Notable People Who Have Come Out In 2021

Several notable coming out stories emerged this year that made headlines

HomoCulture Coming Out Triston Brewer

This article was published on November 22nd, 2021

In 1988, National Coming Out day was established to commemorate the March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights in 1987, which saw more than 200,000 protestors in front of the nation’s capital on October 11. More than thirty years later, the day is now a yearly celebration that acknowledges LGBTQ+ people and raises awareness for the continued fight for equality. This year, HomoCulture shares the coming out stories thus far in 2021. 

Jojo Siwa

The 18-year-old reality star made headlines in January of this year when she came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community via posts across her social media. Siwa is discovering her sexual identity in front of her fans in real time, stating:

“I’m dating a girl; that can make me a lesbian. I’ve never really been in love with anybody or found attraction to anybody except for Kylie, and so therefore it could be demisexual. I’ve never minded who I would be with, if it would be a girl, a boy, someone trans. But then I also think, so that could be pansexual. The l-word isn’t my favorite word, but I like the q-word. I like queer; it’s kind of… I am who I am. But I’m not like, ‘Oh my God. No, I’m not this’, you know what I mean?”

Siwa also made history later in the year by appearing on Dancing with the Stars as the first contestant ever to have a same-sex dance partner. 

Demi Lovato

In May, the former Disney star came out as nonbinary, changing pronouns to they/them. In response, they posted to their social media:

“Not only has my life been a journey for myself, I was also living for those on the other side of the cameras. Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all — I am proud to let you know that I identify as nonbinary & will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward. I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering.”

TJ Osborne

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS — Episode 690 — Pictured: T.J. Osborne of musical guest Brothers Osborne perfomrs on May 21, 2018 — (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Singer-guitarist TJ Osborne came out in February, and in doing so became the first openly gay men signed to a major country music label and among the first to come out at the peak of his career. While most fans have been supportive, a measure was blocked in the Tennessee House of Representatives to honor the artist. Says Osborne:

“I’m very comfortable being gay. I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don’t have a problem with. That feels so strange.”

Gabbi Tuft

Wrestling from 2007 to 2014 with World Wrestling Entertainment, former star Gabbi Tuft announced through social media in February that she identifies as transgender. Through her Instagram posts, she shared with her fans her transition journey: 

“This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me. This is the side of me that has hidden in the shadows, afraid and fearful of what the world would think; afraid of what my family, friends, and followers would say or do.”

Kehlani

The R&B singer Kehlani came out as a lesbian in April after formerly coming out as queer in 2018. With her new status, she released a statement:

“I am gay, gay, gay. … I finally know I’m a lesbian!” 

Ronen Rubinstein

The actor, who plays gay character T.K. Strand on Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, came out as bisexual in April. The 27-year old Israeli-American struggled to come out because of how members of the LGBTQ+ community are treated where he came from. He stated:

“It’s either you faced insane amounts of profanity — like the F-word was thrown around all the time — or you would get your a– kicked if you were gay. So there was definitely a fear of sort of embracing how I felt. I was definitely more aware of it in high school. I was aware of my feelings and how I started looking at men, but I couldn’t talk to anybody about it.”

Colton Underwood

The former NFL player and Bachelor star came out in April on Good Morning America after appearing on the high-rated reality series, releasing a statement:

“I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. And I’m gay, and I came to terms with that earlier this year, and I’ve been processing it and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”

Underwood is currently shooting a Netflix documentary about coming out, release date to be announced soon. 

David Archuleta

David Archuleta
UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 30: Singer David Archuleta visits Hallmark’s ‘Home & Family’ at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 30, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

The former runner-up on American Idol announced in June that he is part of the LGBTQ+ community. Although he came out to his family in 2014, he says it was a conversation with God that led to him coming out publicly. Through his Instagram, Archuleta stated:

“I like to keep to myself but also thought this was important to share because I know so many other people from religious upbringings feel the same way. I’ve been open to myself and my close family for some years now that I am not sure about my own sexuality. When I had that prayer, God just said, ‘David, you know I trust you, right? I want you to post about what you’re going through right now.’ And it was just so clear what I needed to say. I knew exactly what I needed to say, but I feel uncomfortable saying it, because I like to keep to myself — especially with this kind of stuff. But I just knew I had to.”

Michaela Kennedy Cuomo

The youngest daughter of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy, two of the most influential political families in America, came out as queer during this year’s Pride Month with the following statement on her Instagram:

“To those who are contending with the compulsive heterosexuality our society force feeds us and innate attraction beyond cis het folks, please know that you are not alone.” 

Carl Nassib

In June, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib made headlines by coming out publicly and making history as the first active NFL player. Through his Instagram posts, he stated:

“I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. I didn’t really do it to break barriers. I did it because I felt an obligation to the LGBTQ community to bring representation and bring visibility to a very, very popular entertainment business, to a very very popular industry that doesn’t have a lot of representation.”

Elvira

The Queen of Halloween announced in September through her memoir that she has been in a relationship with a woman for nearly two decades. The gay icon began her career as a drag queen and had trepidation about revealing her status, stating:

“I was thinking, ‘Are they going to think I’m a big hypocrite?’ And that I talk about coming out, being who you are, and then I’m hiding this gigantic secret.”

Laganja Estranja

One of the breakout stats of RuPaul’s Drag Race, star Laganja Estranja came out as a transgender woman in June in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Says Estranja:

“There are so many other women around me who’ve inspired me to come forward today, and it’s because of their fight and their struggle that I’m able to really do this and say that I’m nervous, but I’m not scared. I’m not going to live my life in fear anymore.”

Lio Tipton

A former contestant on America’s Next Top Model and from the feature film Crazy, Stupid, Love, Lio Tipton came out as nonbinary and queer this June. Through Instagram, Tipton said: 

“I am proud to announce I am queer and I identify as non binary. I hope to give as much love and support back to those who continue to show love and support for the Pride community at large.

Kaitlyn Weaver

The Canadian figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver came out as queer via an Instagram post in June:

“I’m shaking writing this message, but knowing that I’m moving in a loving, authentic, and compassionate way feels right. You all know me — I follow my heart, and that always leads me to the right place. I’m ready to move forward living, loving, and being honest with all of my identity.”

Tommy Dorfman

Tommy Dorfman
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 30: Tommy Dorfman is seen in SoHo on July 30, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

Known for the television series 13 Reasons Why, Dorfman came out as transgender in July during an interview with Time magazine. Notably, she said:

“I view today as a reintroduction to me as a woman, having made a transition medically. Coming out is always viewed as this grand reveal, but I was never not out. Today is about clarity: I am a trans woman.”

Luke Prokop

The Nashville Predator came out as gay in July, making him the first openly gay NHL player currently playing. In a statement, the 19-year-old stated:

“It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I cannot be happier with my decision to come out. From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams.”

Emma Corrin

Emma Corrin
VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 7: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally retouched) Emma Corrin photographed during the 77th Venice Film Festival at the Excelsior Hotel on September 7, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Kurt Krieger – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images).

Known for her star-making turn as Princess Diana in The Crown, the Emmy winner came out as queer in April, stating that she still is not sure how she identifies. She stated:

“There’s no fixed identity, especially for, like, people in the queer community. It’s going to be an ongoing journey, but yeah, I hope that sharing (my truth) helps people.”

Cara Cunningham 

The reality star noted for going viral in 2007 with a ‘Leave Britney Alone’ video, Cunningham came out as transgender in August, releasing a statement via Instagram: 

“Tomorrow is my appointment for hormone replacement therapy. It’s been 33 years coming and I’m happy to be in a place where I can embrace who I am. I have put my identity and personal happiness aside for so long, out of fear of rejection or me not wanting to embarrass my family.”

Conclusion

There were many more that came out in 2021, and there is still some time left in the year for others to share their truth with their fans and the world. HomoCulture salutes these brave individuals for coming out!

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