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15 Celebrities Shared Their Coming Out Stories, And This Is So Important

"The universe has always given me the power to know I’ll be okay. Even at that time, when my parents didn’t understand, I just felt that one day they are going to understand."

1. Jesse Tyler Ferguson

A closeup of Jesse Tyler Ferguson smiling

The Modern Family actor told People that he was caught stealing gay porn as a freshman in high school. "My mom and dad saw the nature of the material I was stealing, and that’s how I came out. I find it funny now, but at the time, it was incredibly traumatizing."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson smiling and looking straight at the camera

"Ironically, my father still had a hard time catching up," he continued. "I snuck some straight porn in there too, so that threw him off just enough... I’m now married [to Justin Mikita], and my father, who had such a hard time accepting my sexuality, danced at my wedding very happily."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband looking at each other and smiling

2. Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox smiling with her hand on her hip

"I have kind of two coming outs," the Orange Is the New Black actor said during a One Stride, Many Journeys video. "So, I always knew I liked boys, so I came out as gay first. I’m from Mobile, Alabama, but I went to Alabama School of Fine Arts. The funny thing about coming out in art school was that everybody was like, 'Yeah, of course you are.'"

Laverne Cox on the red carpet at the Emmys

"I came out to my mom first as gay my sophomore year, and she freaked out. And then, when I came out to my mother as trans a few years later, it was after I started my medical transition, and she took that easier. This time I was living in New York, I was supporting myself, and so she never said, 'I don’t want you in my life.' It was just she didn’t understand, and she had issues with the pronoun thing and the name change. It was just like, 'Girl, you gotta get this together.'"

Laverne Cox smiling and looking over her shoulder

"When I finally accepted, when I started medical transition, and said I’m a woman and I’m trans, it was the most empowering thing ever. In the beginning of transitioning, I was so happy to be trans, and then, like a year in, I was like, 'I'm done with being trans. I wanna be stealth. I want to blend in. I’m a woman.' So, I had to get to a point where I was happy being recognizably trans, and that’s why I started the hashtag #TransIsBeautiful. If people are not able to come out to friends and family, come out to yourself, disclose to yourself, and tell the truth first to yourself because that’s the most important thing."

A closeup of Laverne Cox smiling

3. Sara Ramirez

A closeup of Sara Ramirez smiling

Although the actor played bisexual doctor Callie Torres in Grey's Anatomy, "I didn't know if I was ready to come out publicly," they told People. But the continued violence against queer folks, including the 2016 Pulse shooting in Orlando, pushed them to speak out.

Sara Ramirez at an event

"During a movie night at my house one night, I pressed pause, and then I shared my truth with the room, and I waited because I wasn't sure what to expect," they recalled. "But everyone was very supportive and very happy for me. The reaction was something like, 'Huh, cool. Can we go back to the movie now?'"

Sara Ramirez smiling

4. Dan Levy

Dan Levy smiling

During a Schitt's Creek interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Dan shared that he came out when he was about 18. Over lunch, his mom asked him if he was gay, and he said yes. "My mom and I have a very close relationship in that sense, and it almost felt like she knew that I was ready," he said.

Dan and Eugene Levy talking on Andy Cohen's show

5. Miley Cyrus

A closeup of Miley Cyrus

During a 2016 interview with Variety, the singer said, "My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality. I always hated the word bisexual because that’s even putting me in a box. I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl...I grew up in a very religious Southern family. The universe has always given me the power to know I’ll be okay. Even at that time, when my parents didn’t understand, I just felt that one day they are going to understand."

Miley Cyrus performing onstage

"On The Voice, this young girl started crying when she left because I’m the reason she came out. My mom started crying. She was like, 'I’m so sorry about the way I was when you were that age and coming out.' She never understood me until she saw that girl who couldn’t be herself. It was very cool," she concluded.

Miley Cyrus and her mom smiling with their arms around each other

6. Keiynan Lonsdale

A closeup of Keiynan Lonsdale at an event

The Love, Simon actor told People, "There were rumors going on around the dance world back home. It was breaking my heart — I was going wild. I was lying and lying and lying, doing everything I could to hold on to my secret." He said that he had to come to terms with his own sexuality before he was comfortable enough to tell other people. "It felt like people were deciding for me."

A closeup of Keiynan Lonsdale at an event

After a deep conversation with his best friend, he decided to address the rumors at a party. "I said, 'I’m not straight. I don’t really label myself as anything. I have been in love with guys, and I have been in love with girls. That's me.'"

Keiynan Lonsdale looking serious at an event for "Elvis"

7. Jonathan Van Ness

A closeup of Jonathan Van Ness smiling

In Bustle's 2018 Queer Eye coming out stories video, the TV personality said, "I am who I am, and I always had to be who I was. By the time I was 8 or 9, I got tired of saying no, so I just starting saying, 'Yes, I am gay,' when everyone would ask 17 times a day."

Jonathan Van Ness laughing by a step and repeat

"My strength and my truth came from when I realized that the ones with the issue was not me. Try to tap into your inner stillness and really what your voice is," they concluded.

Jonathan Van Ness looking over their shoulder and smiling

A year later, Jonathan came out as nonbinary during an interview with Out. "I just am either like gender-bendy or nonconform-y or nonbinary and somedays I feel like a boy, and somedays I feel like a girl. I didn’t think I was allowed to be nonconforming or genderqueer or nonbinary — I was just always like 'a gay man' because that’s just the label I thought I had to be."

Jonathan Van Ness smiling and wearing a formal gown

8. Kehlani

Kehlani holding a glass of champagne and wearing a fancy dress

After coming out as a lesbian last year, the singer made a TikTok video recalling how it went when she told her family and friends. "I'm like, 'Guys, I finally know that I'm gay — like, I'm gay gay,' and they're like, 'We know. Duh, stupid. Duh,'" she said.

A closeup of Kehlani

She joked that she would have preferred her family to be shocked and congratulate her, but instead, they said, "You're the only one that didn't fucking know. The fucking closet was glass."

A closeup of Kehlani smiling

9. Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean looking serious at an event

During a 2012 interview with GQ, the singer shared how he felt after coming out in a moving letter on Tumblr. "The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn't been happy in so long. I've been sad again since, but it's a totally different take on sad. There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness."

A closeup of Frank Ocean

"Before anybody called me and said congratulations or anything nice, it had already changed. It wasn't from outside. It was completely in here, in my head," he concluded.

Frank Ocean smilingD

10. Demi Lovato

A closeup of Demi Lovato

In 2020, the "Cool for the Summer" singer said on the Radio Andy SiriusXM show, "After everything was done, I was like, shaking and crying, and I just felt overwhelmed, but I have such incredible parents. They were so supportive. My dad was like, 'Yeah, obviously.' And I was like, 'Oh, OK, Dad.'"

a closeup of Demi Lovato

"My mom was the one that I was like, super nervous about, but she was just like, 'I just want you to be happy,'" they recalled. "That was so beautiful and amazing, and like I said, I'm so grateful."

Demi Lovato with their hand on their hip looking serious at an event

11. Lil Nas X

A closeup of Lil Nas X smiling

During a 2019 interview with Time magazine, the rapper said he was inspired to come out by Pride Month. "I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe," he says. "In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands — little stuff like that." He first came out to his father and sister earlier in June, and then broke the news on Twitter several weeks later.

Lil Nas X looking over his shoulder

He shared that he came out to his father and sister early in June before coming out on Twitter several weeks later.

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. 🌈🤩✨

Lil Nas X / Twitter: @LilNasX

12. Sam Smith

A closeup of Sam Smith smiling

During an interview with British GQ, they opened up about their journey to coming out as nonbinary. "Ever since I was a little boy, ever since I was a little human, I didn’t feel comfortable being a man really. I never really did. Some days I’ve got my manly side, and some days I’ve got my womanly side, but it’s when I’m in the middle of that switch that I get really, really depressed and sad. Because I don’t know who I am or where I am or what I’m doing, and I feel very misunderstood by myself. I realized that’s because I don’t fit into either."

Sam Smith posing with their hand in their pocket at a music awards event

"I was with my mum last night, and she said something so beautiful. 'I’m so relieved that you and me and your whole family have a way to explain this because it’s also been eating me up your whole life.' Because my mum could see it, and that it was a torture going on in my mind. But I’m also very scared because I’ve lived my life as a minority, and now it makes me scared because I’m trying to explain it to people around me, and they don’t understand. It feels like a new conversation, but I’m now learning it isn’t a new conversation, and it’s been around for so long," they concluded.

Sam Smith performing

13. Tessa Thompson

A closeup of Tessa Thompson

In 2018, she told Porter magazine, "I can take things for granted because of my family — it’s so free, and you can be anything that you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion."

Tessa Thompson with her hand in her pocket looking serious

14. Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen smiling

Last year on an episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the TV host promoted his new book of quotes from women he admired. He mentioned a quote from his mother after he came out: "I probably would have hated your wife anyway."

Andy Cohen talking to Stephen Colbert

15. And finally, JoJo Siwa

A closeup of JoJo Siwa smiling

During an Instagram Live last year, the dancer said, "My mom said she's known for the last two years. She's like, 'I just know with you!' Around two years ago, she was like, 'I don't think that you only like boys, and that's totally OK.'"

A closeup of JoJo Siwa smiling

"Like my dad said, love is universal," JoJo continued. "You guys can love whoever you want to love, and you guys can do in life whatever you want to do. You can dream a dream, and you can make that dream come true, no matter what. Just be happy. Happiness is sometimes really hard, and if something makes you happy, enjoy it."

JoJo Siwa pointing and smiling

Do you have a coming out story you'd like to share? LMK in the comments below!

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