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The Big List of People Who Came Out in 2014

The Big List of People Who Came Out in 2014

The Big List of People Who Came Out in 2014

We've rounded up the year's comings out from our archives and found famous names like Ellen Page, Djuan Trent, Monica Raymund and more...

It was a good year for comings out! Here's the big list! 

Djuan Trent, Miss Kentucky 2010
Djuan Trent, who as Miss Kentucky reached the Top 10 of the 2011 Miss America pageant, didn't snag the crown that year. But in February 2014, Trent won the hearts of the LGBT community and its allies when she came out in a blog post in response to Kentucky's unwillingness to recognize same-sex unions from other states. "I am queer," declared the 27-year-old, who became the first veteran of a national beauty pageant to come out.

"Ideally, I would love to one day live in a society where coming out is no longer necessary, because we don't make assumptions about one another's sexuality and homophobia is laid to rest," she said. "For now, that is more of an ideal than it is a reality. But if you want see that ideal become a reality and you have the courage to change history ... if you want to earn some gold stars, then yes, come on out and make your presence known."

Now an honorary cochair for Southerners for the Freedom to Marry, Trent later told The Huffington Post that she was inspired by the coming out of Raven-Symoné, which gave her the courage to be an out queer woman of color and a role model for others. "I’ve had so much outreach coming from young women in the pageant community, young African-American women, young feminine women, who [now] feel a little less invisible, who feel that there’s not something wrong with them. And that, to me, is amazing," she said. — Daniel Reynolds

 

Ellen Page, Actress, X-Men: Days of Future Past
An Oscar nominee for 2007’s Juno and an all-around beloved actress in films ranging from the subversive indie Hard Candy to blockbusters including Inception and the X-Men films, Ellen Page once skewered the gay rumors about her in a Saturday Night Live sketch in which she became transformed by the sights, smells, and sounds of a Melissa Etheridge concert.

But when Page spoke the words “I’m here because I’m gay” to LGBT youth at a conference in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day of this year, the news, while not entirely a surprise, was revelatory. Page, a bona fide A-lister still very much at the start of her career, proceeded to follow that up with a thoughtful, honest, tearjerking speech about the shame of being in the closet.

“Maybe I can help others to have an easier time,” Page said. “I am tired of hiding, and I'm tired of lying by omission.” To have said she was “lying” is still a stark contrast to the way many celebrities come out these days while simultanesouly implying they hadn't necessarily concealed anything, or while downplaying the impact of coming out. The process is surely different for each of us, even in Hollywood. For Page, “I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today with all of you on the other side of that pain.” — Tracy E. Gilchris

Ruby Rose, model
Australian model and DJ Ruby Rose has come out this year as gender fluid and identifies as gender-neutral, according to AU News. The popular entertainer, who rose to fame for her stint on Australian MTV and highly recognizable tattoos, discussed identifying as both male and female (though she prefers to continue using female pronouns) recently with the Guardian. Her openness accompanied the release of her short film, "Break Free," which she describes as a video "about gender roles, Trans, and what it is like to have an identity that deviates from the status quo." —Mitch Kellaway
 

Lauren Neidigh, swimmer, University of Arizona

In a column on Outsports in April, University of Arizona swimmer Lauren Elizabeth Neidigh described the hardship felt by closeted athletes.

As a person so focused on fitness and training, Neidigh realized staying closeted was affecting her body and her health. "'The overwhelming emotional damage that I’m inflicting on myself by holding all of this is in taking too much of a toll on me,’ I told my cousin. ‘I feel physically drained and I can’t think clearly or focus on anything. This isn’t a healthy way for me to live.’”
—Annie Hollenbec

 

M.K. Nobilette, Singer, American Idol contestant

It’s taken 13 seasons, but American Idol finally had its first openly gay Top 10 contestant this February — in the form of 21-year-old M.K. Nobilette.

While the singing competition reality show has had several contestants who have come out after their season ended, or had acknowledged their orientation off-air, Nobilette is the first to come out publicly on-camera during an episode.

“I’m very obviously gay, and there are always going to be people in America and everywhere else who will definitely hate me,” Nobilette said after she was asked if she thought she could be the next American Idol on the show’s previous episode. “But I think that in the last two years, there have been a lot of things that have really changed that, and have made it a positive thing.” — Jase Peeples

Lauren Morelli, writer, Orange Is the New Black

In an essay on Mic.com, Orange Is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli talked about how the show changed her life entirely and made her realize she's a lesbian. “As we started to shape our characters and debate fictional Piper's 'true' sexuality that first season, we engaged in long discussions about sex, gender and our own experiences. I eagerly shared details of innocent, 'above-the-waist' flirtations with girls when I'd been younger. I'd even excitedly blurted out, 'I would totally sleep with her,' about an actress who had auditioned for Alex (now played brilliantly by Laura Prepon, who shares the role with a pair of glasses). I went to therapy that night and casually mentioned that perhaps I was higher on the Kinsey Scale than I previously thought.” —Rebekah Allen

Samira Wiley, actress, Orange Is the New Black

 

After Morelli's news, another round of headlines started when she and actress Samira Wiley announced they're dating. The couple is incredibly cute on Instagram, by the way.

Wiley's had a big year with a prominent plotline on OITNB while also being named "Ingenue of the Year" as she appeared on the cover of Out magazine as part of its annual OUT100. 

 

 

 

Patricia Yurena, Miss Spain 2008 and 2013

Patricia Yurena Rodríguez, winner of Miss Spain in both 2008 and 2013, came out as a lesbian in an Instagram post in August, making her the first openly lesbian beauty queen. 

The picture, captioned "Romeo and Juliet" shows Rodríguez in an intimate moment with girlfriend, Vanesa Klein, a Spanish DJ and singer. (Our sister site, SheWired, assembled a tribute of sorts to Miss Spain that shares 11 more photos from her Instagram account.) 

Rodríguez later took to Twitter, saying, "Thanks for all your comments. I published the picture completely spontaneously and in an impulsive manner. Thank you for all your support." 
—Connie Wu

Vicky Beeching, singer-songwriter

British-born Christian rock singer and religious commentator Vicky Beeching, who has a large audience in the U.S., came out in an interview published in August in the U.K.’s Independent. Reporter Patrick Strudwick describes a meeting with her in which she handed him a note confirming "I'm gay."

Beeching, who was brought up in a Pentecostal church and then joined the evangelical branch of the Church of England, says she has been attracted to the same sex since she was a child and that she went through an exorcism at a Christian camp as a teen, an experience she describes as “degrading.” Five years ago, she had a life-changing experience. She was diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease called linear scleroderma morphea, which turns the body’s soft tissues into scar tissue. Shortly into a course of treatment that would last 18 months, she made a vow to come out by age 35. —Trudy Ring

 

Kristen Kish, Top Chef winner
 
Top Chef winner Kristen Kish came out in a New York Times magazine article in March, and she took a photo of her and her girlfriend celebrating their one-year anniversary.
Here's how the Times magazinereported it:
"And earlier this month, during Kish’s final shift, Lynch, who is separated from her husband, brought her girlfriend, Jacqueline Bernat, and her girlfriend’s son to Menton for dinner. She invited a surprise guest to complete the table. 'Oh, I know who that is,' Kish said, and smiled when a server told her there was an unexpected fourth person. It was Jacqueline Westbrook. She and Kish have been together nearly a year, but they kept their relationship under wraps at first. Westbrook, who is the assistant to the Food & Wine editor in chief, Dana Cowin, recalls telling her boss, 'So, you know my friend Kristen? Well, she’s not just my friend.'"

 

 

 

 

Monica Raymund, actress
When Monica Raymund (Dana Lodge on The Good Wife and Gabriela Dawson on Chicago Fire) tweeted that she's bisexual in support of a video protesting Russia's antigay legislation, it was accompanied by the hashtag #10YearsOut&Proud. —Rebekah Allen
 
Emily Rios, actress
The Bridge star Emily Rios told the crowd at the TCA's that she has a lot in common with her character Adriana — namely being Mexican and lesbian. “I’m gay, personally, so being Mexican and a lesbian — this is why I love the character because I deal with the same type of things with my own family,” Rios said at TCA, according to AfterEllen.  “Mexican-Americans especially — because this generation, we come into America and your family wants to be proud. You want to come to this country and say ‘This is what I have to show for it. I brought my family and we’re living our better life.’ For my family, my mom didn’t want me to live a difficult life. She brought me here for a better one so she’s like ‘Your coming out…I don’t want this to be this. I want you to be comfortable.’” —Tracy E. Gilchrist
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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