13 of the most read coming out stories of 2014

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

As 2014 draws to a close, PinkNews looks back on the coming out stories which have been most influential.

Readers often ask why we report on the comings out of influential figures and why it is still relevant. The answer, in part at least, is that young LGBT people need role models to look up to. As suicide rates among LGBT young people soar, and anti-gay climates are harboured in many countries, it is still a brave and a

Below are 13 of the most important coming out stories of 2014 (in no particular order)

1. Vicky Beeching – ‘God loves me just the way I am’

13 of the most read coming out stories of 2014

Christian Rock star Vicky Beeching came out as gay publicly for the first time in an interview in August, and spoke to PinkNews to say she hoped her coming out would help others to do the same.

In the interview, she talked about her background, growing up in Kent, first as part of the Pentecostal church, then the evangelical wing of the Church of England, but says she knew that she was attracted to women from the age of 12.

Tweeting, she wrote: “It’s taken all my courage, and all these years, for me to finally do this interview.”

2. US Conservative Rabbi Gil Steinlauf

Conservative Rabbi Gil Steinlauf came out as gay in a letter sent to congregants.

In the letter he wrote: “With much pain and tears, together with my beloved wife, I have come to understand that I could walk my path with the greatest strength, with the greatest peace in my heart, with the greatest healing and wholeness, when I finally acknowledged that I am a gay man.”

3. Emily Brothers – Labour Parliamentary Candidate

In a rare move, a British Parliamentary Candidate came out as transgender, in an interview with PinkNews.

Labour’s Emily Brothers –  who is standing for Parliament in Sutton and Cheam – opened up about being transgender in the interview.

Ms Brothers – who lost her sight to glaucoma as a child – was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people, and opened up about her gender transition for the first time.

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4. The world’s second strongest man

The world’s second strongest man came out as gay to an overwhelmingly positive response from fans and followers.

Rob Kearney, who at just 25 placed second in the World’s Strongest Man competition, publicly came out as gay, revealing that he has a boyfriend Joey Aleixo.

5. Sky Sports reporter: ‘I love football just the same as any straight guy’

Mark McAdam Social 2

Sky Sports correspondent Mark McAdam came out as gay, saying he battled with being gay for years, and that he thinks gay footballers don’t come out “because of the fear”.

6. Debbie Harry – ‘Let’s say women are more sensual…’

Blondie star Debbie Harry revealed she is bisexual and thinks “women are more sensual.”

The Heart of Glass singer told the Daily Mail that rumours about her past sexual relationships were all true, saying: “‘I don’t know if I have any specific requirements. Just somebody nice, who has a good sense of humour and loves to have sex. What more could you ask for?”

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7. Kellie Maloney

Kellie Maloney2

A controversial figure, Kellie Maloney came out as transgender The former boxing legend, and Lennox Lewis manager revealed in an interview with the Sunday Mirror that she felt she had always had a “female brain”, but that she feared coming out over how the boxing world would react. She later entered the Big Brother House.

Maloney, also a former UKIP candidate, told the BBC previously she would not campaign in the London borough of Camden, because there were “too many gays”.

8. Chilean sailor – ‘I have no reason to hide’

A sailor in Chile became the first serving member of the country’s armed forces to come out as gay back in August.

Mauricio Ruiz, 24, told a televised news conference his decision had “not been easy”, but he wanted to help fight homophobic discrimination.

9. Latvian Foreign Minister – ‘I am proud to be gay’

Latvia’s foreign minister came out as gay on his official Twitter page, announcing he is “proud to be gay”.

Edgars Rinkevics announced to his more than 13k followers that he wanted to “proudly announce” that he is gay.

Following the message the 41-year-old wrote: “Good luck all of you”.

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10. Legendary Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe

Ian Thorpe

The five-time Olympic gold medallist, 31, faced rumours about his sexuality for years, which he has always previously denied.

He last spoke about the rumours in 2012, saying: “For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I’m attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day.”

However, in an interview with Michael Parkinson, the swimming star revealed that though he has dated women in the past, he is gay.

11. Miss Spain 2013

The winner of Miss Spain 2013 revealed that she is gay.

Patricia Yurena Rodríguez, who won the modelling competition last year, posted a photo on Instagram with her partner, the Spanish DJ and singer Vanesa Klein, with the caption “Romeo and Juliet”

12. TOWIE’s Charlie King


Star of ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), Charlie King, came out as gay on national television.

The former TOWIE star, who was rumoured to be making a comeback on the show, came out as gay on ITV programme This Morning.

13. NFL hopeful Michael Sam

The player – who has had brief spells with the St Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys – made history as the first openly gay NFL player, though he is yet to play an on-season game.

He was drafted to the Rams in May this year, before being cut in August – and subsequently spent less than two months on the Cowboys practice team before being cut again in October.

He came out on 9 February 2014.