6 Of Our Favorite Celebrity Coming Out Stories
Though Pride Month officially came to a close, we want to honor some of the celebrities who have chosen to come out of the closet and live a life in light, freedom, and bravery. But we know it's not always black and white: while coming out is an incredibly pivotal moment in many queer people's lives, it is by no means the end of the journey. It's a delicate process, and one that is done after a lot of thought and contemplation. Being closeted does not mean being cowardly. Live your life at your own pace, and the rest will follow.
That being said, here are some individuals whose stories inspire members of the LGBTQ+ community to be vulnerable enough to live bravely. This is not exhaustive by any means—there are so many more beautiful, inspiring stories out there—but for now, here we go.
Actress Issa Pressman came out as bisexual in November of last year after formally introducing singer Marga Bermudez as her girlfriend. On her coming out to her family, the younger Pressman said: “For them, it was just, ‘If you’re happy with what you’re doing, if you think that what you’re doing is something that would make you happy, could make you happy, then go ahead.’”
Actress and R&B artist Janelle Monáe came out in the April 2018 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. The Hidden Figures actress initially identified as bisexual, but then later read about pansexuality, and thought, “These are things that I identify with too. I’m open to learning more about who I am.”
Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz hinted at his bisexuality through a letter to a LGBTQ+ community. After speculation from fans—he did say, after all, "I am bi your side"—he opened up to Billboard magazine in further detail. "Honestly," he said, "I didn’t realize [the letter] was going to be so telling. But I’ve had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife. It was like, ‘Wow, does that mean I am gay?’" His wife laid it out for him, he said. "She calls it ‘two spirit,’ which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman. I really like that.”
Angelina Mead King
Businesswoman and car enthusiast Angelina King—formerly known as Ian King—made the decision to come out in 2016 on her Instagram page. With a sly username change, switching "king" into "queen," Angelina made headlines across the country. “The truth will set me free. Trans woman. Thank you for all the love and support,” she wrote in her Instagram bio then. Since then, she and Joey Mead King have continued to live together happily—as wife and wife.
Ellen deGeneres, the daytime talk show host we all know and love, famously came out in the 90s through a TIME Magazine cover with the words “Yep, I’m Gay” plastered on the bottom left corner of the page. What followed after was interview after interview—first Oprah, then Diane Sawyer—and then a much talked-about coming out episode on Ellen’s eponymous sitcom. “The Puppy Episode” was watched by over 42 million viewers, easily becoming the show’s highest-rated episode. Speaking to Diane Sawyer two weeks before “The Puppy Episode” aired, Ellen said: “I decided this was not going to be something that I was going to live the rest of my life being ashamed of.”
Model and blogger Mari Jasmine came out in July of last year, after posting about Pride Month on her Instagram. “Pride is about celebrating love, equality, and owning your truth. So here’s mine: in the little time I’ve spent on this earth, I’ve had the privilege of being in love with both men and women,” she said, confirming her relationship with Baka Bukas and Billie & Emma director, Samantha Lee.
Photos from @angiemeadking @pressmanissa @portiaderossi