The star of the 2014 Broadway revival of Pippin was one of the first LGBT people to make an "It Gets Better" video as part of Dan Savage's video campaign to help at-risk LGBT youth.
TV Anchor & Journalist
"I am a happy, healthy, gainfully employed, educated and married man. And yes, I am gay." (MSNBC)
Actor, Author & TV Host
"I didn't release a statement to them, but at the first How I Met Your Mother barbecue I brought David. I feel like it's important to be proud of who you are, so I didn't feel like, 'I should bring my friend Stephanie to this barbecue, or I'll lose my job.' Thankfully, I live in a time where I don't have to worry about that." (Out)
In 2014, crooner Sam Smith told The Fader that his debut LP In The Lonely Hour was about an unrequited love with a guy. "It's all there now, and I can move on and hopefully find a guy who can love me the way I love him."
Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn came out in Rolling Stone in 2014. "Right before the issue was released, I had a purging of all the fear and toxicity that had accumulated over my entire life. I literally wound up in the emergency room, thinking I was having a heart attack." (Out)
The provocative gay fashion designer has a fun side. "In college, friends would invite me to fashion parties," Wang told Out in 2014. "I had just moved to New York and wanted to see people and investigate the scene or whatever. After a while, it gets old. You see the same people over and over again standing around in a white loft with champagne. It's a traveling crowd. What is there to look forward to? I want to have fun and dance and party."
The filmmaker behind Mysterious Skin keeps people guessing. "I have a male partner - we've been together for three years - but I don't really identify. I'd probably identify as gay at this point, but I have been with women." (Out)
Actor & Playwright
"It's an experience I'd like to add to the chorus that these blue-collar, macho men, like my older brother, had the capacity to say: 'I don't care, I love you anyway.'" (Metro)
Actor & Activist
"It was never an issue ... I never felt 'in' so it didn't feel like it was terribly difficult to be 'out.' Good actors come from a place of truth and to me it just felt like I needed to have my cards on the table. It wouldn't have felt comfortable for me to be hiding a piece of myself." (Winnipeg Free Press)
"Something as simple as standing at that dinner and saying, 'I'm gay,' creates so may emotions I've never felt before. I didn't do it earlier because of fear, and, bottom line, it was all in my head. I was seduced by fear, and I was sabotaging most of my life." (Out)
The British actor was cagey about his sexuality until 2014, when he told Out that there had been no need to fear coming out. "It's hard to have a conversation with people you've known your whole life about a very intimate thing."
"Now I'm walking with pride. If people recognise me now they maybe recognise me as a rugby player or an inspiring proud gay man. I'm proud to be recognised for who I am." (Mirror)
Actor & Activist
A spokesperson for GLAAD, Cruz has spent his career as an out gay actor pushing for better LGBT representation on TV. "Yes, we have more GLBT characters. My issues are: What are those characters doing on those shows? Are they just saying so-and-so is gay, and then we don't actually deal with the fact that they're gay? We don't actually see them have a partner or even see their lives." (Out)
Writer, Director, Producer
The man behind 2011's gay indie love story Weekend, Andrew Haigh was the executive producer of HBO's Looking. Even though the show was cancelled after only two seasons, it resonated with many audiences for its unflinching honesty. Photo: JUCO for Out
When the Sherlock actor studied for his role as a KGB spy in the BBC2 drama Legacy, he practiced his Russian accent by watching videos of Vladimir Putin. "But then Putin introduced anti-gay legislation this summer," Scott told The Independent in 2013, "So, being a gay person, I switched to Rudolf Nureyev videos instead. It was another Nureyev defection of sorts!" (The Independent)
Actor & Model
"I don't think there was ever a decision that I was going to represent the underrepresented black gay man in America. I met with casting directors who were responding to calls and the characters I played were the roles. There were a lot of lessons about what people expected of us as black gay men, and I learned to have a thick skin about how black gay men are representing themselves. Everyone has an idea of what we should look like." (Salon)
In 2009, The Advocate asked Gavin Creel, the Broadway actor known for his performances in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hair, when he had decided to come out publicly. "About a month and a half ago," he said. "I was like, I'm too old for this shit. I love my life, I love my friends, and I love my family, so I decided it didn't really matter. I'll give you that information, but that's as much as I'd give anybody; the private stuff is private. I also want to be able to get married legally, and it doesn't make any sense for me to parade around trying to get marriage equality while not being open about who I am. It doesn't inspire young men and women struggling with their own sexuality to be confident in who they are if I'm not confident in who I am. And if I whisper about it, then I give other people the power to whisper about it, and there's nothing wrong with it. I definitely want to get louder." (The Advocate)
"My ideal fantasy of great success would be to have a very diverse crowd, like a mosh pit of everyone; gay, black and Latino." (Bullett)
The gay albino model has challenged traditional beauty standards at every stage of his burgeoning career. When he walked in New York Fashion Week in 2013, he used the hashtag #InMySkinIWin across his social media. Ross recently broke the Internet with a massive prosthetic penis in the music video "Dust" by BRÅVES
Athlete & Activist
When the out speed skater went to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, he had no plans to hide his sexuality - especially in the face of Vladimir Putin's so-called "gay propaganda" laws. "I was in the closet for a long time and who I am now is who I really am and who I always will be and I'm not going to tone down or change who I am just because I go to a different country. If it gets me in trouble, I guess so be it." (Out)
The out singer Eli Lieb won hearts with his gay love songs and music videos - primarily "Young Love". "When I set out to make the video, I didn't set out to make a gay themed video," the singer told Gay Star News in 2013. "I just wanted to make a video that was an authentic representation of who I am and an authentic representation of love that everyone feels."
Olympian diver Matthew Mitcham first came out at age 16 in the Sydney Morning Herald. The headline read: "Out, proud and ready to go for gold" - and that's exactly what he did. Mitcham was the first openly gay gold medalist after recording the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. Photo by John MCrae
Ballet Dancer & Performer
A dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, James Whiteside moonlights as his pop star alter-ego, JbDUBS, and performs with his longtime boyfriend Milk - a.k.a. Dan Donigan - a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. In 2014, he told Gayletter, "I've always been out, so to speak. I never thought that there would be any other way."
The Canadian actor came out publicly in 2008 after years of speculation regarding his sexuality. Best known for his role as gay character Scotty Wandell on ABC's Brothers & Sisters, the actor told The [Toronto] Globe and Mail, "There is this desire in L.A. to wonder who you are, and wheat's been blaring for me for the last three years is how I can be most authentic to myself, so this is the first time I am speaking about it in this way."
"I don't mean to sound trite when I say this, but the single most important thing that we can do as LGBT people is to come out." (Advocate)
Actor & Dancer
Star of Broadway's Matilda and the gay dance drama Five Dances, Ryan Steele does not shy away from onscreen physicality. "Dancers have a certain amount of comfort that's a little weird to normal people," he told Out in 2013. "We're physical people. We're always changing in front of each other. There are no secrets in a dance company."
The former lead singer for R.E.M. has been living openly for more than two decades. Reflecting on his 20 years as a self-identifying queer man in 2014 in The Guardian, Stipe writes, "What I feel we have arrived at with all this, is that queerness – as I am happy to call an all-embracing, foundational tenet – is really a state of mind brought about by an understanding: it is understanding difference, accepting your own truth, desire and identity, and lovely, lovely choice."
His fans include Michelle Obama to Demi Moore to Oprah Winfrey. The young fashion designer from Nepal made his start working for Donna Karan, and now he has his own fashion label. His heart still belongs to his home country ,and when Nepal was hit with a massive earthquake in 2014, Gurung raised more than $600,000 in relief funds. "I was grateful and humbled by the unwavering support and love that I got from everyone, especially the fashion industry," he told Out in in 2015. "It was humanity at its best."
Designer & TV Personality
When The Nate Berkus Show premiered in September of 2010, the home makeover designer became the first openly gay man to host a nationally syndicated daily TV program. "My sexuality is something I never really hid," he told Out the same year. "It wasn't a situation of wondering if people were going to start digging into my personal life because we've already done that."
Known for playing an affable drug dealer on Weeds and a gay nurse on NBC's short-lived Mercy, Diaz has never shied away from dark and sexy gigs. In an interview with The Advocate in 2012, he described his nude photoshoot in the gay magazine Pinups. "I'd never heard of the magazine," recalled Díaz, who met Pinups' creator and photographer Christopher Schulz at a party. "I was like, ‘When are you going to shoot me?' And he asked, ‘You want to do it?' I said, ‘Yeah, let's do it. I want to be naked in a magazine.' "
The openly gay former frontman of Scissor Sisters first came out at age 15 – which according to an interview on Rucomingout.com, went badly. "There was never a question about whether we would be open about our sexuality because right away there was a dialogue happening in our lyrics that dealt with gay body image, coming out, pro sex-work, etc.," Shears told the website in 2012. "It was already part of the band so there was really no avoiding it."
The gay actor is best known for his groundbreaking role as the HIV-positive gay character Oliver on How To Get Away With Murder, where he brought discussions of HIV and PrEP to mass TV audiences. "It's a huge honor to be able to bring this back into the consciousness," Ricamora told Plus in 2015. "I remember growing up in the '90s, it was such a big educational topic.… [But] in the last couple of years, it's slid out of the consciousness of mainstream America."
Zebra Kats - a.k.a. Ojay Morgan - is the black and queer rapper known for the underground hit "Ima Read," which echoes New York ballroom culture. "Creating a strong, black, other, queer male is something that really needed to happen because you don't see that that often, especially not in hip-hop," he told The Guardian in 2013
Tom Daley is the youngest gold medalist to compete in the European Games and is Britain's youngest world champion. After his engagement to Oscar-winning activist Dustin Lance Black in 2015, he spoke to The Guardian about his 2013 coming-out on YouTube, which went viral. ""It was more a case of, ‘Oh screw it. I don't care what people think. I'll do my own thing. I can still dive, I can still do what I want to do.'"
Actor & Musician
"People may have said, "The dude's gay; how are we going to market this?" But it's not an issue for me, because being out is very freeing." (The Backlot)
The Doctor Who actor recalled his early years in a coming-out interview on Rucomingout.com in 2014: "When I was around 15, I remember staying up late each week to watch Queer As Folk. There was Nathan going through the exact same thing I was, albeit on a slightly grander scale! Seeing Stuart, Vince and co getting on with their lives and being successful and happy really helped me come to terms with my sexuality. It was definitely a turning point for me."
Aiden Shaw is one of the most famous former gay porn stars in the world, but today he is more known for his writing. His memoir My Undoing and his tell-all Sordid Truths chronicle his rise into drugs and prostitution until the fated day he was photographed by gay adult film legend Chi Chi La Rue in Los Angeles, which launched him into international fame. Shaw dates the old fashioned way: "That's what I like about meeting people on the street," he told Butt magazine in a 2009 interview. "Call it old-school, but I like to see the way people move and the way they hold themselves and the way they interact."
Matt Doyle, Broadway star from Bye Bye Birdie and from the TV show Gossip Girl, keeps a blog that gets personal at times. "Every day, I walk by the many kids that go school here in Midtown Manhattan. I see bullying and name calling all the time. For the most part, it seems relatively harmless, especially when the kid being picked on can fight back a bit. I usually roll my eyes and keep walking, avoiding the after school energy of these 13 and 14 year olds. Today, however, I witnessed bullying of a different kind. The kind that churns your stomach and makes you truly angry. I was walking out of my building when I saw a group of boys throwing around and singling out another boy. When the victim tried to walk away, one of the others spat at him and called him a ‘faggot.' I yelled to the kids the only thing that could come to my mind, Don't use that word. Back off!'"
Model, Actor, Musician
The musician, underwear designer, and actor known for his roles in the Eating Out franchise has amassed a loyal social media following. He told his coming out story via YouTube in 2014.
Actor & Author
The elegant thespian and writer Alan Cumming, known for his roles in the X-Men franchise and onstage in Broadway's Macbeth, went public with his bisexuality in 2014. ""Amazingly, in a funny way, I never had any shame about sexuality – I just never did. I never felt it as wrong." (Pink News)
Actor, Author, Producer
"I think with Kurt and Blaine, I would hope would set an example of what something should be and could be. You know, two people finding each other and really loving each other and wanting to give the world to each other." (E! Online)
Event Producer & Entrepreneur
Elias Cohen, Israel's biggest gay icon and party promoter, is known the world over for his scruffy good looks. He has made a career out of promoting Tel Aviv's gay scene. "In other cities there are gay neighborhoods, where the community may be more visible," he told Israel's Haaretz magazine. "But in comparison, Tel Aviv in its entirety is open to gays."
Israeli pop singer and half of the duo TYP - The Young Professionals - Ivri Lider had a chill coming-out at 24. "I was living with my mom, and one evening I didn't come home, and the next day she called from work and just said, ‘Is it a girl or a guy?' I said, ‘It's actually a guy,' and she said, ‘Oh, cool, there's pasta in the fridge.'" (Out)
The queer filmmaker behind I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats received a stamp of approval from the gay godfather of film, Gus Van Sant, who produced the Dolan's third film, Laurence Anyways. "I've never been coy about or ashamed of being gay, but I've been making a relentless effort, since the first scene of I Killed My Mother, to avoid claiming things," he told Out in 2013. "These movies are not fights for rights, they're movies."
Considered by many to be one of the greatest male dancers in the world, Hallberg cofounded the Live Out Loud organization to empower gay youth. "I was teased, made fun of, called every name in the book, et cetera, et cetera. Very typical American suburban upbringing. But I survived. I loved my art form from day one, even though I tried to hide the fact that I loved dance. But I have very vivid memories of what it felt like to struggle through American mainstream culture, feeling different and not being accepted for being different." (Metrosource) Photography by Bjorn Iooss
The songwriter and hip hop star came out in 2012 via a post on his Tumblr blog. "The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby," he said in a GQ interview. "It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn't been happy in so long."
"I will not be defined or victimized by my orientation. Hallelooooooo!, It ain't a DISABILITY!! It's just a disposition ya'll. the only thing that makes it 'hard to deal with' is when folks be ignant bout it. Ha." (The Hollywood Reporter) Photo by David Roemer
The kiss that changed the NFL world. We hope to see Sam back on the playing field very soon. Photo: Richard Phibbs for Out magazine
Screenwriter & Activist
"Listening to Harvey Milk's recording gave me my life because for the very first time I heard a leader leading with hope not fear and that vision of hope included me. I didn't know it was possible to be out of the closet or to lead with anything other than fear. It gave me to hope to start living my life." (The Windy City Times)
Designer & Entrepreneur
The fashion designer has been openly gay for most of his career. Lately, he's been focused on identity - in particular, his identity apart from the accoutrements of celebrity and fame. "I think it was after the Caitlyn Jenner thing," he told The New York Times in 2015, "and I just said, like, can we just start calling people by their name? You know, not what they do for a living, not what their sexual preference is, not their age, not who they're related to. It's 2015. Just say, ‘Hi, I'm Caitlyn.' ‘Hi, I'm Marc.' It's not like, ‘I'm Marc, homosexual Jew from New York.' "
"I'm not going to lie and say it was a bed of roses. But with the gift of time and grace, my parents chose love. And I think it's important for people to know that. We always hear, ‘Oh, it gets better, it gets better,' and [then] so many people go, ‘No it doesn't.' I feel lucky to say that, yes, sometimes it does." (Out)
Businessman & Former Athlete
Billy Bean was named Major League Baseball's first "ambassador of inclusion" in 2014. "As a young man, I silently walked away from baseball for all the wrong reasons, and today I am truly humbled that the commissioner's office has brought me back to lead the effort on inclusion." (CNN)
Athlete & Activist
NBA center Jason Collins came out via a fearless self-penned article in Sports Illustrated. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
Thom Browne brought the tiny grey suit to 90s-era Los Angeles and ignited a menswear movement. The controversial fashion icon doesn't take himself too seriously. "Sometimes," he told GQ in a 2008 article, "I'm just, like, ‘Hey, let's put a guy in a skirt! It'll be funny! Won't that look great?' If I spent that much time thinking about everything, I'd never get anything done. I'm very instinctual. If I want to do something, I don't politically think about how it's going to be perceived. Everything I do is very personal, and I think about it a lot, but not as seriously as some people think."
The 30 Rock actor told Out in 2013, "I just celebrated my nine-year anniversary with my partner. It feels like a nice time to be celebrating something like that, especially on the heels of the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions."
Actor & Producer
The out Broadway performer teamed up with gay icon George Takei for Takei's musical Allegiance, but most people remember him for his performance as Wes on Glee. Reflecting on the hit musical show, Leung told Out, "Glee celebrates the underdog, and it was one of the first bold tellings of a teenage gay love story. I think people, especially young kids trying to come out, really connected to that."
When he came out in 2014, Gordon became the first openly gay player in division 1 men's college basketball. "I just didn't want to hide anymore, in any way," Gordon told ESPN that year. "I didn't want to have to lie or sneak. I've been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, 'Why not me?'"
Troye Sivan, who played James Howlett in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," told the world he was gay in a YouTube video in 2013, when he was 18. Who encouraged him to come out in such a public way? "Those people on YouTube, those brave, brave people on YouTube, without them, I don't really know where I'd be." (Huffington Post)
Musician & Producer
Andy Butler is the muscular DJ behind the New York house music collective Hercules and Love Affair. "We're the most gay, lesbian, transgender, multicultural band probably, rather than just being the 'gayest' band," he told Out in 2011. "In some ways, I'd just say we're the most authentic band out there. You can't box us into one thing or another."
Journalist, Talk Show Host & Activist
The outspoken LGBT writer and activist has never pulled a punch. "We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people," he told Out in 2012, "The same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation."
"The most important thing to me is that young people who are in a similar situation to me see my video and think maybe they can be who they want to be." (OutSports)
Dancer & Choreographer
"I'm a part of the gay community. From a very young age, I was always surrounded by it. I'm really blessed to have parents who are so open to it and so supportive of it. Growing up in musical theater, there [were] a lot of gay people around me. I always felt so comfortable in musical theater, in general, because it was like a big family and everyone was there because they loved it." (Out)
The Argentenian model had a rare chance to speak with Out during New York Fashion Week 2011 about his busy life as one of the fashion world's most coveted male models.
The puppy-faced Looking star can't imagine why anyone would think he is attractive. "I've got ratty curly hair. I've got sticky-out ears. I‘ve got a little troll nose. I'm like a little pale street urchin. I'm lucky that I've sort of aged well into my face. I don't think people are repelled by me. But one never sees how other people see you in a mirror at all - ever." (Out)
Stylist & TV Personality
On the eve of the launch of his own show, Bravo's It's a Brad, Brad World, the celebrity stylist and TV personality told Out, "Now that I have my own show, you get to see more of me, my personal life, including my boyfriend, and my family as well. Viewers get to see the real life of a gay couple and the ups and downs of becoming a stylist."
The Egyptian expatriate wrote a powerful op-ed in The Advocate in 2012 about the darkening social climate for LGBT people and other minorities: "I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay."
Actor & Musician
The cute and openly gay G.B.F. actor told Out in 2013 that he believed his character in the campy high school comedy broke the mold: "Usually, there's the one gay character who comes in, cracks a joke, and leaves, or he's overly bitchy or limited in the story line. I didn't feel Tanner was like that at all. Sometimes he's an antihero - not portrayed in the most flattering way - but he's down-to-earth and sincere."
Although the gay Aussie played a gay man on HBO's Looking, he does not believe that sexuality went into the show's casting at all. "I don't think it matters, or should matter, whether you're gay in real life, if you're playing a gay," he told Butt magazine in 2014. "But you gotta do your research, I mean, otherwise it's not believable. It's frustrating when you hear that gay actors don't get straight roles because of their sexuality."
Wilkas is known for his roles on small-circuit LGBT films like 2012's Gayby, a guest spot on HBO's Looking, and Logo's Eastsiders.
The musician behind the one-man queer sensation Perfume Genius has spoken openly about his past struggles with addiction and recovery which led to his music career - struggles that fans write to him about. "A lot of times people credit music and things that they listen to while they got over something. Somehow, that made them get better? But people don't give themselves enough credit! I mean, I didn't do anything! You know? I'm just cooing on the piano, and they're like, ‘You saved my life!' I'm like, ‘I'm pretty sure you did that.'" (Out)
The openly gay and unpredictable stage director behind the recent Broadway revival of Macbeth - in which Alan Cumming played all the roles - Tiffany believes theatre still holds a revolutionary quality. His Broadway hit Once grabbed eight Tony Awards in 2012. "I loved that kind of music being on Broadway," he says. "It's very unshowy - there are no glitter guns in the production. The more digitized life gets, the more excited I get about live performance acknowledging its live-ness." (Out)
"Even though when I watched [Will & Grace] I didn't feel like I'm Jack or I'm Will. I didn't feel like that was me on screen. But just that there was a show where people were gay and they were interacting with each other, I breathed a little sigh of relief. You don't feel as alone, like you're the only person." (The Daily Beast)
The designer for Calvin Klein womenswear opened up about his first time in New York in Interview magazine: "I was so naïve-really just so young in New York City. I arrived, and two weeks later it was Gay Pride and I had never seen anything like it. I come from a town of 2,000 people, and although I had lived in Rio for about three years prior to coming to the U.S., there was a lot of friction in New York, a lot of volume. It was the era of Reagan, and there was a lot of energy. You just felt like you belonged to some sort of movement bigger than yourself. It didn't take me long to learn and explore.
"Since the 1700's, music has been one of the few places where, even with an intolerant society, there's been freedom of expression. Even if it had to be more nuanced in certain cultures, and more discreet, music always gave an out - an opportunity for political and socio-political acceptance as far as sexuality is concerned. I still believe that is very much the case today." (Out)
Actor, Director, Producer
"If I wasn't open about who I am, and [was] careful about the roles I picked in fear of projecting anything, I would work so infrequently." (On Top)
The preppy New York designer regularly raises funds for the Gay Men's Health Crisis. "As a teenager who was just coming to terms with being gay, it was a terrible thing to hear about. Looking back, I think it probably kept me in the closet a little longer than I probably would have been if there weren't this mysterious new disease that was, at the time, explicitly linked to being gay. It really gave young gay people a reason to stay underground back then." (The Huffington Post)
Actor, Playwright & Singer
"I've worked with a lot of gay and lesbian organizations. I sit on the board of the Empire State Pride Agenda. I've also done a lot of work for Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS. I think it's important because, when we can be of service to others, it only enhances our lives. I've been helped a lot in my life." (TheaterMania)
The character actor known for his role in Titanic and Milk and a recurring role in CW's The Flash married his partner of 16 years, the artist Rainer Andreessen, in 2015.
"I saw a Christian therapist who, among many other beliefs, believed I'd be happier in a straight life. He didn't shame me for being gay. Most of the focus, we weren't even talking about my sexuality. But certainly his belief that I'd be living a happier life as a heterosexual was indeed harmful. In no way, shape, or form-I can't even believe I have to clarify this-do I condone ex-gay therapy. I think it's a horrible practice. There's no scientific basis for it. A person's sexuality is a part of who they are. And I certainly suffered for not having my sexuality affirmed." (Out)
Athlete & Entrepreneur
"There are a lot of Americans and people around the world who seem to hate the LGBT community," Rogers, openly gay man to compete in a top American professional sports league, told Out in 2015. "Until we are equal citizens like my brother and sisters, I feel responsible to use my position to raise awareness."
Actor & Screenwriter
"Let me be to someone else what no one was to me. Let me send a message to that kid, maybe in America, maybe someplace far overseas, maybe somewhere deep inside - a kid who is being targeted at home or at school or in the streets - that someone is watching and listening and caring, that there is an ‘us,' that there is a ‘we,' and that kid or teenager or adult is loved and they are not alone." (Out)
"I've never felt any reason to hide. When you're self-conscious about anything - your appearance, your age, your sexuality - it tends to be the first thing people notice. Everybody is a little self-conscious; It's what makes us human. If you accept who you are and achieve the level of comfort to own it and embrace it, people will allow you to be you. I've never hidden behind a façade, and because of that people have celebrated me for being the great swimmer that I was." (Outsports)
The designer described his engagement to his husband to Out in 2016: "Every Saturday morning we walk our dog, Bean, and one of us goes for coffee and the newspapers. On this particular Saturday, Seth went out, changed into a tuxedo, and put a 'Will you marry me?' collar on the dog. I said yes, of course, and was greeted by the Swarthmore a cappella group singing 'A Whole New World.' From there we went to Soho House for a surprise engagement brunch for 100 friends. The entire day was spectacular."
Activist & Athlete
"As a former professional athlete and a proud gay man, I have wanted to create a place for young athletes, no matter their sexual identity, to come together, play hard and focus on becoming better athletes and leaders." (Out)
"I consider myself to be masculine and feminine. I was born in Boston and had straight, butch brothers. I was in theater and had girlfriends," Risch told Out in 2015. "My goal as a kid was to be one of the first out gay actors to be cast and given straight roles. Well Neil Patrick Harris got there first."
YouTube Personality & Entrepreneur
The queer social commentator and social media wunderkind has become the figurehead of millennial LGBT people with a fiercely anti-bullying message. "When it comes to suicide prevention and crisis prevention, I can't stress how important it is to work through it, and get to that better moment, because the better moment will come. I was fortunate to reach that better moment, but so many people are not, and so to tell them that these resources are out there, even if they never call, is literally life saving." (Out)
"I came out right after I graduated high school. I don't think it came as a great surprise to my family -- I had been dancing around to the Grease 2 soundtrack forever, but I am really, really fortunate that my family was extremely accepting and extremely loving." (Out)
Actor, Producer, Director
"I felt supported at the time in a really profound way, by fans and people that just know me by my work. I think I'm in a really good place." (ABC News)
"I don't take this career for granted," Smollet told Out in 2016, "And I have been given a very special platform through Empire to speak on a weekly basis about love and truth and acceptance." (Out)
As the young head of Balmain, Rousteing has made waves in the fashion industry, in which he has encountered a shameful amount of racism. As a gay man of color, he has delivered the brand into the arena of pop culture. "I don't see myself as black or as white," he told Out, "Just human. When I was 11, I didn't realize my [adoptive] parents were white. My parents taught me when you are their child they love you. People in school told me, ‘You are a bastard. You are black, and your parents are white.' I didn't know there was a problem." (Out)
News Anchor & Journalist
"The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," (Huffington Post)
Producer & TV Personality
"If you look at my life before I went into television, the struggle I went through coming out would be surprising to most people, given how comfortable and how out I am being the only late-night gay talk-show host." (Brainy Quote)
Actor & TV Personality
Neil Patrick Harris' blue-eyed husband recounted the couple's courtship in Out: "Even on that first date, we talked about kids. If he hadn't wanted kids, I don't think we'd be together. I always thought that family was the most important thing in life, and no matter what I do, whether being a chef or an actor or a dancer, being a dad is what I do best."
Comedian, Author & TV Personality
"I'm just more comfortable with myself now, It's taken me until I'm 42 to begin to feel this way." (Philly Mag)
Designer, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur
The chic menswear designer has been with his partner Richard Buckley for more than two decades. Describing the couple's initial courtship, Ford told Out in 2014, "You can look at someone and feel like you've known him forever. The first night I ever had drinks with Richard I felt I knew everything about him. He has the wildest eyes - like an Alaskan husky. They're not blue, they're not gray, they're a color you've never seen before - they approach silver. They give away absolutely nothing, yet they are completely mesmerizing."
"I just love being cast… I love playing gay characters. I think it's fantastic that there have been these rich gay characters for me to do… They're fully-formed people, with points of view, and something different to bring to the story." (Queerty)
"I'm hoping to be able to make a difference. It's very important to me that people understand that someone's sexual preference doesn't really matter." (EurWeb)