 

Credits include: Death In Venice, Accident, Our Mother's House, Darling, The Servant, Victim 

MATT BOMER

"What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title—whether it's 'black actor,' a 'gay actor' or 'anything actor,' Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that's not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are. I hope the media and the press catches on to that because it's time to move out of 1992."

 

Bomer officially came out in an Awards acceptance speech in 2013, during which he thanked his partner, Simon, and three children. 

Credits include: The Normal Heart, Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL, American Horror Story, The Magnificent Seven

MARLON BRANDO

"Homosexuality is now so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me.” 

Brando was unusually outspoken about his experiences with other men and this list of those he supposedly had affairs with includes some of Hollywood's biggest names. Openly bisexual, he also had a long-standing intimate childhood friend, Wally Cox. 

Credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, On The Waterfront, Apocalypse Now, Superman, Last Tango In Paris

MONTGOMERY CLIFT

One of Hollywood's most tragic stars, Clift was involved in countless relationships with both men and women in the early days of his career. After a serious car accident, Clift fell heavily into substance abuse which, eventually, would kill him ten years later. Though he never officially came out publicly, biographers have confirmed his often suspected bisexuality. 

Credits include: From Here To Eternity, The Search, A Place In The Sun, The Young Lions, Suddenly Last Summer

LAVERNE COX

"I think transwomen, and transpeople in general, show everyone that you can define what it means to be a man or woman on your own terms. A lot of what feminism is about is moving outside of roles and moving outside of expectations of who and what you're supposed to be to live a more authentic life."

As the first openly transgender person to be nominated for Emmys, Cox has become one of the world's biggest trans icons. An outspoken advocate for Trans Rights, she was the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. 

Credits include: Orange Is The New Black, Grandma, The T Word, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again 

ALAN CUMMING

"I always think about a little gay boy in Wisconsin or a little lesbian in Arkansas seeing someone like me, and if I cannot be open in my life, how on earth can they?"

Cumming has been open about his bisexuality for most of his career and has been in a civil partnership with a man, artist Grant Shaffer, since 2006. He is also heavily involved with LGBT Rights organisations worldwide. 

Credits include: GoldenEye, X-Men 2, The Good Wife, Any Day Now

TIM CURRY

Although relatively quiet about his personal life, since exploding into the public sphere as iconic transvestite Dr Frank-N-Furter, British actor Curry has lived as an openly gay man throughout his career. 

 

Credits include: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Annie, Legend, Clue, Muppet Treasure Island, Home Alone 2, The Three Musketeers

ELLEN DEGENERES

"One time I actually cleaned out my closet so good I ended up on the cover of TIME magazine."

 

Though known most for her talk show and sitcom, Ellen, DeGeneres has become one of the most influential LGBT stars in Hollywood. Coming out on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, her sexuality made international news and her influence has since done much to change the way the US media deals with LGBT issues. She is married to actress Portia de Rossi and is one of only two openly LGBT people to have presented The Oscars to date. 

 

Credits include: Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Ellen, EDtv, If These Walls Could Talk 2

CARA DELEVINGNE

"It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognised that I had to accept it. Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall." 

 

Supermodel turned actress Delevingne's bisexuality has been the subject of much tabloid speculation, but the British star has been in a same-sex relationship with musician St. Vincent since 2016. 

Credits include: Suicide Squad, Paper Towns, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, Pan

PORTIA DE ROSSI

"My sexuality is a part of me that I really like. But it's not the totality of me."

 

Australian actress Portia de Rossi married US LGBT icon Ellen DeGeneres in 2008 and has lived openly as a lesbian since 2005. 

 

Credits include: Sirens, Scream 2, Scandal, Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, Nip/Tuck

THOMAS DEKKER

"If we are to stand strong in the gay community, our mission should be support, not exclusion; love, not shame. I choose not to look back on the past with a regretful heart but rather focus on the future with a hopeful one. A future where myself and all others can feel free to express their true selves with honor and dignity."

 

Dekker came out in 2017 after an Awards speech by Bryan Singer implicitly referred to his sexuality. In an open letter in response, he revealed that he is also married. 

 

Credits include: Kaboom, Heroes, My Sister's Keeper, A Nightmare On Elm Street, All About Evil, The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles 

MARLENE DIETRICH

A very early LGBT icon, bisexual German actress Dietrich enjoyed the openness of Weimar Berlin in the 1920s and early 30s, engaging in numerous affairs with both men and women. Dressed as a man in Morocco, her androgynous image made her a lesbian icon, although she was famously discrete about her personal life despite her numerous affairs with some of the biggest stars of Hollywood. She was also renowned for her rivalry with Greta Garbo, though there is now speculation that this resulted from a reported affair between the two. She died in 1992, aged 90. 

Credits include: Morocco, The Blue Angel, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is A Woman, Stage Fright 

DIVINE

"All my life I wanted to look like Elizabeth Taylor. Now Elizabeth Taylor looks like me".

 

The muse of seminal Queer filmmaker John Waters, this notorious drag queen became one of LGBT Cinema's earliest (and most enduring) stars. Struggling with obesity for most of his life, he died in 1988 with heart problems. An icon of trash and kitsch, he is one of the biggest cult figures of independent cinema. 

 

Credits include: Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Hairspray, Multiple Maniacs, Polyester, Lust In The Dust

LUKE EVANS

"Everybody knew me as a gay man, and in my life in London I never tried to hide it." 

Officially, Evans came out in 2002, but after followed a lengthy period during which his publicists attempted to conceal his sexuality. Early in his career, Evans was known as a gay theatre star, but upon breaking into cinema, he quickly went back into the closet. With articles that mentioned his sexuality suddenly unavailable, it appeared for a long time that the star's previous openness was being swept under the carpet. However, he has since come out officially, with him publicly acknowledging that he is gay in 2014.

 

Credits include: The Fast And Furious Series, The Hobbit Series, Beauty And The Beast, The Girl On The Train, Immortals, Robin Hood, Tamara Drewe

RUPERT EVERETT

"There's still a tremendous amount of homophobia in our culture. It's regrettable, it's stupid, it's heartless, and it's immoral, but there it is." 

 

British star Everett was one of the only openly gay actors in Hollywood for much of his career, which he has since claimed led to severe type-casting and he feels limited his career prospects. His role as Julia Roberts' GBF in My Best Friend's Wedding was a seminal moment for gay characters on screen however, portraying the archetypal suave and sophisticated gay man that dominated depictions of gay men for the next decade. 

 

Credits include: My Best Friend's Wedding, The Madness Of King George, An Ideal Husband, Shakespeare In Love, The Next Best Thing, Inspector Gadget, St. Trinians

HARVEY FIERSTEIN

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."

A juggernaut of American Theatre, Fierstein made the transition to film with the adaptation of his landmark gay play, Torch Song Trilogy. An ex-drag queen and outspoken advocate for LGBT Rights, he was outbin Hollywood at a time when very few others were. 

Credits include: Torch Song Trilogy, Mrs Doubtfire, Bullets Over Broadway, Independence Day, The Times Of Harvey Milk, Death To Smoochy

MEGAN FOX

“I have no question in my mind about being bisexual.”

Fox came out in 2009, though she has received criticism for using her sexuality as a marketing ploy. Similarly, she has spent her whole career insisting that she not be judged in her looks, but has also capitalised on them greatly through her choice of films and their subsequent publicity. 

 

Credits include: The Transformers Series, Jennifer's Body, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, This Is 40, The Dictator

STEPHEN FRY

"You think homosexuality is disgusting? Then, it follows as the night the day, that you find sex disgusting, for there is nothing done between two men or two women that is, by any objective standard, different from that which is done between a man and a woman."


British national treasure Fry rose to fame with comedy partner, Hugh Laurie. Outspoken about his sexuality his whole career, he spent sixteen years celibate but is now married to comedian Elliott Spencer. An international advocate for LGBT Rights he is one of the UK's most beloved media figures. 

 

Credits include: The Hobbit Series, Sherlock Holmes 2, Alice In Wonderland, V For Vendetta, Gosford Park, Wilde, Blackadder, Jeeves And Wooster, Gormenghast

VICTOR GARBER

Six-time Emmy nominee Garber came out as gay in 2012, revealing a 13 year relationship with artist Rainer Andreeson. Though open about his sexuality for most of his life, it is only now that it has been acknowledged publicly. 

Credits include: Titanic, Alias, Argo, Sicario, Sleepless In Seattle, Milk

JOHN GIELGUD

Gielgud acknowledged his male partner, Martin Hesler, in 1988, but decades prior, the most highly regarded actor in British theatre history caused a scandal when arrested in a public and convicted for persistently importuning men for immoral purposes' in 1953. Though a serious crime at the time, it did little to damage the star, but he refused to acknowledge his sexuality, saying to actor Simon Callow "I do admire people like you and Ian McKellen for coming out, but I can't be doing with that myself."

Credits include: Becket, Chimes At Midnight, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, Oh! What A Lovely War, Julius Caesar, Murder On The Orient Express, Chariots Of Fire, Gandhi, Elizabeth

JODIE FOSTER

"I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age. In those very fragile days when a fragile young girl would open up to family, coworkers, and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met." 

 

Double Oscar-winner Foster's sexuality was often the subject of tabloid speculation. Catapulted to fame as a child, she has lived most of her life shying away from the media, preferring to keep her personal life secret. Though she has never used the words "gay" or "lesbian" to describe herself, she publicly acknowledged her relationship with a woman in 2007 and then addressed coming out in a speech at the Golden Globes in 2013. She had been married to actress Alexandra Heddison since 2014. 

 

Credits include: The Silence Of The Lambs, The Accused, Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, Nell, Panic Room, Carnage 

JONATHAN GROFF

"The difference between being in the closet and out of the closet as a gay man is such a huge shift. I feel so connected still to that 22-year-old, but the idea that I was not open with that part of my life -- which I am now so open about -- is sort of surreal."

The Broadway stat turned screen actor came out publicly in 2009 and has since become one of the most prominent out LGBT actors in the US. His role as Patrick Murray in HBO's Looking also cemented his status as a strong role model for young gay men, for which he received countless accolades. 

 

Credits include: Looking, The Normal Heart, Frozen, Glee, American Sniper

ALEC GUINNESS

In 1947, British film and theatre star Guinness was arrested for cruising in a public toilet in Liverpool. He was convicted and fined for the crime, but the matter went unreported in the press due to his giving a false name. After that, he managed to ensure that his homosexuality was a closely guarded with his relationships only becoming public knowledge after his death in 2000. However, he is said to have "begged" Ian McKellen to fight for Gay Rights. 

Credits include: The Star Wars Series, Laurence Of Arabia, The Bridge On The River Kwai, Kind Hearts And Coronets, The Ladykillers, Doctor Zhivago

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS

"Being able to live my life transparently does empower me to feel like I can be myself more. It's easier for me to flirt with girls now that girls know that I'm gay. It almost makes it a sexier encounter than if I was trying to pretend that I was straight."

 

A star of film, TV and theatre, Harris has become a beloved comic actor in the US and around the world. He came out publicly as gay in 2006 and married his partner, David Burtka, in 2010, with whom he has two children. Decidedly visible as a family in Hollywood, they have become the most high profile non-traditional family in the US. He also hosted the Oscars in 2015. 

 

Credits Include: How I Met Your Mother, Gone Girl, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, The Smurfs, A Series Of Unfortunate Events

ROCK HUDSON

A heartthrob of classic Hollywood, Hudson's sexuality was a closely guarded secret throughout his career, with several tabloids and writers paid off to maintain his facade of the attainable boy next door. In his partnership with Doris Day he made scores of romantic comedies, but all the while living a riotous lifestyle that was an open secret within the confines of Hollywood. Contracting HIV in the early 80s, Hudson became the first high profile fatality of the disease, with his sexuality becoming public knowledge after his death in 1985. 

Credits include: Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers, Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, Giant, Tobruk

TAB HUNTER

“John Wayne treated me fine, but that macho stuff turns me off. It's not real.”

Matinee idol Hunter came out publicly in 2005 by confirming that he is gay in his autobiography, which went on to be a best seller. Rumours had circulated throughout his time in Hollywood, which he believes sabotaged his career. In a documentary about his life, it is confirmed that the Studios attempted to cover up his sexuality by linking him romantically to various actresses, even though he actually dated Anthony Perkins for over 30 years. He is now settled down with film producer, Allan Glaser.

CHEYENNE JACKSON

"I am amazed how quickly the press can turn on you. It’s especially true of the gay press at times."

 

A Broadway star turned screen actor, Jackson has been open about his sexuality throughout his career. Despite having struggled with addiction, his matinee idol looks and powerful voice have made him one of the biggest stage icons in the US. His recent transition to screen acting has coincided with his recent marriage to actor Jason Landau, with whom he has twin children. 

Credits include: United 93, Love Is Strange, American Horror Story, Behind The Candelabra, 30 Rock

DEREK JACOBI

"Ian McKellen had a candle for me. I had no idea I was breaking his heart.”

 

A stage giant turned screen star, Jacobi married his partner, Richard Clifford, in 2006. Having spent most of his career open about his sexuality, it is only in recent years that he has played a gay character on screen, playing opposite Ian McKellen in ITV's sitcom about a gay couple, Vicious. 

 

Credits include: I, Claudius, Gladiator, Little Dorrit, Breaking The Code, Dead Again, Gosford Park, The King's Speech, Vicious

ANGELINA JOLIE

"Honestly, I like everything. Boyish girls, girlish boys, the heavy and the skinny. Which is a problem when I'm walking down the street."

 

Hollywood megastar Jolie has been open about her bisexuality throughout her career. As well as her high-profile relationships with men, she has been open about her sexual experiences with women in the past. A crusader for women's rights, she is known for her widespread humanitarian works all around the world. 

 

Credits include: Maleficent, Changeling, Salt, Wanted, Mr & Mrs Smith, Girl Interrupted, Tomb Raider, Hackers, Gia, A Mighty Heart

NATHAN LANE

"There's not a day in my life I'm not proud of being gay, but I just wasn't ready for that attention to be placed on it. I remember being on Oprah. Well, not on Oprah. Near Oprah. She started saying, 'Now, Nathan, you got all those girlie moves going down in 'The Birdcage,' where's all that coming from? You're so good at all that girlie stuff!'"

 

Upon coming out, his mother responded "I would rather you were dead", to which he responded "I knew you'd understand." He came out publicly after the death of Mathew Shepard and has since been a vocal supporter of LGBT Rights and causes. He married theatre producer Devlin Elliott in 2015. 

 

Credits include: The Birdcage, The Lion King, Jeffrey, MouseHunt, The Producers, Modern Family, The Good Wife

JANE LYNCH

"A lot of people are curious why I'm a lesbian. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of Entourage!"

 

The star of Glee had a long career in film before rising to fame as the notorious sports coach, Sue Sylvester. An open lesbian, she has been open about her sexuality throughout her career. She married her partner in 2010, but they divorced three years later. 

Credits include; Glee, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Julie And Julia

MIRIAM MARGOLYES

"The curious thing is that I embraced homosexuality with as much joy and delight as I've embraced everything else in my life."

British comedienne Margolyes has been with her partner, professor Heather Sutherland, since 1967 and has been open about her sexuality for most of her career. Holding dual citizenship between the UK and Australia, she once caused controversy be referring to herself as a "dyke" in front of the Australian prime minister. 

Credits include: Romeo + Juliet, The Harry Potter Series, James And The Giant Peach, The Age Of Innocence, Little Dorrit, Babe, Cold Comfort Farm

IAN McKELLEN

"There is a fantasy as old as the modern gay rights movement that if all our skins turned lavender overnight, the majority, confounded by our numbers and our diversity, and recognising a few of our faces, would at once let go of prejudice forevermore."

Probably the most high profile LGBT person in the world, Sir Ian is a stage juggernaut turned screen actor with a plethora of awards to his name. Coming out in 1988 as a protest against the introduction of Section 28, he has been a champion of LGBT Rights ever since, using his international fame to speak out for these causes. Famously, he once had an audience with Michael Howard to lobby against Section 28. Howard refused but then asked for an autograph for his children, to which McKellen responded "Fuck off, I'm gay!"

Credits include: The Lord Of The Rings Series, The Hobbit Series, The X-Men Series, Gods And Monsters, Bent, Richard III, The Da Vinci Code, Mr Holmes, Beauty And The Beast

KATE McKINNON

"I tried for a short while to be something I wasn't and had no success with it. It's a practical solution to just be yourself."

McKinnon has been described as "Hollywood's Gay Test", as Saturday Night Live's most popular new face in a decade - and an out lesbian - is beginning her transition to film. Outspoken in her support of LGBT causes (she famously contested Hillary Clinton live on air about her slow acceptance of LGBT equality), her popularity on TV is beginning to filter across to cinema, but how far that will go is purely in Hollywood's hands to see if they are bold enough to present an out lesbian centre stage. 

Credits include: Ghostbusters, Sisters, Saturday Night Live, Ted 2

EZRA MILLER

"I think a lot of people are projecting their own troubles and fears concerning sexuality onto those around them, and it does result in the perpetuation of a lot of hateful notions. As long as I can remember, I've felt really horrified watching those dynamics play out."

Miller has fast become one of the most coveted young stars of indie cinema. Describing himself as Queer, he has stated that he doesn't believe in defining his sexuality further than that, having had experiences with people of both genders.

Credits include: We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Trainwreck, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, The DC Series 

SAL MINEO

Mineo described himself as bisexual due to his four year marriage with a woman, but since his death, many have claimed this marriage existed just to cover up his homosexuality. Whichever, he had been in a relationship with male actor Courtney Burr III for six years when he was murdered in a random attack on the street in LA. He reportedly had relationships with several high profile male stars of the 60s and 70s, though these have never been confirmed. 

Credits include: Rebel Without A Cause, Exodus, Giant, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

CYNTHIA NIXON

"In terms of sexual orientation I don't really feel I've changed. I don't feel there was a hidden part of my sexuality that I wasn't aware of. I'd been with men all my life, and I'd never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn't seem so strange."

Sex And The City actress Nixon is a fashion and lifestyle icon for an entire generation of women and gay men. In a relationship with a woman, she describes herself as "bisexual, but in a gay relationship". Dating since 2004, they were married in 2012 and they now have a son. 

Credits include: Sex And The City, Amadeus, Addams Family Values, Igbo Goes Down, The Big C

ROSIE O'DONNELL

"I want the same standard applied to homosexuals as is applied to heterosexuals."

American comedienne, TV personality and actress is one of the US' most famous out lesbians. She came out in 2002 on her talk show to highlight gay adoption issues. Since then, she has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT issues and rights. 

Credits include: The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Sleepless In Seattle, The Flintstones, When We Rise, Tarzan

DENIS O'HARE

"I somewhat resist the whole gay rights-vampire rights metaphor because it is fraught with problems. I don't want to be seen as a gay man as a blood-sucking killer."

Out gay actor O'Hare has been married to designer Hugo Redwood since 2011, with whom he has adopted a son. A character actor for most of his career, he has recently been catapulted to stardom due to his multiple roles in American Horror Story, including a drag queen named Elizabeth Taylor. 

Credits include: American Horror Story, Milk, Dallas Buyers Club, Changeling, Charlie Wilson's War, True Blood

LAURENCE OLIVIER

A juggernaut of film, stage and TV, Oscar-winning British Olivier is one of the most renowned actors in history. Married to Vivien Leigh, he was reported to have had numerous affairs with a string of Hollywood's biggest male stars, including (reportedly) Danny Kaye, Marlon Brando, James Dean and Noel Coward. 

Credits include: Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, Hamlet, Henry V, Richard III, Sleuth, Marathon Man, Spartacus, The Boys From Brazil 

ELLEN PAGE

"I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain."

Oscar nominated actress Page came out as a lesbian in 2014 during a speech at a Human Rights event and has since become an outspoken proponent of LGBT causes. Lauded as a role model for young LGBT people, she has walked the red carpet with her girlfriend, artist Samantha Thomas and is known for her candour in interviews about her sexuality. 

Credits include: Inception, Juno, Whip It, Hard Candy, The X-Men Series, Freeheld, To Rome With Love, An American Crime

ANNA PAQUIN

"I don't think (my bisexuality is) a past tense thing. Are you still straight if you are with somebody? If you were to break up with them or if they were to die, it doesn't prevent your sexuality from existing. It doesn't really work like that."

Oscar-winning child star turned adult scream queen, New Zealand actress Paquin has been open about her sexuality despite her marriage to True Blood costar Stephen Moyer, with whom she has four children. 

Credits include: The Piano, The X-Men Series, True Blood, Scream 4, Almost Famous, Amistad, Margaret, Finding Forrester

JIM PARSONS

A multiple Emmy Award-winning actor, Parsons' coming out story was wholly unsensational. In an article publicising his role in The Normal Heart, he was referred to as gay and in a ten year relationship with a man. He has since been lauded for his casual coming out, marking a change from the usual press fanfare that accompanies a star's disclosure of their sexuality. 

Credits include: The Big Bang Theory, The Normal Heart, Hidden Figures, Garden State

SARAH PAULSON

"All I can say is, I've done both, and I don't let either experience define me. I don't let having been with a man make me think I am heterosexual, or make me want to call myself that, because I know I have been attracted to women - and have lived with women."

Hollywood character actress turned American Horror Story icon, Paulson has been dating actress Holland Taylor since 2015 and was previously in a relationship with Cherry Jones. Though hesitant to define her sexuality, she is a strong supporter of LGBT visibility. 

Credits include: American Horror Story, Carol, 12 Years A Slave, Mud, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Serenity, The People vs. O.J. Simpson 

ANTHONY PERKINS

The Psycho star was notoriously shy about his personal life and is known to have engaged in only homosexual relationships until he was 39. At 41 he married a woman,  though was reportedly in a relatuionship with Tab Hunter for up to 30 years. He succumbed to AIDS in 1992. 

Credits include: The Psycho Series, Friendly Persuasion, The Trial, Phaedra, Fear Strikes Out, Murder On The Orient Express

ZACHARY QUINTO

"Our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country."

Known for his role as Spock in the rebooted Star Trek films, Quinto came out publicly in 2011 following the suicide of teen Jamey Rodemeyer, saying that his staying in the closet was doing nothing to help change the world's attitude toward LGBT people. He has since been an outspoken supporter and proponent of LGBT organisations. 

Credits include: The Star Trek Series, Heroes, I Am Michael, Snowden, Margin Call, American Horror Story, 24

MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ

“I’ve gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too fucking curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.”

American action star Rodriguez opened up about her sexuality in 2013, describing herself as bisexual. She has since publicly dated Cara Delevingne and has previously dated actors Vin Diesel, Olivier Martinez and, reportedly, Zac Efron. 

Credits include: Avatar, The Fast And Furious Series, Resident Evil Series, Machete, Machete Kills, Lost, The Assignment

ANDREW SCOTT

"Mercifully, these days people don't see being gay as a character flaw. But nor is it a virtue, like kindness. Or a talent, like playing the banjo. It's just a fact. Of course, it's part of my make-up, but I don't want to trade on it."

British rising star Scott has become the darling of critics for his roles on both stage and screen. Known by many as Moriarty, he has been open about his sexuality through this career. 

Credits include: Pride, Sherlock, Handsome Devil, Spectre, Denial, Alice Through The Looking Glass, The Hollow Crown

KRISTEN STEWART

"That whole certainty about whether you're straight or gay or whatever. You're not confused if you're bisexual. It's not confusing at all. For me, it's quite the opposite."

Rumours about Twilight star Stewart’s sexuality have been abundant for years, but in 2017 n she described herself as “so gay” on SNL and then stated she was bisexual in an interview. She was famously linked romantically with co-star Robert Pattinson, but has since dated women, including French singer Soko and model, Stella Maxwell.

Credits include: The Twilight Series, Adventureland, Snow White And The Huntsman, On The Road, Clouds Of Sils Maria, Still Alice, American Ultra, Personal Shopper

WANDA SYKES

“The government shouldn't be involved in this because it's very simple. If you don't believe in same-sex marriage, then don't marry somebody of the same sex.”

American comedienne Sykes came out as a lesbian in 2008 at a same-sex marriage rally in Las Vegas and she has since married her partner, Alex Niedbalski, with whom she became a parent of twins in 2009. After the passing of Proposition 8 in California, she became an outspoken activist about this and many other LGBT issues, for which she has regularly hosted fundraising events.

Credits include: The Wanda Sykes Show, Wanda At Large, Evan Almighty, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Over The Hedge, Monster-in-Law

GEORGE TAKEI

“I [have] a vibrant following among LGBT fans who have come to embrace my message of combatting idiocy with humor. It’s really hard to hate someone for being different when you’re too busy laughing together. So my early fans were also comprised of equality-minded activists ready to do battle against the ‘douchebags’ and bullies of the world.”

Star Trek icon Takei rose to fame as the Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman id the USS Enterprise. With a strong following amongst LGBT fans amongst whom his sexuality had long been an open secret, he came out publicly in 2005, prompted by Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of same-sex marriage legislation. Since then, he has become one of the most high profile LGBT celebrities in the US, especially due to his outspoken social media presence. In 2008, he and his partner Brad Altman were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood. They married soon after. Now a cult figure, his fame now is probably larger now than it ever was in the days he appeared on Star Trek.

Credits include: Star Trek, To Be Takei, Mulan, Larry Crowne

LILY TOMLIN

“I certainly never called a press conference or anything like that. [Back in the '70s,] people didn't write about it. Even if they knew, they would [refer to Jane as] "Lily's collaborator".”

Actress and comedienne Tomlin quietly came out in Hollywood, but did not allow it to be acknowledged publicly until after her mother’s death. She has since married her partner, writer Jane Wagner, whom she has been with since 1971.

Credits include: Nashville, 9 to 5, Grace And FGrankie, All Of Me, The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe, Short Cuts, The Celluloid Closet, Tea With Mussolini, I ♥ Huckabees, Grandma

RUSSELL TOVEY

“I sort of challenge people's perceptions of what a gay man is, which is kinda good.”

British star Tovey has become a controversial figure in the LGBT press. As an openly gay actor, he has always been a popular figure, but comments he made about effeminate gay men enraged many. He has since apologised, but maintains that he is proud that he is a masculine role model as an openly gay man in the mainstream media.

Credits include: Looking, The Pass, The History Boys, Tower Block, Pride, The Lady In The Van, Him & Her, Being Human, Gavin And Stacey

BEN WHISHAW

“As an actor you have total rights to privacy and mystery, whatever your sexuality, whatever you do. I don’t see why that has to be something you discuss openly because you do something in the public eye.”

British star of stage and screen Whishaw was reluctant to speak publicly of his sexuality for a long time. He came out upon entering a civil partnership with Australian composer Mark Bradshaw in 2012 and has since described his coming out out as tense, but “everyone was surprisingly lovely”.

Credits include: The James Bond Series, Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer, The Danish Girl, Paddington, Suffragette, Lilting, The Lobster, Cloud Atlas, Brideshead Revisited

EVAN RACHEL WOOD

"I thought women were beautiful, but because I was born that way I never once stopped to think that was strange or anything to fear."

Bisexual actress Wood found fame as a child star in several high profile movies; particularly as a young rebellious teen in the Oscar-nominated Thirteen. She famously dated Marilyn Manson, but is now married to actor Jamie Bell. She has also given speeches in support of LGBT Rights, in which she came out herself.

Credits include: Thirteen, The Wrestler, The Ides Of March, Westworld, Running With Scissors, Across The Universe

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Manchester, UK

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