July 25, 2018
Coming out stories are all unique in their own way.
Some are heartbreaking and sad, while others are full of promise and inspirational takeaways. Since celebrities have immense platforms, their coming out often has a wide audience. Sometimes, these celebrities use media outlets to confirm this part of their identity. Other times, coming out takes on an art form of its own. Here’s how a handful have done it.
Actress Kristen Stewart is best known for her role as Bella in the “Twilight” series. In the past few years, she’s been seen with female partners but had never come out to the public. Last March, Stewart artfully came out during her SNL monologue while cracking jokes about Donald Trump. Her confidence and ironic tone during the performance made the context of publicly coming out all the more inspirational and even funny.
Panic! at the Disco frontman and Broadway Kinky Boots actor Brendon Urie came out as pansexual during an interview with Paper Magazine.
“I’m married to a woman and I’m very much in love with her but I’m not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person,” he states.
Urie said he likes to use his fame “as a means to fight for causes” he believes in. After Urie’s story went viral on Twitter, it was also revealed that he donated one million dollars to GLSEN , an organization that helps create safe spaces for LGBTQ children. In this way, Urie’s coming out story feels philanthropic and giving, spreading positivity and love through his platform
Rapper Jay Z revealed that his mother, Gloria Carter, is a lesbian through the song “Smile” released on his album 4:44 in June 2017. He raps, “Mama had four kids but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian / had to hide in the closet so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take / Cried tears of joy when you fell in love / Don’t matter to me if it’s a him or her.”
The song ends with Carter reciting a poem:
“Living in the shadow
Can you imagine what kind of life it is to live?
In the shadows people see you as happy and free
Because that’s what you want them to see
Living two lives, happy, but not free.”
During a podcast with D’usse, Carter said that she shares a lot with her son and felt that it was time to tell him know who she was. She notes how she initially didn’t want him to include her story in “Smile.” She felt that it wasn’t something to be shared with the world. Although Carter came out using her son’s platform, her poetry recitation displays her own voice behind the story.
While many coming out stories focus on joy and hope, Carter’s gives a sense of emotional pain, using a more poetic and artistic way to express her identity.
The 2018 romantic blockbuster “Love, Simon” centers around a high school boy experiencing a public outing. The film shows viewers the challenges, nuances and personal acceptance that follows coming out.
While Simon received positive reactions from his parents upon coming out, there were still moments where he felt isolated from his family and their perspectives. While struggling with self-acceptance, he also had to deal with separate issues regarding his friends.Without spoiling the film, Simon’s story ends well, giving “Love, Simon” the happy ending it deserves.
“Love, Simon” actors themselves came out to the public during and after the move production.
Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays Bram in the movie, came out to his fellow actors while filming for the movie. Joey Pollari, who plays the character of Lyle in “Love,Simon” came out during an interview with The Advocate. He said that Simon’s experience was “similar to mine” and that the hardest part of coming out was accepting himself.
Media and coming out stories can go hand in hand. Whether coming out with comedy, poetry or philanthropy, each member of the LGBTQ+ community has a different experience and a unique way to share their identity.
For anyone that’s already come out, congratulations! For anyone still waiting on their moment, hopefully these stories inspired you. Go at your own pace and know that you decide when or how you tell others for your coming out story.
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