Entertainment

8 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1990s 

Celebrity Lists
Updated September 17, 2019 79.1k views 8 items

Gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transexual individuals started to gain more support in the 1990s. Although gay actors, writers, and musicians were winning popularity, many celebrities kept their sexuality hidden. However, several famous people came out as gay in the nineties. This list of gay celebrities who came out in the 1990s has been loosely ranked by fame and popularity. 

Who is the most famous person who came out in the 1990s? Ellen Degeneres tops our list. She famously came out in a Time magazine cover story in 1997, around the same time as her character Ellen Morgan did on the sitcom Ellen. The late George Michael was outed by the media after he was arrested for lewd conduct in 1998. He became an outspoken advocate for gay rights and AIDS research, and frequently performed benefit concerts to support these causes. He showed humor and humility after his arrest by mocking the incident with his music video for "Outside" and satirizing himself on the comedy special for the finale of Extras.

Do you think it would have been difficult to be openly gay in the '90s?

Ellen DeGeneres is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 8 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1990s
Photo: Toglenn/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Ellen DeGeneres famously came out as gay in a Time magazine cover story in 1997.

Age: 61

Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana, United States of America

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George Michael is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 8 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1990s
Photo:  Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

George Michael was outed by the media after he was arrested for lewd conduct in 1998. He became an outspoken advocate for gay rights and AIDS research, and frequently performed benefit concerts to support these causes. He showed humor and humility after his arrest by mocking the incident with his music video for "Outside" and satirizing himself on the comedy special for the finale of Extras.

Michael passed at age 53 in December 2016 from heart and liver disease.

Age: Dec. at 53

Birthplace: East Finchley, London, United Kingdom

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Melissa Etheridge is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 8 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1990s
Photo:  Craig ONeal/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Melissa Etheridge first came out in 1993 at the Triangle Ball, a gay celebration of President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. She is an outspoken advocate for gay rights and has never let society's judgments stop her from living her life the way she intended.

Age: 57

Birthplace: Leavenworth, Kansas, United States of America

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Nathan Lane is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 8 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1990s
Photo: Btvway/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Nathan Lane had been out to his family and friends since he was in his 20s, but he didn't come out as gay to the public until the late '90s. Lane has said he assumed everyone already knew, but he was inspired to publicly state he was gay to show his support for young men who are struggling to find the confidence to live an open life.

Age: 63

Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States of America

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