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04/19/2007


I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012

2012

2012: GAYEST YEAR EVER

"The fact is, I'm gay." Anderson Cooper's long-awaited announcement sums what it meant to come out in 2012. Again and again we heard the same sentiment — from pop singer Mika's equally anticipated confirmation, "If you ask me am I gay, I say yeah," to actor Andrew Rannells casually remarking about relating to a gay character, "I am gay in real life, so I definitely get it." —  proving that coming out today is in many cases a non-event, and certainly secondary to other achievements.

Yes, a lot has changed in the 15 years since Time magazine ran that cover of Ellen DeGeneres declaring, "Yep, I'm Gay," and even in the six since Lance Bass told People, "I'm Gay." Entertainment Weekly published a cover story this summer called "The New Art Of Coming Out," concluding, "The current vibe for discussing one’s sexuality is almost defiantly mellow."

Yet most of this positive change has happened in familiar territory.

Former NFL star Wade Davis' coming out was a first, as was current professional boxer Orlando Cruz's. And Lee "Uncle Poodle" Thompson from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo helped broaden the overall discussion about LGBT people. But there are a few people on this list who were less valiant, like Republican Sheriff Paul Babeu, and still others who remained quiet about their sexuality to the day they died. The debate over balance between privacy and responsibility is still one worth having, and clearly there are more arenas where LGBT people need space to shine.

All in all, though, 2012 shows that gay people who break down that closet can have it all.

Who had the 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012?

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

Continue reading "I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012" »


Omar Sharif Jr: I'm Gay, Jewish, and May Be Persecuted in My Home Country of Egypt

Sharifjr

Omar Sharif Jr. the grandson of the actor with the same name, who made some headlines last year after appearing at the Oscars and battling Kirk Douglas for his cane, has come out as gay and Jewish.

Sharif had spoken out for gay rights following the Oscars, but he talks about his own sexuality, and faith, and the fear that his home country Egypt will persecute him, for the first time with The Advocate:

And so I hesitantly confess: I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay.

That my mother is Jewish is no small disclosure when you are from Egypt, no matter the year. And being openly gay has always meant asking for trouble, but perhaps especially during this time of political and social upheaval. With the victories of several Islamist parties in recent elections, a conversation needs to be had and certain questions need to be raised. I ask myself: Am I welcome in the new Egypt?

...While to many in Europe and North America mine might seem like trivial admissions, I am afraid this is not so in Egypt. I anticipate that I will be chastised, scorned, and most certainly threatened. From the vaunted class of Egyptian actor and personality, I might just become an Egyptian public enemy.

And yet I speak out because I am a patriot.

I am a patriot who remembers a pluralistic Egypt, where despite a lack of choice in the political sphere, society comprised a multitude of beliefs and backgrounds. I remember growing up knowing gay men and women who were quietly accepted by those around them in everyday society.

The Jerusalem Post notes: "Sharif's Jewish heritage comes from his mother's side, making him fully Jewish according to the rabbinical tradition."


Omar Sharif Jr., Hottie Oscar Trophy Presenter, Discusses Gay Rights

Sharifjr

That was the grandson of actor Omar Sharif holding Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony the other night, and battling Kirk Douglas for his cane, in case you were wondering.

The Advocate tracked down Omar Sharif Jr. (because he's a hottie basically - note the Facebook photo, above), and asked him a few questions, one specifically about gay rights and the situation in Egypt where he grew up:

"Well, it was bittersweet being on stage yesterday, just because… I’m having such a great time, it’s such a wonderful experience, and known that so many of my friends and my family are living through such a tumultuous time. That being said, after 30 years… or lets say centuries or millenniums — people are finally standing up and voicing their legitimate claims to self determination. Human rights and equal rights — it isn’t based on religion, based on politics, based on gender. It’s across the board. Actually, the first time I met Bruce Cohen, the producer of the Oscar, was at a benefit for the American Foundation for Equal Rights where Elton John was singing. They raised a substantial sum to fight Prop. 8. Coming from the Middle East especially, I’m mindful of these issues, and it’s not something you get to pick and choose."

(image kissing kamal via sticky (nsfw))


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