• Pride 2022 badge

What 27 Celebs Looked Like Before, During, And After They Came Out. Like, There Are Some Serious Transformations.

This is what happens when you start acting like your true, authentic self.

Hot Topic
🔥 Full coverage and conversation on Pride 2024

1. Ricky Martin before he publicly came out:

Closeup of Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin when he publicly came out in 2010:

Closeup of Ricky Martin

What he said when he came out: "This is just what I need, especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."

Closeup of Ricky Martin
Hot Topic
Let's chat about all things Pride
See our Pride Discussions

And here he is today:

Ricky Martin with his husband

2. Jim Parsons before he publicly came out:

Closeup of Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons when he publicly came out in 2012:

Closeup of Jim Parsons

He essentially publicly came out when a New York Times profile mentioned that he had been in a relationship with a man for 10 years.

Closeup of Jim Parsons

He later said about this interview, "I was doing an interview (in 2012) the summer after I had been in The Normal Heart on Broadway. I was doing Harvey in New York, and I was interviewed by Patrick Healy of the New York Times. I can't remember the exact question, but he asked about something to the effect of, ‘Was it more meaningful to be a part of The Normal Heart being gay?’ I said yes. I remember leaving there going, well, I sort of just took the back door out, as it were. I remember thinking it was kind of poetically perfect."

Jim Parsons with his partner at a game

And here he is today:

Jim Parsons and his partner on the red carpet

3. Sir Ian McKellen before he publicly came out:

Closeup of young Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen when he publicly came out in 1988:

Young Sir Ian McKellen at a gay pride rally

What he said when he came out: Ian came out on a BBC program when he was asked about a controversial government bill against "promoting homosexuality."

Young Sir Ian McKellen at a gay pride rally.

When asked about his opinion of the bill, he said: "It’s offensive to anyone who is — like myself — homosexual, apart from the whole business of what can and cannot be taught to children.”

Young Sir Ian McKellen at a gay pride rally.

I’ve never met a gay person who regretted coming out – including myself. Life at last begins to make sense, when you are open and honest. Today is the 30th anniversary of the BBC radio discussion when I publically said I was gay. So I’m celebrating!

Twitter: @IanMcKellen

And here he is today:

Closeup of Sir Ian McKellen

4. George Takei before he publicly came out:

George Takei jumping in the air

George Takei when he publicly came out in 2005:

Closeup of George Takei

What he said when he came out: "The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay. The issue of gay marriage is now a political issue. That would have been unthinkable when I was young.”

George Takei holding hands with his partner

And here he is today:

Closeup of George Takei and his partner

5. Raven-Symoné before publicly coming out:

Closeup of Raven-Symoné

Raven-Symoné when she publicly came out in 2013:

Closeup of Raven Symoné

What she said when she came out: After marriage equality was legalized, Raven said: "I was excited to hear today that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however, am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to."

Raven-Symoné throwing the peace sign

And here she is today:

Raven-Symoné and her partner

6. Kristen Stewart before she publicly came out:

Closeup of Kristen Stewart

She publicly came out in her 2017 opening monologue on SNL.

View this video on YouTube

NBC/ youtube.com

If you remember, Kristen said she was, like, so gay.

And here she is today:

Kristen Stewart and her partner

7. Lil Nas X before he publicly came out:

Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus

Lil Nas X publicly came out on Twitter in 2019:

some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. 🌈🤩✨

Twitter: @LilNasX

And here he is today:

Lil Nas X at the Grammys

8. Anderson Cooper before he publicly came out:

Young Anderson Cooper crossing his arms

Anderson Cooper when he publicly came out in 2012:

Closeup of Anderson Cooper

What he said when he came out: "The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."

Closeup of Anderson Cooper

And here he is today:

9. Robin Roberts before she publicly came out:

Robin Roberts holding a microphone and basketball

Robin Roberts when she publicly came out in 2013:

Closeup of Robin Roberts

What she said when she came out: Robin wrote on Facebook, "I am grateful for my entire family, my longtime girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together."

Robin Roberts holding an award.

And here she is today:

10. Sarah Paulson before she publicly came out:

Sarah Paulson at a Women in Hollywood event

How she came out: Sarah "came out" when she kissed her then girlfriend Cherry Jones after she won a Tony award in 2005.

View this video on YouTube

CBS/ youtube.com

She told NOTOFU magazine, "I was just doing what one would do when a person they love has just won a big award."

Sarah Paulson and Cherry Jones

And here she is today:

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor

11. Ellen before she publicly came out:

Closeup of young Ellen Degeneres

Ellen when she publicly came out in 1997:

Ellen Degeneres on her show

What she said when she came out: "I never wanted to be 'the lesbian actress.' I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth."

Ellen Degeneres holding an Emmy award

And here she is today:

12. Lance Bass before he publicly came out:

Lance Bass on the beach

Lance Bass when he publicly came out in 2006:

Closeup of Lance Bass

What he said when he came out: "I'm not ashamed. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life."

Lance Bass and his then partner.

And here he is today:

13. Don Lemon before he publicly came out:

Closeup of Don Lemon

Don Lemon when he publicly came out in 2011:

Don Lemon holding up the peace sign

What he said when he came out: “I think if I had seen more people like me who are out and proud, it wouldn’t have taken me 45 years to say it."

Closeup of Don Lemon

And here he is today:

14. Neil Patrick Harris before he publicly came out:

Young Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris when he publicly came out in 2006:

Closeup of Neil Patrick Harris

What he said when he came out: “The public eye has always been kind to me, and until recently, I have been able to live a pretty normal life. Now it seems there is speculation and interest in my private life and relationships.

Closeup of Neil Patrick Harris

"So, rather than ignore those who choose to publish their opinions without actually talking to me, I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.”

Closeup of Neil Patrick Harris

And here he is today:

15. Tom Daley before he publicly came out:

Tom Daley on the red carpet

Tom Daley when he came out in 2013:

Closeup of Tom Daley

What he said when he came out: Tom came out in a YouTube video and said, "In Spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great. That someone is a guy."

Closeup of Tom Daley

And here he is today:

16. Matt Bomer before publicly coming out:

Closeup of Matt Bomer

Matt Bomer when he publicly came out in 2012:

Closeup of Matt Bomer

What he said when he came out: Matt thanked his partner in an acceptance speech for an award for activism. He said, "I'd really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment."

Closeup of Matt Bomer

And here he is today:

17. Michael Stipe before he publicly came out:

Young Michael Stipe performing onstage

Michael Stipe when he publicly came out in 1994:

Closeup of Michael Stipe

What he said about coming out: "Any longstanding R.E.M. fan who had not figured out I was queer before that point wasn’t looking very hard."

Michael Stipe sitting at the piano

And here he is today:

18. JoJo Siwa before she publicly came out:

JoJo Siwa throwing the peace sign

JoJo came out gradually in a series of social media posts in early 2021.

JoJo Siwa wearing a shirt that says, "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever."

And here she is today:

19. Rosie O'Donnell before she publicly came out:

Young Rosie O'Donnell on the red carpet

Rosie O'Donnell when she came out in 2002:

Rosie O'Donnell winking

What she said when she came out: Rosie said this about her Tom Cruise obsession, "I said I wanted him to mow my lawn and bring me a lemonade. I never said I wanted (to have sex with him).”

Closeup of Rosie O'Donnell

And here she is today:

20. Wanda Sykes before she publicly came out:

Wanda Sykes onstage

Wanda Sykes when she publicly came out in 2008:

Wanda Sykes on the red carpet

What she said when she came out: Wanda came out when she attended a 2008 rally against Prop 8: "When I came out, it wasn't a planned thing at all. It was a national day of protest against the passage of Prop 8. I said, 'Okay where's the rally, we are going to go to the rally.' And I did. And in my speech, I said that I got married and I'm pissed."

Wanda Sykes waving

And here she is today:

21. Kevin McHale before publicly coming out:

Kevin McHale on the red carpet

Kevin McHale when he publicly came out in 2018:

#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande.

And here he is today:

22. Sam Smith before they publicly came out:

Sam Smith on the red carpet

Sam Smith when they came out as non-binary in 2019:

Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out...

Twitter: @samsmith

I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.

Twitter: @samsmith

And here they are today:

23. Zachary Quinto before he came out:

Closeup of Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto when he publicly came out in 2011:

Closeup of Zachary Quinto

What he said when he came out: “In light of Jamey (Rodemeyer's death) — it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it — is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. Our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered citizen of this country.”

Closeup of Zachary Quinto

And here he is today:

Closeup of Zachary Quinto

24. Gus Kenworthy before he publicly came out:

Closeup of Gus Kenworthy

Gus Kenworthy when he publicly came out in 2015:

Closeup of Gus Kenworthy

What he said when he came out: In an interview with ESPN magazine, he said: "I guess I should start by saying, 'I'm gay.'"

Closeup of Gus Kenworthy

And here he is today:

25. Eddie Izzard before coming out:

Eddie Izzard when she came out in 2020:

Eddie Izzard on a talk show

What she said when she came out: Eddie has been talking about being trans for the past few years. He told the Hollywood Reporter he has boy mode and girl mode and is "essentially trans." At the end of 2020, Eddie announced that she is using "she/her" pronouns.

Closeup of Eddie Izzard

And here she is now:

Closeup of Eddie Izzard

26. Clay Aiken before publicly coming out:

Closeup of Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken when he publicly came out in 2008:

Clay Aiken with Rosie O'Donnell

What he said when he came out: Clay came out when he had his son. He told People, "It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”

Clay Aiken next to a drawing of himself

And here he is today:

27. Elton John before coming out:

Closeup of young Elton John

Elton John when he publicly came out as gay in 1988:

Closeup of Elton John

What he said when he came out: Elton came out as bisexual in an interview in 1976. When he publicly came out as gay in 1988, he told everyone he waited so long to come out as gay because, as he said, "I just thought it was common knowledge."

Closeup of Elton John

And here he is today:

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out all of BuzzFeed's posts celebrating Pride 2022.

Pride 2022 graphic
Hot Topic
🔥 Full coverage and conversation on Pride 2024
We see you lurking 👀
Join a Pride conversation instead
See the Discussions