Is there a coming-out domino effect? If so, it’s time to play! 2013 was a banner year for coming out. Jodie Foster, Jason Collins, Raven-Symonè, Matt Dallas, Chelsea Manning — the list goes on and on–and on.
2014 is shaping up to be equally big. So far we’ve seen athletes, celebrities, singers, lawmakers… even a vegetable. And with the year half over, there will undoubtedly be more adventures in coming out. Who will be next?
Make sure to check out one of last year’s greatest coming out heroes, Jason Collins, being honored in Trailblazers on Thursday, June 26th at 9/8c on LOGOTV.
Scroll down to see 10 great coming outs of 2014…
1. Michael Sam
The All-American University of Missouri Defensive Lineman made headlines in February when he came out in interviews held with the New York Times and ESPN. “I just want to own my truth,” Sam said. He was back in the headlines again in May, this time for being the first openly gay man drafted to play for the NFL, by the the St. Louis Rams. He was the 249th overall pick. His televised passionate lip lock with boyfriend Vito Cammisano made it the most famous same-sex kiss in history.
2. Ellen Page
We predicted Ellen Page would tell her truth in 2014. Sure enough, the 26-year-old actress came out publicly during a speech at the Human Right Campaign’s “Time To Thrive” conference for LGBT youth in Las Vegas in February. “I’m here today because I am gay,” she declared. “Maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”
Ben Hobson came out earlier this year on Youtube. In the video, the 25-year-old explains how his mother died when he was 19. Three months later he married his wife and they produced two children together. Over time, he developed a drinking a problem. After getting sober earlier this year, he realized the root of his unhappiness: He had been living a lie. Ben’s video quickly went viral, garnering more than half a million views to date.
4. Conner Mertens and Chandler Whitney
Conner Mertens and Chandler Whitney became college sports’ first openly gay couple. Mertens, a freshman football player at Willamette University in Oregon, came out on Twitter at the end of January. A week later his boyfriend, college baseball player Chandler Whitney, did the same after seeing the positive response his boyfriend received. Whitney told his teammates: “You know that college football player at Willamette who came out? I’m dating that guy.”
5. Kale Vegetable
The light and leafy (some would say bitter) superfood came out as gay in April after being outed by Madonna during a Q&A with Buzzfeed. “Yep, I’m gay,” Kale said, confirming that Madge, like always, was ahead of the curve. She was already aware of Kale’s sexual orientation. During the interview, Kale also alluded to a possible relationship with Cucumber.
6. Jay Kelly
13-year-old Jay Kelly made national headlines earlier this month when he announced he is transgender on his ask.fm page. Jay is the youngest child of R&B crooner R. Kelly. The teen was given the birth name “Jaya,” and goes by Jay. He took time to answer questions submitted anonymously about his desire to seek transitional surgery, his supportive relationship with his mother, and his battle with depression.
7. Sam Smith
After years of speculation, British singer Sam Smith confirmed his sexual orientation in a May interview with The Fader while promoting his new album. “In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year,” he said, “and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn’t felt love before.” By his revelation, Smith is going the way of his idols George Michael and Elton John.
8. John Fennell
19-year-old Olympian John Fennell came out in May. The Canadian luger waited until after the Sochi Olympics to make the announcement out of concerns for his safety in Russia. He left his computer and phone at home to avoid becoming one of Putin’s victims of state sanctioned homophobia. “I’m an athlete,” he told The Advocate in an interview. “Realistically, I put on a spandex suit and slide down a mountain. I’m no message board for political movements. But we need to have leaders in our sport community.”
9. Robin Roberts
Okay, technically Good Morning America host Robin Roberts came out on December 29, 2013, but we’re including her in our list for 2014 because the news carried over well into the new year. The 53-year-old news anchor told the world on her Facebook page exactly one-year after beating cancer. Some criticized her for not coming out earlier in her career. In an April interview with Good Housekeeping, Roberts explained her reason for waiting. “Some people like their anonymity,” she said. “You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you.”
10. Steve Gallardo
A week and a half after arguing against SB 1062, Arizona’s failed attempt to legalize discrimination, state Senator Steve Gallardo stood before the Senate Caucus in March and proclaimed: “I’m gay, I’m a Latino, and I’m a senator. And it’s okay.” Later, the 44-year-old lawmaker also announced he’ll be running for a seat in Arizona’s Seventh Congressional District, and that he “couldn’t care less” if being openly gay hurts his chances at victory. “This is about standing up and doing the right thing,” he said.
Watch the trailer for Logo’s Trailblazers.
Who will be next to come out? Make sure to tune into Trailblazers on Thursday, June 26th at 9/8c on LOGOTV