56 celebrities you didn’t know are gay, bisexual or lesbian
Some celebrities come out publicly as LGBTQ+ to big fanfare, but others may have been out for years or may have come out quietly.
PinkNews brings you a list of 56 iconic stars who, even if they personally avoid labels, are still LGBTQ+ role models. Take a look through some of the celebrities that you might not know are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
1. Cara Delevingne
The Paper Towns actor and model has had high-profile relationships with women.
In July 2017 she said she doesn’t like being “pigeonholed” by people who insist on labelling her gay.
The Suicide Squad star has also been open about her battle with depression, with a view to opening up a dialogue on the subject.
2. Kate McKinnon
The Ghostbusters star was the first out lesbian member of the Saturday Night Live cast. She says that she realised she was a lesbian after watching Gillian Anderson as Scully on the The X-Files.
“I figured it out by watching The X-Files and by noticing my physiological reaction to it,” she said.
“I thought at first my physiological reaction was a product of David Duchovny’s face but no, it was Gillian Anderson-who still is the queen of my heart. So I knew then.”
3. Cameron Diaz
The Charlie’s Angels star said in 2014: “All women have been sexually attracted to another woman at some point.”
Speaking to Andy Cohen later, Diaz expanded on her comments, saying: “Yes, I have been with a lady…You didn’t ask explicitly how I was with a lady, but I have been with a lady.”
4. Amandla Stenberg
Bodies Bodies Bodies star Amandla came out publicly as bisexual back in 2016.
On the subject of minorities being “silenced” she said: “As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman I’ve been through it, and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable.”
Stenberg made her film debut in 2011 in the film Colombiana before landing the role of Rue in the first The Hunger Games film alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
5. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has spoken publicly about her bisexuality for a long time.
Speaking to Jane magazine, the readers of which said she was the most attractive star, she said: “They’re right to think that about me because I’m the person most likely to sleep with my female fans. I genuinely love other women. And I think they know that.”
Back in 2014, Jolie, then married to Brad Pitt, announced her support for their ten-year-old to self-identify as male.
The former couple were criticised in 2012 after they wed, despite previously promising they would remain unmarried until marriage equality was realised across the US.
6. Gillian Anderson
As well as helping Kate McKinnon to realise her own sexual orientation, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson has also had relationships with women.
Back in 2014, years after revealing she had relationships with women, the Sex Education actress said she owed it to a late female partner not to keep their relationship a secret.
7. Amber Heard
The Danish Girl actor Amber Heard has been vocal about her bisexuality for years, saying her marriage to Johnny Depp didn’t define her sexuality.
She later spoke about an “obsession” with bisexuality in Hollywood.
Tabloid newspaper The Sun claimed in a sensational report that Heard’s “bisexual tendencies” and a close friendship with Cara Delevingne led to the breakdown of her marriage with Johnny Depp.
8. Daniel Newman
The Walking Dead star Daniel Newman, who played Daniel in the hit series, came out publicly as gay in an emotional reveal in early 2017.
In a touching YouTube video, he said a chance meeting with a girl at a homeless youth centre he was volunteering at had changed his mind about hiding his sexuality.
The actor, who has also appeared in The Vampire Diaries and Homeland said the girl had thanked him profusely for helping the LGBTQ+ community.
After he had questioned why she was thanking him, she said: “Because you’re straight.” That was the moment he said he knew he had to come out.
9. Drew Barrymore
The Santa Clarita Diet star came out as bisexual in 2003. She has been married three times, to Jeremy Thomas, Tom Green and Will Kopelman.
She told Contact Music: “Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual.”
10. Wentworth Miller
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller came out publicly as gay back in 2013 when he declined to attend a Russian film festival over the country’s introduction of its infamous anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law.
He has since used his prominence to speak out about his mental health issues and self-harm stemming from troubles with his sexuality.
Miller hit back at a follower who said he is not a “real man” back in 2016, and later starred in a powerful PSA about mental health issues.
11. Noah Schnapp
Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp came out publicly in January 2023.
The actor, who plays gay high school student Will Byers on the hit Netflix sci-fi series, shared his sexuality in a viral lipsync video that he shared with the caption: “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought.”
12. Holland Taylor
The veteran actor spoke about her sexuality back in 2015, saying she never needed to come out because she lives out.
She and American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson have since confirmed that they are in a long-term relationship together.
On coming out, she said: “No, I haven’t come out because I am out. I live out.”
13. Nyle DiMarco
America’s Next Top Model star DiMarco came out publicly in 2015, saying he is “sexually fluid”.
The model confirmed to his sexuality to his followers during a Twitter Q&A.
He later said he is glad to be deaf because it means he doesn’t have to listen to Donald Trump.
Back in 2009, Black Eyed Peas star Fergie confirmed she is bisexual, though adding she does love a “well-endowed man”.
The singer, who was married to actor Josh Duhamel from 2009 to 2019, told The Sun: “Put it this way, I’ve experimented definitely, but I have never had a steady girlfriend.”
15. Anna Paquin
The True Blood and X-Men star has been out publicly as bisexual since 2010. In 2012, she said bisexuality is “just part of who I am”.
After coming out, Paquin said she was proud to be a happily married bisexual mother, and said that her bisexuality really hadn’t been a secret.
16. Matt Bomer
The American Horror Story star has been out publicly as gay since 2012. He married his husband Simon Halls in 2011 and the couple have three children.
The Magic Mike star has previously shared his parents’ shocking reaction to finding out he was gay.
17. Jess Glynne
The ‘Rather Be’ singer came out publicly in 2015, saying she wanted to be honest with her fans.
The chart-topper had previously spoken of how her debut album, 2015’s I Cry When I Laugh, was inspired by breaking up with an ex-girlfriend.
The star later said she doesn’t want her honesty to mean she is branded as straight, lesbian or bisexual – instead, she wants to avoid labels altogether.
18. Tim Cook
The Apple CEO came out publicly as gay in 2014, three years after taking over from the late Steve Jobs.
Cook was even reportedly considered by Hillary Clinton as a possible running mate for her 2016 presidential bid.
In 2017, the Apple CEO won The Newseum Institute’s Free Speech Award for his work protecting LGBT rights.
19. Joel Grey
Cabaret star Joel Grey played the Emcee on Broadway and in the classic 1972 film adaptation starring Liza Minnelli.
The actor proved it’s never too late to come out, publicly confirming that he is gay back in 2015 at the age of 82.
In an interview with People magazine, he said: “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.
“All the people close to me have known for years who I am. [Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”
20. Kristian Nairn
Nairn, who played beloved Game of Thrones character Hodor, came out publicly as gay back in 2014.
He said: “Well, in all honesty, when you talk about ‘the gay community,’ you are talking about my community.”
Nairn later said he is happy to fight gay stereotypes: “It’s been everywhere, People, CNN, all the way down to the little local paper in Belfast. I don’t want to be a figurehead or anything, but if I can help one person, I’ll be happy.”
21. Michael Stipe
REM frontman Stipe opened up publicly in the 1990s about having relationships with men, before describing himself as queer in the early noughties.
In 2011, the year the band split, Stipe went on to say he was “80 percent gay”. He later said that he had been reluctant to get tested for HIV in the 1980s, during the height of the AIDS crisis, during the fear around the virus.
22. Aubrey Plaza
The White Lotus star Aubrey Plaza came out as bisexual back in 2016.
The actor, who played April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation, has said that she “falls in love with girls and guys”.
Her former Parks and Recreation co-star Natalie Morales came out as queer in July 2017.
23. Jason Collins
Collins later praised the NBA for moving its All Star game out of North Carolina over an anti-LGBTQ+ bathroom law.
Collins gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 as Hillary Clinton prepared to accept the party’s presidential nomination.
In his speech, Collins reveals that the Clintons knew he was gay before he told the world.
24. Cynthia Nixon
Sex and the City actor Nixon was in a relationship with teacher Danny Mozes from 1988-2003, with whom she shares one child, who she revealed in 2018 is transgender.
She began dating education activist Christine Marinoni in 2004, with the couple marrying in 2012.
The star caused controversy shortly before her marriage, when she claimed her sexuality was a choice.
While Sex and the City’s Miranda was portrayed as straight during the series’ initial TV run and first two films, the show’s 2021 revival series And Just Like That… saw the character come to a new understanding regarding her sexuality after beginning a romance with non-binary YouTuber Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez).
25. Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster came out publicly as gay in a speech at the 2013 Golden Globes, opening up about her partner.
A hilarious clip of Foster dealing with a heteronormative interviewer this year resurfaced and went viral.
The two-time Academy Award winner married Alexandra Hedison in 2014.
26. Ben Whishaw
London Spy star Ben Whishaw has been out as gay for some time. In 2016, he said he thought that keeping his sexuality a secret had a negative effect on his career.
“I’m not damaged,” Ben Whishaw told the Guardian. “Not more than anybody else.”
The actor, who played Q in four three James Bond films, later said he was “baffled” that there is even a debate around gay actors and whether they should come out.
That’s So Raven star Raven-Symoné came out publicly in 2014, confirming that she was dating a woman. but that she didn’t want to be “labelled gay”.
The actor and presenter later said she was made to hide her sexuality by Disney while managing her image.
28. Wanda Sykes
Comedian and actor Wanda Sykes came out publicly as a lesbian at a Prop 8 marriage equality rally back in 2008, shortly after marrying her wife, Alex Niedbalski.
She later said she never meant to come out, but that once she did she was “treated like a unicorn”.
29. Charlie Carver
Teen Wolf star Carver came out as gay in a five-page letter published on Instagram back in 2016.
He said that if forced to choose, he would rather quit acting rather than hide his sexuality.
30. Jake Zyrus
The Glee star came out publicly as trans in 2017, sharing his post-transition look and new name.
He appeared in Ryan Murphy’s hit musical series in its second season, starring in the role of Sunshine Corazon, a foreign exchange student.
Speaking to Philippino publication The Inquirer, Zyrus said transitioning was a natural process.
“I just went with the flow, as always,” he said. “I had to wait, because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”
31. Jim Parsons
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons came out publicly as gay in 2012, and later said it was “wonderful” to come out quietly.
During his time on the hit sitcom he was thought to be the highest paid out gay actor in Hollywood.
Parsons married his long-term partner Todd Spiewak in 2017.
32. Michelle Rodriguez
The Fast and the Furious actor Michelle Rodriguez came out publicly as bisexual back in 2013, saying she is “too curious not to be”.
Rodriguez got into some hot water when she defended her role in 2016’s controversial action film The Assignment, which saw her play an assassin who undergoes a ‘forced sex change’ at the hands of a crazed doctor, played by Sigourney Weaver.
33. Janet Mock
Pose producer Janet Mock came out publicly as transgender in 2011.
She is a New York Times bestselling author, journalist and TV host who often campaigns on trans rights.
In 2015, Mock said she would “unapologetically” embrace her identity.
34. Michael Sam
American footballer Michael Sam came out as gay in 2014 and was the first out gay NFL player to be drafted.
After coming out he had brief spells with the NFL’s St Louis Rams, the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
35. Ian Thorpe
Legendary Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe came out publicly as gay back in 2014 following years of tabloid speculation.
“I’ve wanted to [come out] for some time…” he explained during a TV interview. “I’m comfortable saying I’m a gay man.”
The Australian five-time Olympic gold medallist since spoken at length about about his reasons for not coming out publicly.
36. Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish came out publicly in Variety’s November 2023 cover story, with the “Bad Guy” hitmaker confirming that she is “physically attracted” to women.
The singer later told a Variety red carpet reporter that she doesn’t “believe” in the concept of coming out, stating: “I just don’t really believe in it. I’m just like, ‘Why can’t we just exist?’ I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I just didn’t talk about it. Whoops.
“But I saw the article and I was like, ‘Oh I guess I came out today.’ Okay, cool. It’s exciting to me because I guess people didn’t know. But it’s cool that they know. I am for the girls.”
Speaking to Attitude in 2019, the ‘TiK ToK’ singer said: “I never hid [my bisexuality] from anybody. I never had a moment of feeling I had to come out about it.
“It was always there. I think I had a conversation with a gay magazine in the US and they just asked me, ‘Oh, are you bisexual?’ and I was like, ‘Obviously!’”
38. Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho has included her bisexuality as a theme in her shows.
The comedian says she has had “a lot of experience in the area of polyamory and alternative sexuality in general”.
She discussed her sexual orientation in the 2002 show Notorious C.H.O.
39. Sarah Paulson
American Horror Story star Paulson has been out for years and has been in a relationship with actress Holland Taylor since 2015.
Paulson was named alongside Gavin Grimm and RuPaul as one of the most influential LGBTQ+ people by TIME magazine.
40. Miley Cyrus
The daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus first achieved fame as Disney Channel character Hannah Montana, but took a more singular path with her 2013 turning-point album Bangerz.
41. Zachary Quinto
Star Trek star Zachary Quinto came out publicly as gay in 2011, and has since said he thinks he gets more work since being open about his sexuality.
Quinto, who plays Spock in the rebooted Star Trek films, defended the decision to make Hikaru Sulu gay in 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond, after the character’s original actor George Takei said a new character should be introduced as queer.
Quninto has also said that other actors in the closet have come to him for help.
42. Bella Thorne
Disney star Bella Thorne came out publicly as bisexual in 2016 after posting a video on Snapchat of her kissing a woman.
She later confirmed her sexuality to a Twitter user who asked if she was bisexual, disclosing that she is.
43. Kristen Stewart
Before coming out, the actress had an on-again-off-again romance with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, but they broke up in 2012 amid tabloid rumours of infidelity.
44. Lindsay Lohan
The Mean Girls star had a tumultuous relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson between 2008 and 2009, when the couple were often spotted together in public.
After previously saying she did not want to “classify” her sexuality, she told Piers Morgan in 2013 that she still identifies as straight even after relationships with women, saying: “I know I’m straight. I have made out with girls before, and I had a relationship with a girl. But I think I needed to experience that and I think I was looking for something different.”
45. Marilyn Monroe
Despite marrying Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller and rumoured affairs with John F. Kennedy , Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, Monroe was also rumoured to have had relationships with women.
According to reports published after her death, Monroe’s feud with Joan Crawford started after a one-night stand and that she had a four-year relationship with Natasha Lytess, living “as man and wife” before her marriage to DiMaggio.
46. Mick Jagger
David Bowie’s ex-wife Angie has claimed that Jagger and the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ singer had more than just a close friendship.
Angie says she found the pair in bed together at their home, and a backup singer who lived with the Bowies also said that “Mick and David were really sexually obsessed with each other.”
47. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is best known for her on-again-off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, but was rumoured to be dating supermodel Cara Delevingne during a break with Bieber in 2014.
Gomez described the model as “very open” and said she made her “very open” herself. Asked whether she had questioned her sexuality, she said: “Oh, I think everybody does, no matter who they are. I do, yeah, of course. Absolutely. I think it’s healthy to gain a perspective on who you are deep down, question yourself and challenge yourself; it’s important to do that.”
P!nk has spoken openly about relationships with women in the past, saying she had a short-lived relationship with actor Kristanna Loken.
Speaking of the relationship since, the singer said: “People can say what they want, but I have good taste. I mean, look at her”, calling Loken “beautiful”.
49. Demi Lovato
The ‘Cool for the Summer’ singer identifies as bisexual and non-binary.
In a 2015 interview, Lovato said: “I don’t feel like any of my past or future — when it comes to relationships that may have happened or not have happened — are of any concern to anybody… By the way, love is fluid … Humans are humans, and when you connect with somebody on a spiritual level it doesn’t matter.”
50. Mara Wilson
The Matilda star came out ublicly back in 2016 in the wake of the Orlando Pulse massacre.
“I *used* to identify as mostly straight. I’ve embraced the Bi/Queer label lately,” said Wilson at the time.
She more recently called for more boring representation of bisexual people in film and television.
51. Tom Hardy
Speaking in an interview in 2010, Hardy confirmed that he had been with men as well as women.
“As a boy? Of course I have. I’m an actor for f**k’s sake,” he said.
“I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me.
“I’m done experimenting but there’s plenty of stuff in a relationship with another man, especially gay men, that I need in my life.”
Madonna has always been one of the most sexually-liberated figures in music, and has been romantically linked to several women over the years, including comedian Sandra Bernhard in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, model Jenny Shimizu has claimed she was “sex slave” and in a relationship with Madonna for years.
Writing in her memoir, Shimizu said she had been with Madonna for years, even when the press reported rumoured links between the Queen of Pop and men.
53. Jonathan Bailey
Jonathan Bailey is best-known for his role as dashing womaniser Anthony Bridgerton in hit Netflix period drama Bridgerton, but the star of Broadchurch and W1A is an out and proud gay man.
After first disclosing his sexuality publicly in 2018, Bailey later told the London Evening Standard: “I’d say I’m not openly gay. I’m just gay.”
The actor continued: “I knew that I wanted to be visible about my sexuality, because in all the territories that Netflix goes out in, there might be a boy somewhere that goes, “Wait, what?” Which is what I didn’t have when I was young.
“All I know is that I’m happy to keep working really hard and if there are opportunities for representation, and to make that point, then that’s something I’ll always strive to do.”
54. Chrissy Teigen
Teigen has been coy about possible relationships with women for years leading up to her marriage to John Legend.
Speaking to Andy Cohen, Teigen answered whether she had “swum in the lady pond”, saying: “Oh! Maybe doggy-paddled? Not full on swam.”
55. Hugh Hefner
The late Playboy mogul was rumoured to have been with men despite his penchant for women at the Playboy mansion, according to the biography Mr Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream.
“Hefner’s thirst for sexual experience became so strong that he even had a one-time homosexual experience,” wrote author Steven Watts. “One evening in downtown Chicago he was propositioned and, according to [Hefner’s friend Eldon] Sellers, he ‘thought, what the hell’. Found it an interesting experience.”
56. Charlize Theron
The Oscar-winning Monster star has spoken about being with women in her younger years.
Speaking to Andy Cohen, Theron said: “I mean, it’s so strange when we talk so much about it. It should be normalised by now… When I was young, yes. I feel when you’re young, you’re just kind of exploring it all, but it was pretty clear that I really liked dudes.”
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