Another year, another list of newly out celebrities to compile. Not that we’re complaining. In fact, the notion that lists of out and proud notables get longer every year gives us a warm and tingly feeling where it counts. But wouldn’t it be nice to get to a point where celebrities telling the world they’re LGBT wasn’t newsworthy?
Sadly, we’re not there yet. But thanks to the following people, the world has become a gayer — and therefore, better — place to be. And while we regret to report that this doesn’t include everyone on our 2014 coming-out wish list, here are some of this year’s noteworthy new openly gay cardholders.
Shall we start placing bets for whose names we’ll see here next year?
In October, the 53-year-old Apple CEO came out in a Businessweek essay, saying “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Inspired by the positive reaction to Jason Collins‘ coming out, Gordon made news by becoming the first openly gay male NCAA Division 1 basketball player. “That was so important to me,” he said, referring to a standing ovation of acceptance that Collins received upon entering the court, “knowing that sexuality didn’t matter, that the NBA was OK with it.”
Last week, the Canadian figure skater who won a silver medal at the Sochi Olympic Games in February and is aiming for gold in 2018, became the only elite figure skater in the world to publicly come out in the prime of his competitive career. But as Radford told Outsports, he isn’t worried. “If you believe in yourself and focus on your dream and you work hard and surround yourself with a good team who will support you, you can achieve anything you want.”
“I proudly announce I’am [sic] gay … Good luck all of you,” Latvia’s Foreign Minister announced via Twitter in November in a surprising move, given his country’s history with antigay politics. Prior to the announcement, Rinkevics tweeted that Latvia “has created a legal framework for all types of partnerships [and] will fight for it. I know there will be immediate mega-hysteria, but #Proudtobegay.”
“I’m here today because I am gay,” the Juno actress declared onstage in February at the Human Right Campaign’s “Time To Thrive” conference for LGBT youth in Las Vegas, ending what had long been an open secret in Hollywood. “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.”
The British reality babe and star of The Only Way Is Essex announced in a live television interview that he is gay, adding that he wants to be a “positive person” and let others who are struggling with their sexuality know they’re not alone.
In September while speaking at a rally in support of updating the state’s hate crime law, the Pennsylvania senator casually announced what he said hundreds of people already knew: “I’m gay,” he said. “Get over it. I love it. It’s a great life.”
When asked during a fan site interview if he was aware of his bear following in the gay community, the Game of Thrones actor finally got the opportunity he’d been waiting for. “When you talk about ‘the gay community,’ you are talking about my community,” Nairn said. “I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, ’cause it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!”
In February, the All-American defensive lineman and then-NFL hopeful came out in interviews with both The New York Times and ESPN. “I just want to make sure I could tell my story the way I want to tell it,” he said. “I just want to own my truth.” Sam went on to become the first ever openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL — and then, sadly, the first ever openly gay player to be cut from an NFL team.
In yet another sports first, Scott became Major League Baseball’s first openly gay umpire, which was quietly revealed in October in a Referee magazine profile. When the editor asked for an off-the-field photo for the article, Scott sent one of him and his partner of 28 years. “I think Major League Baseball has proven that it certainly isn’t an issue with them,” Scott told Outsports. “I’ve worked three World Series, I’ve worked the playoffs consistently, I’ve been a crew chief for 12 years.”
In an interview last month with Entertainment Tonight, the country star announced to the world that he’s gay and in a committed relationship, but called the revelation simply “an addendum. I’m a gay man, and I’m looking forward to living the rest of my life authentically and happy.”
Later that day, in a move that evoked memories of Michael Jackson trumping the death of Farrah Fawcett, fellow country star Gilman, 26, posted a video online in which he acknowledged he, too, is a gay man with a partner.
In June, the 73-year-old wrestling legend, who was the WWE’s first intercontinental champion, revealed on a reality TV show that after 50 years in the closet — and the death of his partner of 40 years — he was ready to live his life openly.
In resonse to a federal judge’s decision to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages in Kentucky, the former Miss Kentucky took to her blog in March, announcing that she is queer. “Thank you for giving me the courage to change my ‘they’ to ‘we’, ‘them’ to ‘us’, and ‘their’ to ‘our’,” she wrote. “You have given me the courage to speak up and speak out when I forget my ‘QUEER’ stamp in the mornings. And I can only hope, that I might inspire someone else in that same way.”
After sixteen years of speculation from the media, the Australian Olympic gold medalist finally revealed in July that he is “not straight.” As for the countless — and emphatic — denials, the Thorpedo remarked, “I’m a little bit ashamed that I didn’t come out earlier, that I didn’t have the strength to do it, I didn’t have the courage to do it, to break that lie.”