This list contains information about celebrities who were outed as gay, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Coming out as gay is a very personal decision, but some famous people were outed by the media, or friends, with out their prior consent. Several politicians with anti-gay rights voting records have been outed as homosexual.
Who is the most famous person who has been outed as gay? George Michael tops this list. In 1998, the pop singer was outed after he was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public restroom in California. He has been very open about his sexuality since the incident. He even mocked his arrest in the video for his single “Outside.”
In June 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook was outed by CNBC anchor Simon Hobbs. “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he’s gay at the head of Apple isn’t he,” asked Hobbs. After a long pause, his guest, New York Times journalist Jim Stewart, said, “No. I don’t want to comment on anybody who might or might not be.” A few days after being outed, Cook posed with fans at San Francisco’s recent Gay Pride Parade.
In 1998, pop singer George Michael was outed after he was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public restroom in California. He has been very open about his sexuality since the incident. He even mocked his arrest in the video for his single “Outside.”
In June 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook was outed by CNBC anchor Simon Hobbs. “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he’s gay at the head of Apple isn’t he,” asked Hobbs. After a long pause, his guest, New York Times journalist, Jim Stewart said, “No. I don’t want to comment on anybody who might or might not be.”
A few days after being outed, Cook posed with fans at San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade.
In 2010, photos of Queen Latifah embracing her then-girlfriend, professional trainer Jeanette Jenkins, were published on Bossip.com. In 2011, Tia Mowry made reference to Jenkins being Latifah’s “friend” on “The Wendy Williams Show.”
Queen Latifah has yet to come out of the closet, but she has been open with her support of LGBT rights and equality.
T. R. Knight
T.R. Knight wasn’t officially outed, but the actor has stated that his “Grey’s Anatomy” co-star Isaiah Washington calling him a homophobic slur caused him to publicly come out of the closet. He said, “So I think when that happened, something shifted, and it became bigger than myself.”
Photos of NFL player Kerry Rhodes cuddling with his former assistant, Russell Simpson were released in 2013. After the photos were released, Simpson confirmed that they were a couple. Rhodes denies this saying, “I am not gay… The shots were taken during a past vacation in a casual environment with my entire business team.”
Rumor has it that Rhodes was blacklisted by the NFL because of his sexuality.
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi was outed when photos of her and her then-girlfriend Francesca Gregorini were published in the early 2000s. Rossi was not open about her sexuality with the public or her close friends and family at the time that the photos were released.
She has been married to Ellen DeGeneres since 2008.
“Pop Idol” alum Will Young publicly announced that his was gay in 2002 because he was given advanced notice that a tabloid newspaper was about to out him.
Richard Chamberlain was outed in 1989 by Nous Deux magazine, but he did not comment on his sexuality until 2003. Chamberlain was in a romantic relationship with Martin Rabbett from 1966-2010.
Before becoming a fearless advocate for LGBT rights, Chaz Bono was outed as a lesbian by the tabloids. He came out publicly in an interview with The Advocate in 1995.
Bono transitioned from female to male from 2008-2010.
Journalist Pete Williams was outed by Michelangelo Signorile in 1991 in a piece for The Advocate. Williams’s outing propelled a discussion on the ban of gay men in the military, helping to end the discriminatory legislation.
Comedian and author Fannie Flagg was outed by her long-term partner, Rita Mae Brown. Since being outed, Flagg has been very open about her sexuality.
Roy Ashburn had a history of voting against gay rights legislation during his years in Congress. He was publicly outed after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving while leaving a gay night club in 2010.
He publicly acknowledged his sexuality, but he has yet to comment on being a gay man with an anti-gay voting record.
In 2013, Tyler Perry was outed by his friend Walter Hampton, who claimed that Perry used to be a flamboyantly gay man. Perry has yet to publicly come out as gay.
In 2006, Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard was outed by a male prostitute who said that Haggard paid him for sex. Haggard denied the claim, but another man came forward with information that also suggested Haggard was gay.
Haggard was removed from leadership within the church and entered counseling to deal with his homosexuality. In 2010, Haggard said that he, “completely shunned away any homosexual feelings he has had in the past.”
Republican congressman Mark Foley was outed in 2006 after sexually explicit emails that he sent to a male page became public. Several more pages came forward also accusing Foley of inappropriate conduct.
Foley resigned from office and has since come out as gay.