13 Celebrities Who Decided to Come Out as LGBTQ+ Later in Life When They Were Truly Ready

year ago

A person’s sexual preference or gender should not be something to be ashamed of. Recognizing and coping with our inner selves are the basic pillars of happiness. The celebs who were brave enough to talk about their sexuality publicly have gone through the path of self-acceptance and become important figures within the LGBTQ+ community, as they’ve championed equality both on and offscreen.

1. Rebel Wilson at the age of 42

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Rebel Wilson came out to the public in June 2022 by sharing her latest romance in an Instagram post. In it, she said: “I thought I was searching for a Disney prince... but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney princess.” Just 2 years after ending her relationship with Jacob Bush, it seems like Wilson finally found true love.

2. Ian Mckellen at the age of 49

On one occasion, Ian McKellen gave a speech for pupils at Acland Burleigh School in North London. He shared his struggle growing up in an environment that was not familiar with who he is. “There was no Graham Norton on television at that time, no gay MPs, and no one talking about gay rights on the radio. So I dealt with it by trying to cut that part of myself off, to hide myself, to choke a part of me,” he explained during a speech to students. “I wish that every child, every teacher, and every person in this room could be free to be who they are, whatever their sexual orientation.”

McKellen met his second partner, Sean Mathias, in 1978, with whom he had been together for 10 years.

3. Sara Ramirez at the age of 41

EVERETT COLLECTION / East News, Invision / Invision / East News

The road to Sara Ramirez’s self-acceptance wasn’t an easy one, as it was filled with challenges and struggles, but fortunately, it ended up being one of joy. Ramirez says they now realize that they were non-binary from a young age, “I felt quite limited in the way that I could exist given that I was assigned female at birth.” Ramirez always felt the pressure of society was put on people, so they decided to come out as bisexual at the age of 41, and as non-binary at the age of 44.

4. Wanda Sykes at the age of 44

0000554 / Reporter / East News, ANGELA WEISS / AFP / East News

Her coming out happened at an equality rally in Las Vegas back in 2008 and it was not planned at all, but afterward, she had no regrets about it. Sykes was 40 when she came out to her parents, and 44 when she no longer kept being LGBTQ+ a secret before the eyes of the public.

5. Ricky Martin at the age of 40

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Everyone in Ricky Martin’s private life knew that he was gay. However, the famous singer hesitated about showing it off to his fans. He waited until he published his 2011 memoir. At first, he wasn’t sure about being different and was questioning himself. “I got to the place I was fighting as I was writing my book between saying, ’Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I gay? Am I bisexual?’” he said.

6. Cynthia Nixon at the age of 54

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Cynthia Nixon decided to clarify the misunderstandings about her sexuality at the age of 54 in an interview with Attitude Magazine, where Nixon was asked if she identified as lesbian or bisexual, but she said that neither of the 2 seemed “particularly right” for her, so she ended up identifying as queer.

Later on, she explained what queer is: “It was like, I have fallen in love with different people in my life and they’ve all been men before. Now, this is a woman and she is amazing. So I feel like ‘queer’ is an umbrella term, and it includes my formerly straight self too.”

7. Ellen DeGeneres at the age of 39

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Ellen DeGeneres’ iconic coming out wasn’t a usual everyday story. She came out as gay on her own ABC sitcom, making herself the first gay or lesbian character on a US network television show. Since that happened, she has come a long way in her career. As a 25-year anniversary celebration during an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she got candid and revealed how big of an impact that coming out had on her life and career.

8. Anderson Cooper at the age of 45

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Anderson Cooper shared that he had struggles with coming to terms with being gay, although he only came out 10 years ago, he already knew at the age of 6 that something was different with him. Cooper also said on CNN’s Full Circle, “I’m not sure I knew the word ’gay’ at the time, but I realized something was up.”

9. Holland Taylor at the age of 77

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As mind-blowing as it might seem, it’s never too late to embrace what you feel. Holland Taylor, now 79, just 2 years ago at 77, had the courage to come out as a lesbian. Her sexuality wasn’t kept behind closed doors over the years, however, she felt insecure about it. Fortunately in 2015 during a conversation with The Advocate, Taylor revealed that she was in a long-lasting relationship with an unnamed woman, who was later revealed to be actress Sarah Paulson.

10. Jodie Foster at the age of 51

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Jodie Foster took the opportunity and talked about her sexuality directly at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, where she explained that her being LGBTQ+ wasn’t a secret to anyone, but she was disappointed that a public declaration was necessary in order to avoid being a part of misleading media headlines.

11. Jane Lynch at the age of 50

Lifetime Television / Courtesy Everett Collection / East News, AP / East News

Jane Lynch didn’t have a real “coming out” moment because she was always open about herself being a lesbian, however, the breakthrough and the indirect coming out happened at the age of 50, in her role as cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester in Glee, where she also played a lesbian. She ended up winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her performance.

12. George Takei at the age of 68

Sara Cozolino / Everett Collection / East News, Sara Cozolino / Everett Collection / East News

Star Trek star George Takei had to hide his relationship with his husband Brad for 20 years. Takei and his partner met in the 1980s when the actor joined a gay club called the Frontrunners, where he was instantly struck by his now-husband. They have been in a committed relationship ever since, however, Takei didn’t feel like coming out at the time because he feared it would ruin his career and the success he achieved as a star of the famous TV show.

13. Victor Garber at the age of 64

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While other celebs decided to come out on the stage, Victor Garber ended up talking about his sexuality in an interview with Greg Hernandez. The interviewer asked about Victor’s companion, if it was true, and if it was public information that was listed on Wikipedia. He seemed surprised by the question, but answered, “I don’t really talk about it but everybody knows.” However, Garber didn’t hesitate to admit that he’s been in a loving relationship with Rainer Andreesen for the past 13 years.

It turns out that there are 12 well-known personalities who were raised by LGBTQ parents, a fact that remained relatively unknown until recently. These celebrities, whose upbringing was shaped by the love and support of LGBTQ parents. Their unique experiences offer a testament to the power of acceptance and the profound impact that LGBTQ parents have had on their lives. By sharing their stories, these celebrities continue to foster understanding, inclusivity, and respect for diverse family structures.

Preview photo credit MICHAEL TRAN/AFP/East News, AA/ABACA/Abaca/East News


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