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04/19/2007


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" »


I'm Gay, LGBT, 'Whatever': The 53 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013

2013

UPDATE: See the updated version of this post HERE!

"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, 'Whatever': The 53 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013" »


NJ Teen Who Came Out at School Assembly Begs Lawmakers to Ban Harmful 'Ex-Gay' Therapy: VIDEO

Rudolph

As I reported yesterday, New Jersey is considering a bill that would ban so-called gay conversion therapy and held hearings before the Senate Health Committee.The bill, S2278, would ban licensed therapists from trying to turn gay kids straight. The committee advanced the bill in a 7-1 vote.

Among those testifying was Parsippany high school senior Jacob Rudolph, whose speech coming out to his entire class at an awards show assembly went viral on YouTube in January.

Said Rudoph to the panel in a powerful speech:

“What disturbs me the most is that our government would allow orientation-conversion organizations to subject children to such so-called therapy. It is hard enough for LGBT teens to accept that their sexual orientation differentiates them from their classmates. Consequentially, I cannot fathom how emotionally scarring it must be for these kids to be told they are somehow broken and are then manipulated to reject their innate sexual preference and ‘become’ heterosexual again. What strikes me as the most cruel facet of this practice is that these young people cannot defend themselves from being subjected to this harmful practice.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NJ Teen Who Came Out at School Assembly Begs Lawmakers to Ban Harmful 'Ex-Gay' Therapy: VIDEO" »


Gay NJ Teen Who Came Out to Entire Class Meets His Idol George Takei on 'Anderson Live': VIDEO

Takei_rudolph

Anderson Cooper sat down today with Jacob Rudolph, the NJ teen who came out to his entire high school class in a video that went viral last week. Jacob told Anderson that his idol is George Takei, and surprised him with the fact that Takei was there in the studio to meet him.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

I'll post the rest of Jacob's appearance if it becomes available.

Continue reading "Gay NJ Teen Who Came Out to Entire Class Meets His Idol George Takei on 'Anderson Live': VIDEO" »


NJ H.S. Senior Jacob Rudolph Talks to Thomas Roberts About His Viral Coming Out, Identifying as 'LGBT': VIDEO

Roberts_rudolph

Most of you have by now seen the video we posted earlier this week of NJ high school senior Jacob Rudolph's coming out to his entire class. One of the most striking aspects of the clip was the fact that Rudolph said "I'm LGBTT" rather than "I'm gay".

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts interviewed Rudolph today about the video, and his identification:

"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 sexclusively 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."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NJ H.S. Senior Jacob Rudolph Talks to Thomas Roberts About His Viral Coming Out, Identifying as 'LGBT': VIDEO" »


NJ High School Senior Comes Out as Gay to His Entire Class, Gets Standing Ovation: VIDEO

Rudolph

Our reader Scott Hester-Johnson sent us this clip of Jacob Rudolph, a high school senior in Parsippany, New Jersey, who came out to his entire class at their awards ceremony (Class Clown, Most Likely to Succeed, etc.) on January 18.

Says Jacob in the clip, as he accepted the award for Best Actor (my transcript):

"Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, 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. Unlike millions of other LGBT teens who have had to act every day to avoid verbal harassment and physical violence, I'm not going to do it anymore. It's time to end the hate in our society and accept the people for who they are regardless of their sex, race, orientation, or whatever else may be holding back love and friendship. So take me leave me or move me out of the way. Because I am what I am, and that's how I'm going to act from now on."

Writes Scott: "As I am a gay friend of his dad's, he sought out my advice before taking the plunge, but the decision was all his. The best part of the video is when he gets a standing ovation after he comes out. This is an amazingly courageous kid and I hope he gets the props he deserves."

Watch the amazing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NJ High School Senior Comes Out as Gay to His Entire Class, Gets Standing Ovation: VIDEO" »


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