The Top 10 Coolest Ways Famous Lesbians Came Out
For celebrities, especially those on-camera, it's harder than one would think to come out of the closet to the entire world. They have to deal with both the public response and subsequent fears of typecasting when it comes to movies and television. These famous lesbians are not only brave but also awesome in the way they chose to broke the news to the world. Behold this list of the Top 10 coolest ways these female gay celebs announced their orientation.
The list contains comedians and daytime talk show hosts like Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell, who not only came out of the closet in creative and amazing ways (via sitcom and via standup, respectively) but have since been vocal spokeswomen for the LGBT community. Many of these are also more recent than the '90s (when one thinks of Melissa Etheridge's unplanned announcement), such as Ellen Page's absolutely pitch-perfect coming out speech to the Human Rights Campaign in which she stated clearly, "I am gay." You go, girls!
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On a Sitcom
Ellen DeGeneres made history in her epic episode of the ABC sitcom "Ellen" in 1997 when her character came out of the closet. This was her extremely public admission to viewers that Ellen herself, not just the character, was a lesbian. Her show was canceled the following year. Jerry Falwell called her "Ellen DeGenerate."
Thankfully, she had Oprah by her side - not just in her real-life interview, but Oprah also stars as Ellen's therapist in the episode. The event made Ellen the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character in the history of television.
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In a Stand-Up Routine
Rosie O'Donnell has one of the coolest coming-outs ever because she did it on stage at the 2002 Ovarian Cancer Research benefit. At Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City, the then-talk show host said the words, "I'm a dyke!" O'Donnell lost her daytime talk show shortly thereafter, but she's since become a spokeswoman for women's rights and LGBT issues. She has also spent time as a host on The View.
- Photo: Craig O'Neal / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
At a Party
In January of 1993, Oscar and Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge came out publicly as a lesbian. The event was an inaugural bash for then-first time president, Bill Clinton. Etheridge grabbed the microphone and cited K.D. Lang as her inspiration. Etheridge went on to say, "I'm really proud to have been a lesbian all my life."
- Photo: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0
At the Golden Globes
To mixed reviews from LGBT activists, Jodie Foster delivered what many called a "sort-of coming out speech" while accepting the 2013 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award. Foster, the actress from "Taxi Driver" and director of "The Beaver," told the crowd, "I have a sudden urge to say something that I've never been able to air in public...I'm single." On the stage, she confirmed to the millions of viewers that she had already come out to everyone she met, just never on TV or in an interview before.
- Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
In a Facebook Note
Robin Roberts had been dating San Francisco massage therapist Amber Laign for ten years, but it was all very hush-hush when it came to the "Good Morning America" anchor's audience. But in 2013, Roberts made a post on Facebook and clicked the "Public" option that expressed her gratitude to her "long time girlfriend Amber." The public coming out was a year after President Obama announced his support for gay marriage in an interview with, wait for it, Robin Roberts.Though her sexuality was kept private, Roberts had been very public about her battles with breast cancer and a blood disorder, which in fact was what she was writing about in that public Facebook post when she expressed her gratitude to Amber as well as family, friends, doctors, and God and encouraged all to "reflect on what you are grateful for too." And for many in the LGBT community, they are grateful for Roberts' public announcement!
- Photo: Greg Hernandez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
At a Rally
Wanda Sykes nailed her coming out by doing it at the perfect event: a gay rights rally. Wanda Sykes' announcement of her lesbianism is awesome for the same reason as Melissa Etheridge: neither of them seemed to plan it at all. In yet another impromptu grabbing of the mic, the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star and comedienne (who later served as the comic at Obama's White House Correspondent's Dinner) said she came out of the closet out of a sense of political urgency. She said she "kind of shocked" herself and had "no intentions" of doing it. Sykes married a woman named Alex Niedbalski in 2008.