Times have changed. More stars are out and proud and the list since pride grew by at least 19. My, how that list is different than when I was younger.
As a child growing up in the early ’80s, I was already aware of my sexuality but also knew it was something to keep to myself for the most part. That was just the way of the era, where boys played sports, girls wanted to be cheerleaders, and then some of us were considered artsy or ‘different.’
For us, gay role models in media were few. For example, Barry Manilow was not out at that time, even though some suspected he might be gay. Michael Jackson and Prince were somewhat ambiguous, though Prince was rumored to be bi, and Michael, well, he just seemed awkwardly asexual. In a groundbreaking move, Elton had come as bi-sexual years prior in a 1976 Rolling Stone magazine article, but new generations of young fans of the 80s were mostly unaware of it. The landscape of “out” artists was far from defined.
That said, openly gay rockstar, Freddie Mercury, was an anomaly for the time and then came Boy George, with his beautifully blurred line of androgyny. He caused a sensation when he admitted in an interview with Joan Rivers that he liked both men and women. It was quite shocking for parts of America and bold for the time – especially as the fear and stigma of the AIDS epidemic emerged. Being gay in the entertainment industry back then was something that could kill a career immediately.
Fast forward to 2020, and it’s such an incredible contrast to the era mentioned above. It’s been a slow but progressive climb over the decades, as the LGBTQ community and its allies continued to strive for inclusion and societal acceptance. The result is that today, young people have an abundance of high-profile LGBTQ examples, more than any other time in history. A recent article published by The Wrap highlights 19 celebrities who have come out since World Pride 2019.
As we look back over the decades, we’d be remiss if we did not acknowledge what and who got us here; the fearless entertainers who helped usher in a new era of positive, and in-your-face LGBTQ representation in the late ’80s and ’90s. Madonna, Sandra Bernhardt, Ellen DeGeneres, Rupert Everett, and Melissa Etheridge are among the most notable.
As for 2020, The Wrap shared a list of some new members to our family in LGBTQ Hollywood 2020: 19 Stars Who Have Come Out Since Last Year’s Pride. We will share some of the newbies here, but for the full list, head over to The Wrap.
Lil Nas X, African-American country music rapper is one of the most trailblazing out artists of his generation.
some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. 🌈🤩✨ pic.twitter.com/O9krBLllqQ
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
Connor Jessup The Canadian actor, who starred in “Falling Skies” and Netflix’s “Locke and Key,”
Dancer and actress Juliana Hough
Joshua Rush – former teenage Disney star
Stacy London – former “What Not to Wear” host
Rick Cosnett The star of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Quantico” and “The Flash”
There’s a handful of the 19 tallied by The Wrap. Check out The Wrap for its entire list.
The above contains opinions of one contributing writer and may not reflect the opinions of other writers or the magazine.