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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" »


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" »


Mister Cee Opens Up About His Fluid Sexuality: 'Today, I'm Free' — VIDEO

Mistercee

Mister Cee, the hip hop producer and DJ from NYC's Hot 97 who was wrapped up in a scandal last week involving the solicitation of a trans sex worker which led to his resignation (and eventual rescinding of that resignation) from the station, is speaking out in a four-minute PSA about sexual health and STD testing for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Says Mister Cee in the clip:

"The decision I've made this week to open up about my sexuality has definitely been the most difficult thing that I've ever had to do in my life. But I felt like this was the time to do it personally and professionally. For me, I felt worried about how my family would be affected, how my coworkers, and my friends, and even my fans would be affected by this decision, because in this hip hop community of ours, it's not cool to be gay. It's not cool to be bisexual. I felt that if I was to actually be honest about myself, that nobody would actually just want to deal with me anymore. But the more that I kept lying, and the more that I kept trying to deceive you and myself, the more that I was being more closed in, and not really being who I really am.

"I also realized that the more that I kept this secret, and kept lying, and kept trying to be deceitful to the people that I loved, I wasn't really helping myself, or anybody else that could need help out there. But with the grace of family and good friends around me, they made me feel comfortable to exercise my human right for sexual freedom, instead of finding myself being self-detained by discrimination, judgment, criticism, and even violence from my own community. Thank God that I have friends and family that's gonna hold me down and make sure that I'm alright. I got tired of lying and hiding. But I'm here to tell you today that you don't have to lie and hide no more about your sexual freedom."

Mister Cee goes on to direct viewers to seek STD testing and treatment through AHF's freestdcheck.org website.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mister Cee Opens Up About His Fluid Sexuality: 'Today, I'm Free' — VIDEO" »


Radio DJ's Sexuality Struggles Prompt Vital Conversation on Gender, Sexuality, and Hip Hop: WATCH

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 11.24.56 AM

DJ Mister Cee, the famed hip hop producer and DJ from NYC's Hot 97 radio station, was caught last week in another scandal involving the solicitation of a trans sex worker. Audio of the encounter was released, causing Cee to initially resign his position at the station, saying, "I'm being honest, I'm talking about who I am and what I am, and so I gotta deal with that first before I can get to the bridge that I know that I love which is being on this radio."

Mister Cee eventually rescinded his resignation, and, in the process of his whole ordeal, prompted an important conversation where the issues of sexuality, gender, race, and hip hop converge.

One of the best analyses of the Cee story was on HuffPostLive with transgender activist and Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, writer and transgender activist Janet Mock, The Nation's Mychel Denzel Smith, and professor of black popular culture Mark Anthony Neal. The conversation started with these words from host Marc Lamont Hill:

"I want to be really clear with all of you watching this in the HuffPost community and beyond. I want to talk about what we're not going to to. This is not going to be a conversation about Mister Cee, per se. I don't really want to dig into the muck and mire of his personal life or get into the rumourmill or the scandal—there's plenty of places for that. What I think we want to do is have a smarter and more important conversation about what it all means. I'm less interested in talking about Mister Cee and more interested in talking about how we're talking about Mister Cee."

From there the conversation became one of the healthiest examples of how the media should and can discuss complex and uncomfortable issues surounding sexuality. It is a must-watch for anyone who has read this far into the post. 

Watch the HuffPostLive commentators' superb analysis and listen to DJ Mister Cee discuss his ordeal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Radio DJ's Sexuality Struggles Prompt Vital Conversation on Gender, Sexuality, and Hip Hop: WATCH" »


Hot 97 DJ Mister Cee: 'I am Not Gay' - AUDIO

Hot 97 DJ Mister Cee sought to clear up speculation surround his arrest last week for allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer posting as a prostitute, MTV reports:

MrceeThe legendary turntablist, who broke some of rap’s biggest acts, including the Notorious B.I.G., took to the airwaves Monday to tell listeners his side of the story concerning his arrest last week after allegedly soliciting an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute.

Numerous outlets reported that the solicited prostitute was male, so the disc jockey, born Calvin Lebrun, directly refuted those claims on air.

“I am not gay,” Mister Cee told program director Ebro Darden on the station’s morning show. "They tried to turn it around and say the female officer was a male officer. It was a sting operation.” ...

Despite the former Big Daddy Kane DJ’s adamant claims that the officer was female, rumors abound that this incident, combined with 2011’s charge of engaging a male prostitute named “Brook-Lyne,” proves that when it comes to sex, he prefers the company of men.

"Let's say if I'm lying, that's my choice," Cee said. "If I'm lying and I chose not to come out, that's my choice."

Listen to his appearance on Hot 97 this morning, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hot 97 DJ Mister Cee: 'I am Not Gay' - AUDIO" »


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