With Olympic swimmer Tom Daley officially coming out as
gay being in a relationship with a man this week, we got to thinking of all the other male public figures who once denied being gay or kept their sexuality a closely-guarded secret only to come out later on.
We’ve compiled a few of them here. Scroll down to see who made the list.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Tom Daley denied gay rumors. In September, he told the Mirror, “I think it’s funny when people say I’m gay… I laugh it off… I’m not. But even if I was, I wouldn’t be ashamed. It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest what people thought.” What a difference two months makes. Over the weekend, Daley released a video to announce he is dating a man. Though he still “fancies” the ladies. Welcome to the family, Tommy boy.
Latin lust object Ricky Martin exploded onto the music scene in the late ’90s with his song Livin’ la Vida Loca paired with his mad hip-shaking skills. Though rumors that Martin was gay followed him for over a decade, he didn’t officially come out until May of 2010. In a statement released on his website, the singer said: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”
Not that anyone was fooled, but Clay Aiken kept his sexuality a secret until 2008. When asked if he was gay, Aiken would often brush the question off or flat out deny it. He decided to come out after becoming a father, and told People in 2008: “I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”
CNN anchorman Don Lemon came out in May 2011 during an interview with the New York Times. Lemon told the paper, “It’s quite different for an African-American male… It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” Lemon said he waited to come out because he was “scared.”
Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey made national headlines in 2004 when he announced he had engaged in an extramarital affair with another man. His wife promptly filed for divorce then released a tell-all book about their sham marriage. Jim also released a book explaining his side of the story then went on to become an Episcopal priest. The end.
Though Zachary Quinto never denied being gay per se, he also never spoke publicly about it until 2011 when he casually came out during an interview with New York Magazine. Since then, Quinto has gone on to be a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and youth. He’s also become the object of nearly ever gay man’s desire.
Though he was unofficially outed by his good friend comedienne Kathy Griffin numerous times, CNN anchorman fox Anderson Cooper didn’t actually come out until July of 2012. In an email sent to Andrew Sullivan, the silver fox announced: “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”