Gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgender people started to gain more support in the 2000s. Actors, writers, and musicians have all publicly come out since 2000. Many famous LQBTQ+ people came out in the media, while others used tools like Facebook and Twitter to make their announcements. This list of celebrities who came out in the 2000s has been loosely ranked by fame and popularity.
Who is the most famous celebrity who came out in the 2000s? Rosie O'Donnell might be a candidate. She publicly came out in 2002 at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Carolines Comedy Club and has since been a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, marriage equality, and adoption rights.
Jodie Foster publicly came out in 2013 during her Golden Globes acceptance speech, saying, "I already did my coming out about 1,000 years ago back in the Stone Age, those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers, and then gradually and proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met."
Other celebs who came out since the new millennium include Wentworth Miller, Neil Patrick Harris, and Colton Haynes.
Noah Schnapp, who stars as Will Byers on Netflix hit Stranger Things, a character believed to be closeted himself, came out as gay on January 5, 2023.
The actor shared the news on TikTok, with a caption reading, “I guess I’m more similar to Will than I thought.” The text in the video says, ”When I finally told my friends and family I was gay after being scared in the closet for 18 years, and all they said was, ‘We know.’"
- Photo: The Crown / Netflix
Emma Corrin first came out as queer in April 2021, when they captioned an Instagram photo, “ur fave queer bride.”
Then, in an interview with Vogue shared on July 6, 2022, Corrin said, "I feel much more seen when I’m referred to as ‘they,’ but my closest friends, they will call me ‘she,’ and I don’t mind, because I know they know me. In my mind, gender just isn’t something that feels fixed and I don’t know if it ever will be; there might always be some fluidity there for me.”
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power writer Nate Stevenson came out via a comic shared on June 30, 2022.
Stevenson, who previously went by ND, began his comic with, "Hello! I have something to tell you! My name is Nate! And my pronouns are he/him!... But I am not (entirely) a boy.” Stevenson came out as nonbinary in 2020, and underwent top surgery (which he shared on Instagram in December 2020).
Leon Brown, the only child of Sister Wives stars Meri and Leon Brown, came out as transgender via an Instagram post shared on June 28, 2022:
“So here’s me, definitely not having almost any of my sh*t figured out, to let you know that I am trans. My name is Leon or Leo (I love both) and my pronouns are they/them. I remember the first time that I knew I wasn’t a girl. I was pretty young & unfortunately I grew up in a context that was incredibly gendered & restrictive. so I continued to be socialized as a girl & later a woman. And here’s the thing, I’m finally ready to share my favorite self with the world. And that self is incredibly genderqueer, trans, and unapologetic."
Leon is engaged to Audrey Kiss, who also came out as transgender in December 2021.
- Photo: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
Rebel Wilson came out while also introducing her girlfriend - Lemon Ve Limon founder, Ramona Agruma - in an Instagram post shared on June 9, 2022.
“I thought I was searching for a Disney Prince… but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess. #loveislove,” she captioned the photo of the couple.
The month before, Wilson had teased that she was in a happy relationship, without divulging with whom. “I was on and off on the Raya app, but this was a friend setup. He had known both of us for at least five years and he thought we would hit it off — and then we did," she said on the U Up podcast.
- Photo: Joe Seer / Shutterstock
Janelle Monáe came out as nonbinary during the April 21, 2022, Red Table Talk with co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
“I just don’t see myself as a woman solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.' And if I am from God, I am everything. But I just see everything that I am, beyond the binary.” However, the singer noted they would “always aways stand with women" and “always stand with Black women.”
Monáe had previously come out as pansexual in 2018, and prior to that, they had considered themself bisexual. However, they said pansexual fit more because they “see people's energy” before noticing how they present themselves, which “opens them up to fall in love with any beautiful spirit.”