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Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 85 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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UPDATED!!!

Due to four notable December announcements - from a Spanish television host, an 'ex-gay' survivor of Michele and Marcus Bachmann's conversion therapy clinic, a national champion swimmer, and a high school all-state soccer goalie, we've updated this list to provide a more complete look back at those who decided to come out in 2014. We've also added a professional strongman that we unfortunately overlooked in our first post. Enjoy these new additions to the list.

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"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.

Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 85 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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UPDATE: See the updated version of this post HERE!

"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.

Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


UMass Player Derrick Gordon Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Play in Division 1 Men's Basketball

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University of Massachusetts shooting guard Derrick Gordon made history last night becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in a NCAA Division I men's basketball game, The New York Times reports:

Gordon finished with 17 points as UMass defeated Siena, 95-87, in front of a crowd of 8,187, the largest at Mullins Center to open a season since 1997.

“I went into it like a regular game,” he said. “I’ve been here before.”

Gordon came out as gay back in April in an Outsports profile. Since then, he's amassed quite a following and is often seen sporting a Nike #BeTrue t-shirt. 

In a recent interview with the Boston Herald, Gordon discussed how much it meant to him to see NBA player Jason Collins come out as gay after the 2012-2013 season.

Gordon1“Everything leads to the NBA for me, and I didn’t want my dreams to be shattered because of my sexuality,” Gordon said. “So when I saw him come out, that inspired me.

“I said, ‘If he’s in the NBA and he’s openly gay then maybe I can be the same way,’ ” Gordon said. “And when he played for Brooklyn, I saw a YouTube video of him coming into the game and the whole crowd stood up and applauded. It was, like, man, he has a lot of people supporting him. That did it for me.

Back in May, it was reported Gordon was dating CSI actor Gerrald McCullouch. 

Check out an interview Gordon did with MSNBC after his coming out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[Image via The Daily Collegian]

Continue reading "UMass Player Derrick Gordon Becomes First Openly Gay Athlete to Play in Division 1 Men's Basketball" »


Guy Candy: 20 Famous Men Who Got Shirtless and Sexy on Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Out L.A. Galaxy player Robbie Rogers showed off his new backpack on Instagram in the best way possible this week.

Also, in this week's guy candy:

Russell Tovey, Ricky Martin, Alex Minsky, Brad Goreski, Scott Eastwood, Tom Daley, Flume and Chet Faker, Derrick Gordon, Harry Shum Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Dan Savage, Terry Miller, Darryl Stephens, Rory McIlroy, Jake Shears, Gilles Marini, Dan Osborne (below), Blake Skjellerup, and the Flaunt flavor of the week, Nick Jonas.

Enjoy, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Guy Candy: 20 Famous Men Who Got Shirtless and Sexy on Instagram This Week — PHOTOS" »


NCAA Basketball Player Derrick Gordon Dating ‘CSI’ Actor Gerald McCullouch

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E! News is reporting that Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay NCAA Division One male basketball player, is now dating former CSI actor Gerald McCullouch. The two were photographed together at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York over the weekend (and smooching on the red carpet).

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 10.53.02 AMThe 47-year old actor told the outlet that he first connected with the 22-year-old University of Massachusetts player years ago on Twitter.

"Through the years I've encouraged him to lead an authentic life and tried my best to offer as much objective support as possible," said McCullouch

The two met in person for the first time last month, with McCullouch saying there's "certainly a spark" between them, adding, "I'm very proud of him and think he's an engaging, courageous, and handsome young man."

(photo via Instagram and Twitter)


UMass Player Derrick Gordon Talks to MSNBC After Becoming First Out Gay NCAA Player: VIDEO

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News broke earlier today that UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon has come out of the closet, making him the first active openly gay NCAA Division 1 player. Andrea Mitchell spoke with him today on MSNBC.

Gordon said he made his decisions because "there's a lot of kids in my situation right now that can't be themselves and have to hide who they really are."

Gordon said that he consulted with Jason Collins before coming out and says he didn't expect his teammates to react with the acceptance that they did.

Gordon transferred from Kentucky and said "I just felt that I couldn't go the next couple months just hiding and being somebody I'm not...Having people out there saying gays aren't allowed in sports...I think nobody in this world should have to live like that."

Gordon says he was nervous about telling his mom and his parents froze for a little bit but his mother said "I always knew" and his father "came around and supported me."

Watch Mitchell's excellent interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "UMass Player Derrick Gordon Talks to MSNBC After Becoming First Out Gay NCAA Player: VIDEO" »


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