Did you hear that? It’s the sound of closet doors being busted down all across America.
From NFLer Michael Sam to actress Ellen Page to the vegetable Kale, 2014 has offered up no shortage of great coming out moments. In anticipation for National Coming Out Day — which happens each year on October 11 — we’ve compiled a list of ten more great coming out stories from this year. And with three months left in 2014, we’re sure there will be many more to come.
Scroll down to see our picks.
The Latin heartthrob came out in May by posting a note to his Twitter account. “The day has come!” wrote the Uruguayan actor/model. “Only God knows when and how. I only let myself be guided. I feel that God has awarded me with homosexuality.”
Yes, thank you, God!
Lauren Morelli and Samira Wiley
The Orange is the New Black writer made headlines this year when she announced writing for the show had made her realize she’s a lesbian. But it gets even juicer because Morelli also announced that she was leaving left her husband of two years for actress Samira Wiley, who plays Poussey on the hit series.
The Game of Thrones actor/bear magnet came out in March during an interview with Game of Thrones fan site WinterIsComing. “It’s a very small part of who I am on the whole,” 38-year-old Nairn said, “but nonetheless, in this day and age, it’s important to stand up and be counted.”
Derrick Gordon made history in April when he became the first openly gay male NCAA Division 1 basketball player. Gordon told ESPN that he was inspired to come out to his family, coaches, and teammates after watching the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay man in the NBA.
And the crowd went wild.
The Christian rocker came out in August, telling an interviewer: “What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love. I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
Sen. Jim Ferlo
Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo formally announced that he is gay last month while speaking at a rally in support of updating the state’s hate crime law. Said he: “I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I’m gay. Get over it. I love it. It’s a great life.”
The hunky Philadelphia meteorologist made national news in August when he told TV viewers he and his partner, Karl, had become fathers. Reporting live from the hospital where they first held their newborn baby boy, Joseph said the couple were “ready to spoil him with unconditional love.”
Fueled by a federal judge’s decision to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages in Kentucky, former Miss Kentucky 2010 Djuan Trent took to her blog to publicly announce she identifies as queer. “I struggled with the decision of whether or not it was necessary to ‘come out,’ ” she wrote, but “over the past few years, we have seen many celebrities and public figures open up and take this step… 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.”
“I’m a senior GOP spokesman, and I’m gay,” said former spokesman and adviser for the Republican National Committee, James Richardson. “Let me get married.” The conservative Georgian decided to come out last month in hopes of moving the needle on Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, especially in light of Louisiana’s marriage ban having recently been deemed “constitutional” by a federal judge.
Hayden Smith and his mom
Last month, a hidden camera video uploaded by teenager Hayden Smith coming out to his mom went viral. The first five minutes are your typical awkward teen sexuality conversation (not bad, just awkward), but at around the 5:15 mark, his mom drops a bomb of her own: “I’ve had a girlfriend,” she says. “It goes both ways, you know? And I was always worried about what you would think.” Naturally, a tender mother-son hug ensured.