National Coming Out Day: 17 Stars Who Came Out in 2016

Celebrities have an unspoken responsibility to reveal parts of their personal lives to the public.

Over the years, celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris publicly revealed their sexuality, and today on National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11, 2016), we’re celebrating 17 stars who proudly discussed who they love openly in 2016.

Whether to a crowd or to an Instagram audience, public announcements regarding sexuality never fail to evoke deep emotions from the stars and their fans. This year, stars such as Colton Haynes and Bella Thorne took to social media to discuss their sexual orientation. YouTube stars like Shane Dawson and Sam Tsui used the video-sharing site as a safe space to talk to their fans about their sexuality and their fans’ supportive, positive comments were overwhelming.

Noteworthy wins at award shows have provided a place for public LGBT advocacy. Laverne Cox’s Emmy speech included her call to action from Hollywood when she said, “Give trans talent a shot. I would not be here today if somebody didn’t give me a chance.” Caitlyn Jenner, another powerful LGBT voice, also was emotional when she spoke for the first time after she announced her gender transition at the ESPY Awards.

“This transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine and that’s the case for so many others besides me,” said Jenner. “For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect. And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society and a better world for all of us.”

LGBT advocates in Hollywood, including powerful names like Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, George Clooney, and Kerry Washington, use their platform in the spotlight to ensure the wellbeing, representation, equality, and acceptance of LGBT people all over the world. The Human Rights Campaign has made National Coming Out Day just as much about being an outspoken LGBTQ ally as it is about being proud of who you are. Celebrate individuality by learning more about 17 celebrities that publicly voiced their self-acceptance in the gallery at the top of the page.