Since Ellen DeGeneres came out 15 years ago, out LGBT stars have continued use the stage, screen, and airwaves to shape the representation of LGBT people and communities.
This year, notables such as CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who discussed his sexual orientation via an email to friend Andrew Sullivan in July, and six-time Grammy nominee Frank Ocean, who recounted on Tumblr his tale of unrequited love with another man, shared theirs stories for the first time. And British pop singer Mika also addressed his sexuality after the release of his third album in August, telling Instinct magazine, saying: “If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah. Are these songs about my relationship with a man? I say yeah.”
A number of Hollywood actors and actresses also came out as this year as lesbian, gay or bisexual, a signal that being out is no longer the career-ender it once was. Jim Parsons, an actor on The Big Bang Theory, revealed in a New York Times profile that he was gay and in a long-term relationship, two things that he said resonated with him when preparing for a role in the play The Normal Heart. In an acceptance speech at the Stephen Chase Humanitarian Awards in February, Matt Bomer thanked his partner Simon Halls and their three children, the first time they were publicly acknowledged. Andrew Rannells, who stars in two television shows (Girls and The New Normal), revealed in an interview in New York Magazine that he related to the characters he portrays because he is also gay. Former star of The X-Files, Gillian Anderson, told Out in March that she had previously had relationships with both women and men. Ezra Miller, who starred in We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being a Wallflower also spoke with Out and declared “I’m queer.” Retired actress Kristy McNichol released a statement ahead of her 50th birthday declaring she was happily living with her partner of more than 20 years. The Bold and the Beautiful star Joanna Johnson told TV Guide in May that she was a lesbian, making her the only the only out actress in daytime soap operas.
Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of Against Me!, revealed to Rolling Stone in May that she was transitioning from male to female. Acclaimed director Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas), also revealed this year that she is transgender.
Sam Champion, weather anchor on Good Morning America, announced his engagement to partner Rubem Robierb in October, marking the first time he had publicly commented on the matter.
In addition, a number of athletes at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London made their sexual orientations public, including Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe, Stacy Sykora, Seimone Augustus, and Karen Hultzer.
GLAAD commends all those who bravely stepped out of the closet this year. Each liberating announcement is crucial in decreasing the stigma still attached to being LGBT. We also recognize the courage of Azealia Banks (rapper), Wade Davis (former NFL player), Todd Glass (comedian), Jaymi Hensley (singer), Denis Ho (singer), Paul Iacono (actor), and Jason Somerville (professional poker player). In the political world, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Fleck came out as gay and Wisconsin State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa revealed she was bisexual.