Whether you identify as gay, bi, or pan yourself and love hearing about public figures living out and proudly, or you’re simply an ally looking to know more about the LGBT presence in Hollywood and beyond, there’s something heartwarming about learning a celebrity is gay or bi. Coming out is a personal decision made more complicated when under public scrutiny, and some of these figures worried that coming out will impact their ability to get future work. However, all of these figures have confirmed their orientations, often later in their careers or in support of gay rights worldwide.
Viral singing sensation Charice Pempengco first rose to prominence after an astounding performance on Oprah. The Filipino singer-songwriter kept quiet about her orientation and gender identity for years, possibly due to her Catholic upbringing. She came out in 2013, revealing she’d been in relationships with multiple women in the industry. Also that year, she debuted a more masculine look, telling Oprah her soul was male but that she had no plans to go forward with gender reassignment surgery or changing her identity.
Wentworth Miller III
Best known for the long-running series Prison Break, Wentworth Miller III struggled to hide his gay identity partly because of his association with macho action roles, even going so far as to deny it in 2007 in an interview with InStyle magazine. However, he came out in 2013 via GLAAD magazine’s website in solidarity with those protesting the treatment of LGBT citizens in Russia. He also revealed that he struggled as a teen with his identity and considered suicide.
While she doesn’t identify as lesbian or bisexual due to her dislike of labels, former Cosby Show child star Raven-Symone has confirmed she’s had multiple relationships with women and that she was attracted to both boys and girls since she was 12. Her girlfriend of several years was AzMarie Livingston, with whom she lived for a while, although they broke up in 2015.
Infamous for a drug-fueled breakdown several years ago and for living with multiple girlfriends simultaneously, Charlie Sheen is actually bisexual and has had relationships with men. According to GLAAD magazine, he even went so far as to confirm to them that he’s been with men in 2013 in a campaign to promote gay rights but asked that his announcement be pulled at the last minute. There are rumors of a sex tape of Sheen with a man as well.
The more open and accepting Hollywood and other arenas for celebrities such as the music and sports industries are, the more open the country and world as a whole may be toward LGBT people of all walks of life. While no public figure should feel pressured to come out, they can actually do more to help campaign for gay rights and acceptance because of their public status. At the same time, they have a right to privacy about the details of their relationships.