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I'm Gay, LGBT: The 57 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013

2013

UPDATED!!!

Due to four notable December announcements - from an Australian actor, a professional marksman, an Olympic figure skater, and a beloved morning TV show host, we've updated this list to provide a more complete look back at those who decided to come out in 2013. Enjoy.

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"I would like to consider myself a 'whatever,' Maria Bello said this month in a column in the New York Times, revealing that after two relationships with men (one of which produced a child) she had fallen in love with a woman.

Bello's decision to come out while consciously eschewing a label is a sentiment echoed by many of those on this year's list who felt no need to declare themselves L-G-B or T but still found it necessary for some reason, like Hot97 DJ Mister Cee, to declare their "sexual freedom".

The British Olympic diver Tom Daley told UK talk show host Jonathan Ross, "Everything is all pretty new so I don't see any point in putting a label on it - gay, bi, straight, any of those kind of labels. All that I feel happy about at the moment is that I'm dating a guy and couldn't be happier, it shouldn't matter who I'm dating and I hope people can be happy for me."

Actress Michelle Rodriguez echoed that fluidity in a characteristically blunt manner, responding to people who call her a "lesbo":  "Eh, they're not too far off. I've gone both ways. I do as I please. I am too f---ing curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks."

High school senior Jacob Rudolph went another route, adopting all the labels. He told his high school class, in a video that went viral: "I've been acting every single day of my life. You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not. Most of you see me every day. You see me acting the part of 'straight' Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT."

RudolphRudolph later told Thomas Roberts: "I intended to come out as an LGBT and not say bisexual or gay or straight because I feel like those are the labels of the past. Especially in modern times when people are really questioning who they like and what they like I think that saying 'I'm bisexual', it could change in the future, I could be exclusively for one sex or another. So I think that putting it in a more general term like LGBT is extraordinarily appropriate even though I'm not a lesbian or a transgender."

But while the eschewing of labels is a major trend this year, there are still plenty of people happy to declare, "I'm gay" — though fewer are doing it on the front covers of magazines and many more are using more subtle forms of delivery, like the mention of a "husband" or "partner' buried in the third page of a magazine profile, or by posting an Instagram photo with a significant other.

One thing is certain. The act of coming out in 2013 remains as powerful as ever. Though tolerance, acceptance and equality have made great strides this year, there are still many pockets of the U.S., and certainly many countries abroad where LGBT people are forced to hide because being open about their sexuality would threaten their lives and their livelihoods.

Though coming out might be greeted more and more with comments like "yawn", "No disrespect intended, but DUH!", or "who cares?" from the social media peanut gallery, we should applaud the trolls in these cases, because they're one more example that progress is being made.

Who had the 52 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013 (so far)?

Find out (in alphabetical order), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "I'm Gay, LGBT: The 57 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013" »


American Marksman and 'Top Shot' Champion Chris Cheng: I'm Gay

Cheng

Chris Cheng, the Season 4 Champion of the History Channel’s Top Shot, has come out of the closet in an interview with gun magazine Recoil.

C_chengCheng said producers and fellow contestants knew he was gay:

I’m pretty sure it factored into the casting panel’s decision to accept me, but it was one of many factors they considered. I had to demonstrate that I could shoot well. Top Shot isn’t about personality conflicts and drama like other reality competitions. It’s a marksmanship competition to see who can master a wide variety of weapons in unpredictable, challenging situations.

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I was pleasantly surprised when other competitors found out I was gay. They were either indifferent or accepting. The most common response I received was “Chris, we don’t really care that you’re gay, we care about how well you can shoot…the better we all shoot, the more exciting the competition will be…” I suppose this affected the house dynamics in that I never heard any gay pejoratives during my six weeks there.

The shooting community was honestly one of the last places I expected gay acceptance on any level. That really caught me off guard, in a good way. It’s how life should be, where no one cares if you’re gay, straight, or somewhere in between. We should be evaluated and judged based on our skills and accomplishments. While I was hoping to break some stereotypes, some of my own stereotypes regarding the shooting community were also broken. It was an enlightening experience.

More of the interview at Recoil...

Cheng added on his personal blog:

While it’s something my friends and family have known for years, I believe now that I have become a television personality and public figure, it is important to be honest and upfront about who Chris Cheng is. Thankfully, tolerance and acceptance are contagious. Being gay is no longer something to hide...One reason why I chose to come out publicly is that I’m a gay guy in a gun world. Hunters, sport shooting enthusiasts, and collectors are too often stereotyped as part of efforts to politicize guns as we witnessed last week on the anniversary of the horrific Newtown tragedy. Take it from someone who in a single package is not only gay, but Chinese, Japanese, California-born, a college graduate, a tech geek who worked on cool Google projects, a gun enthusiast and a passionate 2nd Amendment advocate. Our community is as diverse as anyone’s.

Make sure not to miss our list of The Top 53 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013. As a late addition, Cheng would certainly qualify.


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