31 celebrities who came out as LGBTQ+ in 2023

2023 saw even more famous faces proudly share their inclusion in our rainbow family.

From left to right, portraits shots of LGBTQ celebrities who came out in 2023 (Ncuti Gatwa, Miss Benny, Alexander Lincoln).
Image: Instagram (@ncutigatwa, @missbenny, @alexander_lincoln)

It’s been a big year for LGBTQ+ news both good and bad, but one bright spot has been the celebrities who felt proud to share their queer identities with their fans and the world. All identities should be celebrated, so we thought, why not platform the voices of the celebrities who shared they are members of our LGBTQ+ family!

Bella Ramsey
Ramsey, who joined the cast of Game of Thrones when she was just 11 years old, came out as non-binary in an interview with The New York Times this January. The interview, which took place in the run-up to the premiere of Ramsey’s latest project, The Last of Us, saw the actor speak about how she was glad to be entered into a non-gender-specific category at this year’s Critics Choice Awards. 

“Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like,” Ramsey added. 



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Jakub Jankto
Czech footballer Jakub Jankto became the highest-profile active male footballer to come out as gay when he publicly announced his sexuality this February. The 27-year-old midfielder, currently on loan to Sparta Prague FC, said in an interview: “I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself.”



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A post shared by Kuba (@jakubjanktojr)

Another in the list of LGBTQ+ celebrities is a celebrated actress and comedian. 13 years after winning an Oscar for her performance in the film Precious, Mo’Nique returned to our screens this April with her Netflix special My Name is Mo’Nique. The special included a segment where Mo’Nique spoke candidly about hiding her sexuality from her family. While the actress didn’t put a label on her sexuality, she was very open about the fact that she is sexually attracted to women.



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Adore Delano
After appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6 and All Stars 2, legendary drag queen and recording artist Adore Delano came out as a trans woman this July in an emotional video posted to her Instagram. In the video, Delano said: “I wanted to let everybody know that I am transitioning, and I kept it really hush-hush the first three months because I wanted to go through the beginning stages of the puberty privately.”



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Shinjiro Atae
The 34 year-old Japanese pop star was another in our list of celebrities who came out as LGBTQ+ in 2023. Prior to coming out, Atae spent two decades performing with Japanese pop group AAA. Atae’s announcement is particularly notable in a country like Japan, the only G7 country that has not legalised same-sex unions. In his announcement, Atae proclaimed: “I don’t want people to struggle like me”. 


Gabby Windey
Windey first appeared on American television screens in 2002 as a contestant on the 26th season of The Bachelor. She later appeared as a co-star on the 19th season of The Bachelorette before coming out as queer on an episode of The View this August. On the talk show, Windey revealed that she was dating writer and comedian Robby Hoffman, who won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the PBS series Odd Squad



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Wayne Brady
While some might recognise Wayne Brady, the latest in our list of LGBTQ+ celebrities, from the improv comedy series Who’s Line Is It Anyways?, the actor and comedian has also appeared as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and The Masked Singer (which he won). This August, Brady sat down for an exclusive interview with People where the Let’s Make A Deal host revealed that he identifies as pansexual. “I am pansexual,” said Brady in the interview. “Bisexual – with an open mind.” 



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Ncuti Gatwa
Known primarily for appearing in the Netflix series Sex Education, Gatwa made history this year when he was cast as the first Black Doctor in Doctor Who. The actor similarly came out as queer in an August interview with Elle. Gatwa later said that he didn’t intend to formally come out. “It sort of became a more complicated issue than I ever wanted it to be,” he said. “It became a situation that kind of ran away from me.” 



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Alexander Lincoln
After leaving the hit ITV soap Emmerdale, Lincoln went on to star in the 2022 gay rugby drama In From the Side. In January of this year, the actor seemingly came out when he posted to his Instagram page that he was “not straight.” He later clarified his sexuality in an April interview with Attitude, saying that he’s been with both men and women.



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Tomás González
Hailing from Santiago, Chile, González is a gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast who has appeared at the last three Olympic Games (London in 2012, Rio in 2016, and Tokyo in 2020). The gymnast publicly came out this August in his autobiography Champion: Lessons, Triumphs, and Falls of an Olympic Gymnast. 



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Paulie Calafiore
After originally appearing on Season 16 of Big Brother where he was a runner-up, Calafiore later became a contestant on this summer’s MTV reality competition series The Challenge: USA. When he was eliminated from the series in August, Calafiore took the opportunity to publicly come out as bisexual. “I really had to change my perspective and be like, ‘Well, you know there might be other people that are going through this exact same thing… and maybe this is what they needed to hear and what they needed to see in order to do it themselves,’” Calafiore told GLAAD following his elimination.



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Jade Jolie
On top of appearing as a contestant on both RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dragula, this prolific Taylor Swift impersonator has also appeared in Swift’s 2019 music video for her song, ‘You Need To Calm Down’. In October, Jolie came out as a trans woman on Twitter/X, writing simply: “Deciding to choose myself and move forward with my transition.”



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Billie Eilish
The multi-Grammy-Award-winning singer-songwriter known for her tracks like ‘What Was I Made For?’ and ‘bad guy’ came out as queer in her Variety Power of Women cover story this December. Following the buzz that the interview created, Eilish admitted that she didn’t know she needed to come out as she assumed it was “obvious”. 

“I didn’t realise people didn’t know, I just really don’t believe in it. I’m just like, ‘Why can’t we just exist?’”



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28-year-old singer-songwriter Lauv, whose real name is Ari Staprans Leff, posted a TikTok video this August captioned: “I’m gay but I’m not gay but I’m gay but I’m not gay,” sparking speculation that the artist might be, well, gay. Since then, Lauv has elaborated, saying that his sudden interest in his sexuality stems from his ongoing struggles with OCD and anxiety. When asked to elaborate on his identity, the singer apologised to fans, saying, “I don’t really have any particular answers yet, other than it’s something that I’m exploring in my music and exploring in my mind, and I’m going to be exploring in my life.” 



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Richard Armitage
Currently starring in Netflix’s drama series Obsession, 51-year-old actor Richard Armitage came out as a gay man to the public this April in an interview with Radio Times. In the interview, Armitage said that he’d been out of the closet “to anyone who mattered” since he was 19. Since coming out publicly this April, Armitage has also spoken extensively about his ongoing relationship with his male partner. 



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Campbell Johnstone
Johnstone made history this January when he became the first-ever All Blacks rugby player to come out as gay when he announced his sexuality in an interview with New Zealand TV (NZTV). While Johnstone retired from the All Blacks in 2014, the now 43-year-old’s coming out video received widespread support from rugby organisations across New Zealand. This included openly gay New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson, who said: “Now with the All Blacks, another barrier has been broken. I hope it inspires future generations to be open, happy and comfortable. There is still a long way to go, but this feels a very significant step.”  


Alison Brie
A delightful addition to our list of LGBTQ+ celebrities is the actress Alison Brie. Best known for her roles on hit series like GLOW and Community, she came out as bisexual this February in a video interview with BuzzFeed. In the video, Brie and her husband, fellow actor Dave Franco, were reading ‘thirst tweets’ from fans. One message read: “Listen, I am bisexual for a reason, and that reason is strictly to be used in a threesome by Dave Franco and Alison Brie.” Brie laughed at the tweet, high-fiving Franco before saying: “That’s also why I’m bisexual!”



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Jeff Molina
Molina, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the Flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), came out as bisexual this March. Unfortunately, Molina’s coming out was expedited when a video of the fighter being intimate with another man was leaked online without his consent. Molina would go on to describe in an interview with The MMA Hour that the video was later used to blackmail the fighter into paying upwards of $25,000.

Since coming out, Molina says that he is happy to be an inspiration to fellow fighters and members of the LGBTQ+ community, writing: “It was heartwarming to get messages from fellow athletes that are closeted, fellow UFC fighters that are closeted, people with notoriety that were just like, ‘Hey man, it’s an inspiration, and it sucks on the terms that it happened, but you’re an inspiration. It’s inspiring for you to come out and be the first male UFC fighter to be out.’ And that definitely changed the tune of how I was feeling. It almost felt good to turn a s***** situation into a positive by knowing I’m inspiring people around the world. When I say it was more than just a dozen, it was at least 100 messages from fighters, athletes, actors, musicians, just regular Joes. That was pretty cool.”



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Josh Seiter
After appearing on reality TV dating shows like The Bachelorette, 90 Day Fiancé, and Love After Lockup, former exotic dancer Josh Seiter proudly joined the ranks of LGBTQ+ celebrities this June in an interview with TV Shows Ace. While Seiter has exclusively dated women on television, the dancer previously identified as pansexual.

Speaking with TV Shows Ace, Seiter revealed that he now identifies as bisexual and has been in a relationship with a man, a fellow exotic dancer named David, since November of 2022. In the interview, Seiter added that he was “excited to finally be in a healthy relationship” after “a lot of disastrous relationships with women.” 



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Josh Kiszka
Kiszka, the lead singer of the rock band Greta Van Fleet, came out this June in an emotional Instagram post where the singer shared that he has been in a loving same-sex relationship for the last eight years. While the singer admitted that he was worried that coming out would put a ‘target’ on his back, he was met with widespread support from the rock community.

Speaking with Rolling Stone on his decision to come out, the 27-year-old said: “Ultimately, when enough injustice [happens], you can’t just stand by and watch it happen any longer. But also I didn’t want kids that are part of the LGBTQIA+ communities to feel like they’re victims or that they should be frightened.

“There’s so much stigma, still, that is surrounding all of this. When you’re talking about lawmakers making decisions that basically dictate who or who not someone can love or how or how not someone can dress, it’s concerning on not just the level that it threatens the LGBTQIA+ communities, but on a level that it threatens humanity and that it jeopardises individualism and identity. It’s a fucking dystopian kind of reality.”



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Miss Benny
While many readers might recognise Miss Benny as the YouTube sensation with more than 37,000 subscribers, the YouTuber-turned-actress came out as a trans woman this June in an essay she wrote for Time. Benny’s announcement came just days before the premiere of Netflix’s Glamorous series, in which Benny portrays a gender non-conforming character called Marco.

In an Instagram post announcing her coming out, Benny wrote: “The gap is quickly closing between now and June 22: the day that my television series Glamorous will come out on Netflix. And along with it, I too will come out as the transgender woman I’ve been privately living as for the last few years. I’m a proud person, but admittedly it’s still a bit daunting to say those words publicly.”



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Taylor Armstrong
One of the many newly minted celebrities from the hit reality TV series The Real Housewives of Orange County, Taylor Armstrong came out as LGBTQ+ on a June episode of the show’s 17th season this year. Armstrong announced to her fellow Housewives cast mates that she was bisexual and similarly shared that she had once been in a five-year-long relationship with a woman prior to her relationship with her late husband, Russell Armstrong. 



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Nicola Porcella
In addition to being a former professional footballer, Porcella has made a career for himself in Mexican television as an actor, a television host and a reality TV star. Most recently, the newly out LGBTQ+ star appeared on La Casa de los Famosos México, a reality television program consisting of local celebrities that is similar to Celebrity Big Brother. On the series, which aired this July, Porcella proudly announced to his fellow housemates, and to the audience watching at home, “Hi, I am Nicola, and I accept that I am pansexual!”



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Kevin Maxen
Maxen made history (and our list of LGBTQ+ celebrities!) this July when, in an exclusive interview with Outsports, he became the first openly gay coach in major US men’s pro sports. Currently working as the strength coach for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, Maxen added: “I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore. I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing, or why I am living with someone else.

“I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react.”



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Kris Tyson
Tyson, best known for her continued appearances in videos on the MrBeast YouTube channel (which has more than 218 million subscribers at present), came out as a trans woman this July in an interview with fellow YouTuber Anthony Padilla. In the interview, Tyson says that part of what held her back from realising her trans identity sooner was the role she played in MrBeast’s videos: “After a lot of talking with a therapist and a lot of self reflection, I realised it was really just this societal pressure of, ‘You’re Chris from MrBeast. You’re the guy that starts the fires. You’re the guy that builds the stuff.’ My whole life I’ve enjoyed doing those things, but I’ve never really felt like ‘the guy.’



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Joe Locke
After his Hearstopper co-star Kit Connor was forced out of the closet last year by fans who were upset at the thought of a supposedly straight actor playing a queer role, Joe Locke took the opportunity to point out this August in an interview with Teen Vogue that nobody had ever bothered to question his sexuality when it came to the series. While Locke admits that he has been openly gay in his personal life since the age of 12, he noted that he had never publicly disclosed his sexuality to fans. “People have assumed and written it,” said Locke. “But I’ve never specifically stated my sexuality.” Locke later told Teen Vogue that he does, indeed, identify as a gay man. 



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Sufjan Stevens
The Grammy and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter best known for his work on the queer film Call Me By Your Name, came out as gay this October when he dedicated his latest album, Javelin, to his late partner Evan Richardson, who sadly passed away in April. 

“This album is dedicated to the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April,” wrote Stevens in an Instagram post announcing the album. “He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity, and joy. He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime—precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”



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Karan Brar
Former Disney Channel star Karan Brar came out as bisexual this December in a Teen Vogue essay he wrote discussing his sexuality and his mental health. In the essay, the actor, best known for his roles in series like Jessie and Bunk’d, discussed how he had disclosed his sexuality to fellow Disney Channel actor Cameron Boyce. In 2019, Boyce tragically passed away at the age of 20. In the essay, Brar recalls the moment he came out to Boyce, who was his roommate at the time, as well as their third roommate and Disney co-star, Sophie Reynolds.

“The moment the words left my mouth, I regretted it. I could barely see straight, but I ended up trying to do some damage control anyway,” he recalled. “The best thing I could think of came stumbling out of my mouth: ‘If you guys want me to move out I can. Just give me two weeks to figure it ou–’ 

“They interrupted me by hugging me from behind. Again, I told them I should move out. They told me I was being stupid. I told them I’d cover for them if people asked why we didn’t live together anymore… they said my bisexuality changed nothing for them.” 


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Anderson Comas
Dominican outfielder Anderson Comas, a minor league baseball player for the Chicago White Sox, came out as gay this February in an Instagram post, saying: “This may be my most personal thing I ever share and it’s that I’m proudly and happily part of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Comas’ announcement makes him the third-ever minor league player to come out in baseball history after Soloman Bates (San Francisco Giants) and David Denson (Milwaukee Brewers). 



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Michelle Dee
Dee won the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines pageant, a preliminary competition ahead of the Miss Universe pageant, in May of this year. In June, Dee came out as bisexual after an image of her cuddling with another woman led to speculation about her sexuality. In an interview with MEGA magazine, Dee clarified her sexuality, saying: “I’m attracted to all forms of beauty, shapes, and sizes.”



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Xavier Espot Zamora
Closing our round-up of LGBTQ+ celebrities who came out in 2023 is Xavier Espot Zamora, who was elected as the Prime Minister of Andorra in 2019. He came out as gay in an interview with Andorra Radio and Television this September. In the interview, Zamora said: “If this helps many children, young people or teenagers who are going through a difficult time see that in the end, regardless of their condition or sexual orientation, you can prosper in this country and reach the highest magistracy, then I am happy to express it.”

After coming out, Zamora has become one of only five openly LGBTQ+ sitting heads of state or government in the world. The others include Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.


That concludes our list of celebrities who came out as LGBTQ+ in 2023. We look forward to a time when people don’t feel anxiety or worry to share their true identities about their inclusion in our rainbow family.

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