These celebrities came out in 2017 and we’re so happy they’re now living their truths.
Studies time and time again report how important being out and proud is. In fact, being open about your sexuality and gender identity can make you happier and healthier.
So we’ve profiled some of the best celebrity coming outs of 2017:
1. Keiynan Lonsdale, Flash actor
In a casual Instagram post, Keiynan Lonsdale came out as bisexual.
He wrote, very understatedly: ‘I like to change my hair, I like to take risks with how I dress. I like girls, & I like guys.’
He added: ‘[I’m] not apologising for falling in love with people no matter their gender.’
2. Dan Amboyer, Younger actor
Actor Dan Amboyder has been in plenty of things you’ll have watched: Younger, Law & Order and Person of Interest to name a few.
He also recently came out as gay and happily married.
On 7 October, he revealed to People: ‘Being a young actor in the industry, I had a lot of people who strongly advised me to stay quiet. That was hard to live with.
‘But I’ve never played a gay role before and I didn’t want to be limited by some strange perception.’
3. Gia Gunn, RuPaul’s Drag Race star
Drag Race star Gia Gunn came out as trans on 1 April. Fans celebrated
Then on 16 August, she celebrated her updated birth certificate which recognized her name and gender.
4. Aaron Carter, pop star
Singer Aaron Carter came out as bisexual in August. He explained coming out lifted off a ‘weight and burden I have held onto for a long time.’
In his coming out post, Carter continued: ‘I grew up in this entertainment industry at a very young age and when I was around 13-years-old I started to find boys and girls attractive.
‘There were years that went by that I thought about it, but it wasn’t until I was 17-years old, after a few relationships with girls, I had an experience with a male that I had an attraction to who I also worked with and grew up with,’ he said.
5. Hanne Gaby Odiele, model
Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele has walked the runway for Chanel, DKNY and Prada. She’s even appeared in Vogue.
The 29-year-old came out as intersex on 24 January.
She also announced her advocacy against Intersex Genital Mutilation. The model was told by her parents when she was 18 if she did not have the internal testes she was born with surgically removed, she ‘might develop cancer’ and ‘not develop as a normal female girl’.
And so, she did and then went on to have vaginal reconstructive surgery.
6. Brandon Flynn, 13 Reasons Why actor
Actor Brandon Flynn came out as part of the LGBTI community on 19 September.
He opened up while talking about the Australian postal survey regarding same-sex marriage after he spotted skywriting telling people to ‘vote no.’
Flynn explained: ‘We’ve been scared shitless our whole lives thanks to all the stigmas that surround us, stigmas that were set in place by the same kind of people who flew that plane over Sydney.
‘We’ve fought, we’ve come out bravely even in our fear, and you wrote a message in the sky because you’re scared. Equality takes courage, it worries me that too many people in this world lack the balls to stand up for what is right. #fuckhate.’
7. iLoveMakonnen, rapper
iLoveMakonnen publicly came out as gay in 2017.
He took to Twitter to announce: ‘I’m gay. And now I’ve told u about my life, maybe u can go (live) yours.’
iLoveMakonnen said: ‘since y’all love breaking news, here’s some old news to break.’
8. Haaz Sleiman, Nurse Jackie actor
Haaz Sleiman, actor from Nurse Jackie, publicly came out as gay… and a bottom this year.
He said in a Facebook video: ‘I am a gay, Muslim, Arab-American man,’ he states proudly. And then repeats.
He continues: ‘I’m going to take it even further – not only am I gay but I’m also a bottom.
‘Not only am I a bottom, but I’m also a total bottom, which means I like it up you-know-where,’ he said.
9. Sue Bird, basketball star
On 21 July, Basketball star Sue Bird came out as gay and also announced she is dating soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
She told ESPN: ‘I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend… These aren’t secrets to people who know me.’
10. Lil Peep, rapper
Rapper Lil Peep came out in the best and most casual way possible. He took to Twitter and simply wrote: ‘yes I’m bi sexual.’
A minute later, he then tweeted: ‘who wants a kiss’
Sadly, Lil Peep passed away from a toxic overdose of drugs last month. Sarah Stennett, CEO of First Access Entertainment, who partnered with Peep in early 2016 told Gay Star News: ‘This is so tragic.
‘I am shocked and heartbroken… He had big goals and dreams for the future,’ she said.
11. Mark Foster, swimmer
The six-time world champion swimmer came out as gay on 27 November.
At the age of 47, he told the Guardian: ‘It’s not like I’ve been pushed to come out.
‘I’ve just swerved and swerved. Telling half-truths and not being my true self is only hurting me
‘I’m 47, a middle-aged man, and I’m no longer competing. And I’m not the first gay sportsman to come out,’ he said.
12. Hansol, K-pop star
K-Pop star Hansol came out as asexual during a live-stream on Instagram in August.
Hansol, real name Kim Han-sol, explained: ‘I’m asexual… I just like myself. I’ll probably never get married. I just like my friends and family.’
The singer was a part of K-Pop group ToppDogg until this September, when he announced he was leaving to enlist in the army.
13. Colin Jackson, athlete
Olympic sprinter and hurdler Colin Jackson publicly came out as gay 26 August.
He had previously denied being gay, feeling that people wanted to ‘sensationalize it.’
Jackson came out this year while promoting a Swedish TV series called Rainbow Heroes. He came out because he felt ‘the way you asked me, it was a whole storytelling kind of thing and you were just interested in the way it affected me sports-wise, emotionally-wise and my preparation.’
14. Philippa York, cyclist
In July this year, Tour de France champ Philippa York came out as transgender.
The Scottish cyclist said: ‘For a considerable time now, I have lived as Philippa,’ she wrote in CyclingNews.
She continued: ‘As much as I’ve guarded my privacy over the years, there are a few, I believe obvious, reasons to why I haven’t had a public “image” since I transitioned.
15. Natalie Morales, Parks and Recreation actress
The Parks and Recreation actress came out as queer in July this year.
The 32-year-old revealed her sexuality for Pride month. Sharing a post on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls website, she tweeted: ‘I’m coming out. I want the world to know #PrideMonth.’
‘I don’t like labeling myself, or anyone else, but if it’s easier for you to understand me, what I’m saying is that I’m queer,’ she wrote on the website.
16. Theresa Goh, Paralympian
Paralympic medallist Theresa Goh came out as gay in June this year.
The 30-year-old was chosen as a public ambassador for Singapore’s Pink Dot pride event.
Growing up, Goh said: ‘When I looked in the papers, television or movies, I never saw anyone on a wheelchair, let alone someone on a wheelchair who is gay.’
17. Danny Watts, racing driver
Professional racing driver Danny Watts drove for 24 years before retiring, and then came out as gay.
Watts married a woman and had a son while he remained closeted.
He explained to GSN: ‘All the other guys in the paddock had girlfriends so I got one to blend in.
‘When that relationship ended, I got another one. So I continued pretending to be straight for 17 years.’
18. Honey G, X Factor star
This UK X Factor star came out as a lesbian in July, with a full sexy photoshoot spread.
She said: ‘I feel now is the right time to let everyone know that I’m gay.
When asked why she chose to wait until after her stint on the reality television show, Honey G said: ‘I was just a bit worried about people maybe being homophobic.
‘I wasn’t ready to come out to the public at that point,’ she added.
19. Ryan Jordan Santana, baseballer
This baseball player came out to the world live on TV on 24 April.
He came out on TLC’s series This Is Life Live. He said: ‘I feel like I struggled with it, and I know there are others struggling with their sexuality as well.
‘And I feel like I don’t want them to feel alone or by themselves. And I want to let them know they are not alone. I want to be some kind of outlet, a light,’ he said.
20. Shawn Barber, pole vaulter
We love it when Olympians come out and so celebrated when Shawn Barber came out this year!
The world champion pole vaulter came out on 24 April as gay.
When coming out as ‘gay and proud’, he thanked his parents for all their support.
21. Teddy Quinlivan, model
Model Teddy Quinlivan was applauded for coming out as trans this September.
By coming out, Quinlivan wants to help ‘share our humanity so that the world stops seeing us as “other.”’
In her statement, she said: ‘I want to help break the stigma of what it means to be transgender. We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect both under the law and in our daily lives. I will promote love, understanding, and acceptance of trans people.’
22. Greyson Chance, popstar
Greyson Chance rose to fame after featuring on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
The singer came out publicly on 19 July.
He waited before coming out as he was still ‘trying to find comfort and confidence within my own skin.’
23. Alia Shawkat, Arrested Development actress
Actress Alia Shakwat came out as bisexual in a candid interview about a movie she was staring in.
Shawkat spoke about her role in Paint It Black and reminisced questioning her sexuality as a child.
She explained: ‘I was a tomboy growing up, and I remember my mom asking me when I was 10, “Are you attracted to boys or girls?” I said I don’t know.
Now I consider myself bisexual, and I think balancing my male and female energies has been a big part of me growing as an actor.’
24. Anthony Bowens, wrestler
Anthony Bowens came out as bisexual on 9 January by posting a cute picture of him and his boyfriend to Instagram.
Bowens has spoken out since about the stigma around being bisexual.
When he first came out, he explained he looked forward to ‘changing perceptions and breaking stereotypes as I continue on my journey.’
25. Daniel Newman, Walking Dead actor
Actor of hit show The Walking Dead Daniel Newman came out as bisexual this year.
He spoke to GSN at the GLAAD gala days after coming out and explained: ‘I thought it was going to be a small little thing with some of my friends and fans and hoping some kids would possibly connect to me and I could make a difference in their lives,
‘It kind of took off and went global and became this big thing now,’ he said.
26. Shannon Purser, Stranger Things actress
Stranger Things and Riverdale actress Shannon Purser came out in April this year.
She took to Twitter to address queerbaiting accusations against Riverdale on 19 April and at the same time announced she was bisexual.
In Purser’s tweet, she explained: ‘I’ve only just recently come out as bisexual to my family and friends. It’s something I am still processing and trying to understand and I don’t like talking about it too much.’
27. Taylor Bennett, hip-hop artist
Twitter went crazy when Chance the Rapper’s younger brother, Taylor Bennett, came out as bisexual.
Bennett took to Twitter and came out in a thread of three tweets at the very start of the year (January).
He explained: ‘Growing up I’ve always felt indifferent about my sexuality & being attracted 2 one sex & today I would like to openly come out to my fans.
‘I do recognize myself as a bisexual male & do & have always openly supported the gay community & will keep doing so in 2017.’
28. Sharon-Rose Khumalo, model
South African beauty queen Sharon-Rose Khumalo came out as intersex in February 2017.
But she didn’t find out she was intersex until four years ago, when she turned 21.
She wrote in her blog: ‘Coming out to talk about this was me saying “Yes, I may be different from the next “girl” but there is nothing wrong with me and I have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of, because at times I felt like there was”.’
‘And know darling child, know that whatever you may be going through you don’t have to suffer in silence,’ she said.
29. Austin Armacost, model
American model Austin Armacost came out as asexual in January this year.
Armacost, who separated from his husband Jake Lees last year, described himself as a ‘very asexual person.’
‘I am probably in all honesty the least sexual people you will ever meet,’ he said. ‘As much as I love getting my kit off and showing my bum everywhere, I am like a nun in bed.’
30. *Dishonorable mention: Kevin Spacey*
The world was rocked this year when Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey came out as gay, in the midst of sexual assault allegations.
Star Trek star Anthony Rapp recounted a story from 1986 where Spacey picked him up ‘like a groom picks up the bride over the threshold.’
He continues: ‘I’m like, “What’s going on?” And then he lays down on top of me.’
Spacey apologized for the claims, but then also came out as gay in the same press statement.
He said: ‘I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I now choose to live as a gay man.’