This great story comes from Dennis Ayers over at LOGO online. It really something to see some of the popular/celebrity faces that came out this past year. Anyone you know come out in 2010?
2010 may well have been a tipping point for gay public figures and the closet. The generally great reception celebrities have lately received for pro-actively coming out has got to be encouraging.
At the same time, the old rules of discretion and secrecy that could generally be counted on in the mainstream media and the entertainment industry seem to have completely eroded. Closeted gay celebrities just can’t depend on the press or their industry peers to keep their secrets any longer. No closet is airtight, and staying in one these days leaves you highly vulnerable to rumor and innuendo. Or worse. Just ask an alleged friend of Carrie Fisher.
So arguably, in 2010 the risks of the celebrity closet have became patently greater than the rewards.
Two major stars did the math and chose to get on the honest gay bus this year, declaring themselves well-adjusted and fully content gay men. Ricky Martin was one of those celebrities. Sean Hayes was the other. Each is to be congratulated for making the leap, and here’s hoping their liberation will inspire others.
But Ricky and Sean weren’t the only high profile men to come clean. We count six other very notable guys with a 2010 D.O.B. (date of breaking out of the closet).
Finally, although LOGO tried to round up all the really notable men with a 2010 coming out story, no doubt they’ve missed a few.
And so, in chronological order: Gay Men Who Came Out in 2010!
Mike Manning (January, 2010)
Mike Manning attends the 26th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles (AWLA)
on October 17, 2010 in West Hollywood, California.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Mike Manning made his first appearance on the Real World: DC on December 30th, 2009. But over the course of the season we watched him grapple with coming out as something rather unusual: a publicly self-identified bisexual man (one of only two on our coming out list this year).
Here’s an excerpt from the coming out letter Mike Manning wrote to his parents:
“I refuse to be 40 years old with a wife and kids, to then decide that the charade I fought so long to maintain has crumbled and that I do not love my wife enough in a physical sense to stay with her. I am now presenting myself openly and honestly to the ones I love, preparing myself to go out and explore who I am and what makes me happy. Here goes nothing: everyone, I’m bi. There they are, the words that even now send chills up my spine. Those two words have haunted me for years, and now that I think about it, I wonder why it has taken this long.”
Rostam Batmanglij (February 9th, 2010)
The 27-year-old Vampire Weekend keyboardist, songwriter and producer had a decidedly low key coming out via a magazine profile.
Here’s what he told OUT Magazine about writing what he considers his “gay pop song:”
“With that song I was having fun, but at the same time it was honest — those lyrics are meaningful to me, they come from my heart,” he says. “I was disappointed when it didn’t become a gay anthem, but, you know, it’s not too late.”
Sean Hayes (March 8th, 2010)
The actor behind Will & Grace‘s Jack McFarland testily came out in a magazine interview:
“I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never,” he insists.
Ricky Martin (March 29th, 2010)
In what was probably the biggest coming out story of the year, the Latin heartthrob and recent father of twins finally confirmed what most people already knew. He did it via a post on his blog:
“The word ‘happiness’ takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.”
“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”
Blake Skjellerup (May 6th, 2010)
The 25-year-old New Zealand Olympic short-track speed skater came out in an interview with Australia’s DNA Magazine.
“Gays are too often given a stereotype. Back when I was 18, and becoming serious about my sport and my Olympic goals, if I could have seen an athlete like myself out there – with whom I could relate to – my journey would have been a lot easier.”
Joe McElderry (July 30th, 2010)
The 19-year-old English singer won the sixth season of ITV’s X-Factor.
He came out via a post on his website.
“I have had nothing but support from [fans] and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.”
“Again, I can’t thank you enough for all your support.”
“Everything is going well and I’m really happy to be able to move forward from here.”
Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman (August 24th, 2010)
Though Mehlman was outed by Bill Maher on Larry King Live back in 2006, the political mastermind behind President Bush‘s decidedly anti-gay marriage 2004 re-election campaign didn’t officially come out himself until this year. He did it in an interview with Politico.com
“It honestly just took me longer than it’s taken other people I know to accept this part of my life… Over the past several months, I’ve done that. I’ve particularly done that by talking to friends and family, and telling them the truth. And it’s been a positive experience.”
Kieron Richardson (September 15th, 2010)
The Hollyoaks star announced he was gay on a British morning talk show. His coming out was serendipitously timed to coincide with a gay storyline for his previously straight Hollyoaks character, Ste Haye.
Ryan Buell (September 21, 2010)
The paranormal investigator and host of A&E’s Paranormal State came out as bisexual in his memoir this year.
From our extended interview with Ryan Buell…
My one friend jokes about me and he says “You got half a blue side, half a pink side. Which shirt are you wearing today?”
I wouldn’t say it’s easier for us [bisexuals], I wouldn’t say it’s harder for us. To be honest, I don’t have that many gay or bisexual friends. Here in this college town especially, where it’s definitely more liberal and you see a little bit more sexual freedom and experimentation. Growing up and in college, I’ve met a lot of guys who are bisexual, you know, football players, athletes. Traveling in New York City and LA, you know, entertainment people who very much are bisexual.
But that part is more of their secret part, that they may date a girl but then they have something on the side with a guy. My theory is, it’s easier because it’s not like you’re lying to yourself all the way when you’re dating a girl because you’re generally attracted to her. It’s not like that gender turns you off.
I would say it’s difficult in the sense that you do feel society telling you it’s gotta be one thing or the other. That’s kind of the hardest part right now, is saying you have to pick one.
Tiziano Ferro (October 5th, 2010)
The 30-year-old Italian pop singer has sold more than eight million albums worldwide. In October, Ferro told the Italian version of Vanity Fair that after a long period of confusion, he is finally recognizing himself as a gay man.
Jim Swilley (October 13th, 2010)
In what might be both the most unexpected and the bravest coming out this year, the Georgia mega-church pastor announced that he was gay in a sermon to his congregation.
Highly unusual for an evangelical leader, he wasn’t forced into the revelation by any tawdry gay sex scandal. He just felt called to do it because of the recent epidemic of teen suicides, particularly that of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi.
“There are two things in my life that are an absolute. I did not ask for either one of them. Both of them were imposed on me. I had no control over them. One was the call of God on my life … the other thing was my sexual orientation,”
What was your coming out story? Message me here with any of your stories!