For individuals whose preference in the bedroom deviates from societal norms, coming out of the closet and admitting it to your friends and family is one of the most difficult things that a person will do in their lifetime. It is an intimate moment between you and that respective person, and the feeling of getting that type of weight off of your chest has to be incredible for the person who’s coming out. Regardless of your age or where you live, coming out of the closet is never an easy thing to do, and those who have come out offer a source of inspiration to those looking to do the same.
Hollywood stars are just like you and I, except for the fact that everything they do is on display for the world to see. So, when a celebrity comes out of the closet, it usually causes a shock wave throughout the media in the best way possible. These individuals are willing to put themselves out there to give inspiration to other people. The 15 stars that you will find on our list are individuals who have recently come out of the closet. Regardless of the project that you know them from or their status in Hollywood, these 15 individuals were brave enough to publicly admit their s*xual preference to the world, and we hope that they have inspired other people to do the same. Our list is comprised of actresses and athletes alike, and these women have been an inspiration for young adults living the same type of lifestyle.
15. Kristen Stewart
Perhaps best known for her work in the Twilight Saga, Kristen Stewart has been in an openly gay relationship for a relatively short amount of time. Stewart has been acting in Hollywood since she was a kid, and her role in Twilight is what helped make her a household name. She was involved in a relationship with her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson before a much-publicized love triangle took place. Even though the love triangle was highly publicized for an absurd amount of time, each person involved in the situation would end up moving on. Stewart has continued to appear in projects over the years, although none of them have been able to recapture the success Twilight has.
Nevertheless, the actress’ decision to come out of the closet caused quite a stir in the media. Regardless of how it came about, we are just happy to see that Kristen Stewart seems to be at a good place in her life, and she seems happier than she’s ever been.
14. Elena Delle Donne
Even though the WNBA hasn’t reached the same level of success as the NBA, some of the women who take over end up becoming crossover stars. Elena Delle Donne is currently one of the best players performing in the WNBA, and her accolades are as impressive as anyone else’s in the league. She won the WNBA MVP back in 2015, and she is also a two-time All WNBA First-Team as well as the recipient of the WNBA Rookie of the Year award back in 2013. Moreover, Elena Delle Donne was part of the 2016 gold medal team that competed at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. At just 28 years old, we suspect that she has plenty of basketball left in her professional career.
Back in August of 2016, Elena Delle Donne announced that she was engaged to her longtime girlfriend in an issue of Vogue. There are plenty of gay players in the WNBA, and Delle Donne’s status in the league made her announcement a huge deal.
13. Bex Taylor-Klaus
For those of you who are fans of the television series Arrow, you have undoubtedly seen actress Bex Taylor-Klaus perform. Bex made her acting debut back in 2012 in one episode of the series Hit Me Up, and she has slowly built a pretty impressive resume. She appeared on 6 episodes of the series House of Lies back in 2014 and even lent her voice to one episode of the series Robot Chicken that same here. Her breakout came in 2013 when she landed the role of Cindy on the series Arrow, and she appeared in eight episodes of the series. This gave way to her landing the role of Audrey in the series Scream, and she is currently lending her voice to the series Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Back in November of 2016, Bex officially came out as gay on her Twitter account. Even though she may not hold the same status in Hollywood as Kristen Stewart, Bex coming out of the closet was a huge deal.
12. Lauren Jauregui
You don’t see too many all-female singing groups in this day and age, but Fifth Harmony remains one of the few that are producing successful music. They released their debut album Reflection back in 2015, and it would go on to receive a gold certification for the RIAA. Two years later, they would follow that up with the album 7/27 which would also achieve a gold certification. The group currently consists of four performers including Lauren Jauregui. Jauregui has been part of the group since its inception, and the group is what made her a celebrity.
Lauren Jauregui has publicly come out and stated that she is, in fact, bisexual. Her coming-out was part of an open letter that she penned to the Republican party that ended up being published by Billboard. Nevertheless, she is currently in a relationship with rapper Ty Dolla Sign, and the duo seem really happy together.
11. Saara Aalto
Singer and songwriter Saara Aalto may not be a household name in North America, but she has garnered a considerable amount of fame overseas, making her a perfect candidate to appear on our list. Aalto was a singer who competed in the first season of the series The Voice of Finland, ultimately coming in second place. This helped kick-start her singing career, and it has also given way to other opportunities. Outside of singing, Saara also has also lent her voice to hit films. She has performed the Finnish voices and movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Brave, and Frozen. She has done this on television shows as well, lending her voice to the shows Bubble Guppies and Pokemon.
Even though she has dated men in the past, Aalto eventually engaged in a relationship with another woman, and she has since come out and identifies as a lesbian. She and her partner became engaged back in August of 2016.
10. Bella Thorne
Unless you haven’t been paying attention to the media in recent years, you are undoubtedly aware that Bella Thorne is a very popular name in the entertainment industry right now. The performer got her start as a child appearing in a number of projects before landing her breakout role. Back in 2010, Bella Thorne was cast as the character CeCe Jones for the series Shake It Up which aired on Disney Channel. Her fame, thanks to her work for Disney, helped her land other notable roles, although her antics and partying is what has helped keep her in the headlines for quite some time now. Regardless of how you feel about her, she continues to act in a number of projects, including four movies in 2017.
In August of 2016, Bella Thorne came out as bisexual on her Twitter account. Unlike instances in the past where such a reveal would cause quite a stir, our modern society is a lot more accepting to people coming out as a member of the LGBT community.
9. Clea DuVall
Actress Clea DuVall has maintained a career that has seen her find success in several different decades. Back in 1999, she appeared in the critically-acclaimed film Girl, Interrupted as the character Georgina. In 2003, she landed the role of Sophie in the hit series Carnivale, and her casting as the character Marjorie in the series Veep has garnered her a ton of critical acclaim, including a Screen Actors Guild award nomination. In 2012, DuVall won a Screen Actors Guild award for her performance in the film Argo. Although her name may not be as highly touted as some other women in Hollywood, Clea DuVall has had a very successful career that is red-hot at the moment.
DuVall has publicly come out as gay, and she is a huge inspiration to younger gay actresses looking to make a name for themselves in the movie business. Even though she is currently on Veep, that hasn’t stopped DuVall from pursuing other projects, including the role of Madeline on the series Brooklyn Animal Control.
8. Stephanie Beatriz
Even though her success is still relatively new, actress Stephanie Beatriz has been killing it in recent years. Her big break came in 2013 when she landed the role of detective Rosa Diaz in the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show has garnered an incredible fan base and has received plenty of critical acclaim during its five-season run. Stephanie Beatriz would use her newfound success to appear in other shows including Modern Family and Bob’s Burgers. On the big screen, Stephanie Beatriz has appeared in the film Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, and she lent her voice to the character Gertie in the 2016 animated film Ice Age: Collision Course.
Back in July of 2016, Stephanie Beatriz came out as bisexual on her Twitter account. Because social media is the fastest way to reach several million people at a moment’s notice, it seems as though most stars are content with coming out on their personal accounts. Stephanie Beatriz is currently engaged to Brad Hoss.
7. Stefanie Dolson
Much like Elena Delle Donne, Stefanie Dolson is a WNBA player who possesses a great amount of talent. After playing college basketball at Connecticut, Stefanie Dolson was drafted in the first round by the Washington Mystics, and she played with them through 2016. Stefanie Dolson is a two-time WNBA All-Star, with her most recent All-Star selection coming in 2017. In college, she was a two-time NCAA National Champion and is an incredibly gifted player. In 2017, Stefanie Dolson posted a career-high 14.5 points per game which is a huge reason why she was selected to another All-Star Game. Not only does Dolson compete in the WNBA, but she also plays basketball overseas during the WNBA offseason.
In an interview with ESPN Magazine, Stefanie Dolson would officially come out, inspiring young women who are looking to make a career in basketball to be open about who they are. During the interview, she expressed how important it was for people with her status to be open about who they are in order to inspire the next generation to do the same.
6. Aubrey Plaza
Actress and comedian Aubrey Plaza is someone who has been as popular as any performer in the entertainment industry for the last several years. Given the fact that she is just as gorgeous as she is funny and talented, it’s easy to see why Aubrey Plaza has become such a huge star in recent years. Back in 2009, she was cast as the character April Ludgate in the hit series Parks and Recreation, and she would appear on 124 episodes of the series. She would then go on to make appearances and other hit programs such as Castle, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Criminal Minds. On the big screen, Plaza has been edging out a name for herself by appearing in such films as Dirty Grandpa and Mike and Dave need Wedding Dates.
5. Shannon Purser
20-year-old actress Shannon Purser had a massive breakout campaign in 2016 when she appeared in the Netflix series Stranger Things. Few people could have predicted that the show would have become a cultural phenomenon, and fans are anxiously awaiting the debut of the show’s second season. Stranger Things helped transform several child actors into bona fide celebrities, and it even helped to reinvigorate the careers of several performers who were already established names. Science-fiction shows have a tendency to be written off from the get-go, but Stranger Things truly broke the mold and has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards, including several Primetime Emmy Awards and a few Golden Globe Awards.
Shannon Purser appeared in five episodes of the series as the character Barbara, and her attachment to the series has brought on plenty of new opportunities. She has since appeared in three episodes of Riverdale, and she will be appearing in the series Rise as the character Annabelle. Much like a number of other stars on this list, Shannon Purser came out as bisexual on her Twitter account.
4. Sue Bird
Even though she is on the back end of her career, WNBA star Sue Bird has been dominating professional basketball since her debut in 2002. She played college basketball at Connecticut from 1998 to 2002, and she was taken with the number one overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Bird has gone on to be a two-time WNBA Champion, a 10-time WNBA All-Star, and she was ranked in the WNBA Top 15 Players of All Time. Needless to say, she is a bona fide legend in women’s basketball. In 2017, Sue Bird officially became the WNBA all-time assists leader, and she also happens to be a four-time Olympic gold medalist.
Despite being at the forefront of her sport for over a decade now, Sue Bird didn’t officially come out until 2017. Upon coming out, it was revealed that she has been dating professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe. Even though some of the younger WNBA stars have been coming out recently, seeing a legend like Sue bird do the same will have a tremendous impact on the future of the sport.
3. Katie Sowers
American football has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, and it has yet to see a female play at the professional level. Football is a game that requires a great deal of size, strength, and speed in order to be competitive at any level, and the damage that football players absorb with each passing game means that maintaining a long career in the NFL is an incredibly difficult task. Katie Sowers may not be a household name, but you better believe that she is a trendsetter and modern pioneer in the NFL. Katie was hired as an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, and she is just the second woman in history to have a full-time NFL coaching position.
Aside from being only the second woman in history to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL, Katie Sowers also holds the distinction for being the first openly gay coach in the NFL. She is a true trailblazer, and there is plenty of hope that she will be instrumental in gaining more female participation in football.
2. Diora Baird
As a former model who use her exposure to pull down roles in hit films, Diora Baird has done quite an excellent job in maintaining a successful career. Her first huge film role came back in 2005 when she played the character Vivian in the film Wedding Crashers, and she would follow this up one year later by playing the character Kiki in the film Accepted. Over the years, she has continued landing roles in big projects, including an appearance in the film Star Trek in 2009 and Hot Tub Time Machine in 2010. As if success in modeling and in film wasn’t impressive enough, Diora Baird has also appeared on several hit television shows, including Two and a Half Men, Law & Order: SVU, and Shameless.
Baird was married to Jonathan Togo from 2013 to 2016, and the pair had one child together. More recently, Baird has come out of the closet, and she revealed that she was in a relationship with comedian Mav Viola.
1. Alia Shawkat
Actress Alia Shawkat has been a fixture on television since she was just 13 years old. Her first big role came as the character Hannah Rayburn on the series State of Grace back in 2002, and she would appear on 40 episodes of the series. The following year, Alia would pull down the role of May on the series Arrested Development, and she has appeared on 68 episodes of the series. She has also made notable appearances on shows such as Veronica Mars, The League, and Adventure Time. Her most recent project started in 2016 when she was cast as the character Dory on the series Search Party. Even though her greatest career successes have come on television, she has also appeared in plenty of films.
Earlier in 2017, Alia Shawkat came out as being openly bisexual, and the news of her coming out quickly spread. She currently has two movies slated for release in 2018, and she will continue to work on television as well.