How These 10 Gay Celebrities Came Out: National Coming Out Day!

October 11th is National Coming Out Day.  It is a day for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies to celebrate coming out and also to try to encourage those who haven’t not yet come out, to make their voices heard.

And some of the voices we hear far and wide are those of celebrities, the icons who encourage, inspire and whom many embrace for their honesty abut their lives. This is the 24th annual National Coming Out Day, and to celebrate we’ve compiled ten gay and lesbian celebrity parents who have come out, several of them did so for their children, to send a message about being true to themselves.

Check out these ten openly gay and lesbian star parents and how and why they came out right here:

  • Neil Patrick Harris 1 of 10
    Neil Patrick Harris
    In 2006, before becoming a dad, Neil Patrick Harris came out in a very public way, in the pages of People Magazine. He wanted to squash the rumors that he was denying being gay. He told the magazine in a statement: "The public eye has always been kind to me, and until recently I have been able to live a pretty normal life. Now it seems there is speculation and interest in my private life and relationships. So, rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love."
    Source: People
  • Ricky Martin 2 of 10
    Ricky Martin
    Singing sensation Ricky Martin had rumors about his sexuality for years and years. Finally in 2010, Ricky Martin came out, he put on his website, "I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am." The inspiration for coming out to the world were his twins, Valentino and Matteo. He told Oprah, "I had to because I couldn't take it anymore," he says. "But who gave me that final push was definitely my children, because if I didn't come out for them, what was I going to be teaching them? How to lie? I don't want my family to be based on lies. I want to be transparent to them. I want them to be proud of their dad. I want them to be proud of themselves, of their family."
    Source: Oprah
  • Cynthia Nixon 3 of 10
    Cynthia Nixon
    Cynthia Nixon didn't have a big coming out party. But in 2004 in an interview she spoke of her wife, Christine Marinoni, saying: "In terms of sexual orientation I don't really feel I've changed ... 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. I'm just a woman in love with another woman."
    Source: Via Wonderwall
  • Matt Bomer 4 of 10
    Matt Bomer
    After oodles of rumors and speculation, White Collar star Matt Bomer finally came out at the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in early February when thanks his partner and kids saying, "I"d really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry," he told the crowd. "Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment."
    Source: Huffington Post
  • Elton John 5 of 10
    Elton John
    Elton John said of coming out that it, "gave me the freedom to be who I was for the rest of my life. I don't have to hide around corners. The worse thing is to be afraid of who you are - it's horrible."
    Source: Via Wonderwall
  • Wanda Sykes 6 of 10
    Wanda Sykes
    Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes came out at a gay rights rally in 2008. She boldly stated, "I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked -- our community was attacked. Now, I gotta get in their face. I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a black woman. And I'm proud to be gay."
    Source: Via After Ellen
  • Rosie O’ Donnell 7 of 10
    Rosie O' Donnell
    As ABC News said in a piece about Rosie O'Donnell, "There's no earth-shattering coming-out story." She said she realized she was gay when she was 18 but she never made a big public deal about her sexuality. But then she started to talk about being gay after adopting her first three children. "Part of the reason why I've never said that I was gay until now was because I didn't want that adjective assigned to my name for all of eternity. You know, gay Rosie O'Donnell."
    Source: Huffington Post
  • Clay Aiken 8 of 10
    Clay Aiken
    American Idol alum Clay Aiken had known he was gay since college but never officially came out until his son was born. He came out on the pages of People in 2008 saying, It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that."
    Source: People
  • Jillian Michaels 9 of 10
    Jillian Michaels
    Fitness trainer Jillian Michael came out very subtly, no big statement, no big hoopla. But the world got proof that she was indeed gay after the birth of her son Phoenix with partner Heidi Rhoades and the adoption of their daughter Lukensia.
    Source: People
  • Sara Gilbert 10 of 10
    Sara Gilbert
    After years of speculation and two children with her then partner Allison Adler, The Talk host "quietly" came out during a press conference before the debut of her talk show. When asked how she felt about being finally "out" she said, "This is a whole new world for me. I'm not an expert on this, or I don't analyze these things. I'm just sort of living my life." She added, "I don't think (being out) will be a problem... I don't ever really think of things as being out or in... I just think I am who I am."
    Source: Contact Music

Photos: PacificCoastNews and PR Photos


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