Last time we charted 10-6 of our top 10 celebrity lesbian coming out stories. It was hard to pick a top 5, but here are 5 great lesbian coming out stories. You may not be a celebrity, but if you are thinking of coming out, we hope we can provide a source of inspiration!
5. Lauren Morelli
Orange Is The New Black has some brilliant lesbian characters and actresses, like Samira Wiley who plays Poussey, and Lea DeLaria who plays ‘Big Boo’ (she tweeted @GayHomestays once, it was amazing). However, the most interesting coming out story comes from behind the scenes, when writer Lauren Morelli made a life-changing and tabloid-headline-friendly realisation: ‘While writing for Orange Is The New Black, I realised I am gay’. The screenwriter filed for divorce from her husband of two years, and started dating the show’s own Samira, as pictured above.
4. k.d. lang
1992… Though it doesn’t seem that long ago (feel old yet?) it was early days for out and proud lesbian celebrities. That’s why we have to give props to k.d. for paving the way in this Advocate article: ‘I don’t want to say the wrong things to the gay culture. Because there are so many different opinions on how to gain acceptance.… And I don’t want to hurt my mother by coming out in the press. But at the same time I don’t want to hurt my culture, and it’s like — what do you do?’. It looks like she did the right thing – over 20 years later she’s still going strong. A Canadian favourite, she performed at the Vancouver olympics in 2010.
3. Melissa Etheridge
Once k.d. got the ball rolling, her fellow singer Melissa Etheridge came out the following year in 1993 at Bill Clinton’s Triangle Ball. Citing lang as ‘an inspiration’, she said: ‘I’m proud to say right now, I’m very proud to have been a lesbian all my life’. The crowd cheered, and k.d. lang, who was present, could be seen jumping for joy!
2. Billie Jean King
US tennis legend Billie Jean first married lawyer Larry King back in 1965. She says of the relationship: ‘Fifty percent of gay people know who they are by the age of 13, I was in the other 50%. I would never have married Larry if I’d known. I would never have done that to him. I was totally in love with Larry when I was 21′. She was unfortunately forced out of the closet in 1981, when she was sued by the secretary she was secretly dating. This made her the first prominent lesbian athlete in America. She is an activist for women’s rights and the fight against AIDS, and in 2014 was appointed by Barack Obama, alongside fellow lesbian athlete Caitlin Cahow, to take his place as the US delegation at the Russian olympics. Girl power!
1. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen came out on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, and followed it up with what has to be the most iconic coming out cover of all time. As we talked about in our Top 10 Gay TV shows, she then mirrored her real-life coming out in her sitcom, where her character (also called Ellen..?) came out to her therapist (played by Oprah Winfrey!!) Almost 20 years later Ellen is one of the biggest names on US TV, and one of the world’s most successful out and proud lesbians. Sorry ladies, she’s not single
What do you think of our top 10 celebrity lesbian coming out stories? Comment on any we’ve missed out, and let us know you’re own coming out stories!