As time goes by, our society is becoming more and more supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals and this has paved the way for these 2018 celebrity coming out stories. From models to actors to musicians, plenty of stars came out as gay, bisexual, pansexual, and more in 2018.
Despite the fact diversity is on the rise across television, movies, and other mediums, many groups still feel their experience is not touched on as often as it could be. The stories below helped many other LGBTQ+ people feel more accepted and represented in the media. Here, you'll find a chronological list of people who came out this year with the most recent celebs to come out listed first.
Who are some famous people who came out in 2018? After a poem he penned caused widespread speculation about his sexuality, singer Jason Mraz confirmed he was attracted to both women and men in a Billboard interview. Amandla Stenberg, best known as Rue in The Hunger Games, came out as a lesbian in 2018. While Tessa Thompson and Janelle Monae would not confirm whether they were dating, they both opened up about their respective sexual orientations this year. If you're curious to learn about more celebrities who came out in 2018, browse the list below!
1. Derek Chadwick
Model and actor Derek Chadwick came out as gay just before he appeared on the August 2018 issue of Gay Times Magazine, stating:
"I would identify now as gay...I think I realized vaguely at school that I was gay, like officially. There was a point that I just knew. I have a very private life, and because I haven’t been out, I’ve been nervous about people seeing my personality because I didn’t want them to jump to conclusions about me without knowing my whole story".
Birthplace: New York City, New York
2. Rita Ora
In response to backlash for her lyrics on the 2018 hit "Girls," Rita Ora apologized via Twitter. While the song faced criticism for reinforcing stereotypes, Ora came out in her Tweet and stated the song was meant to reflect her own personal experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community:
"'Girls' was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey".
Profession: Songwriter, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Singer.
3. Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz's contribution to Billboard's 2018 "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" series led to widespread speculation that the singer is bisexual. Mraz confirmed his sexuality in a July 2018 interview with Billboard, stating:
"But I’ve had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife. It was like, "Wow, does that mean I am gay?" And my wife laid it out for me.
She calls it "two spirit," which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman. I really like that".
Birthplace: USA, Virginia, Mechanicsville
Profession: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Artist.
4. Rebecca Sugar
Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar came out as non-binary in an NPR interview in July 2018. She said, "I am also a non-binary woman which is been really great to express myself through these characters because it’s very much how I have felt throughout my life."
Age: 30 years
Birthplace: Silver Springs, Maryland, United States of America
Profession: Storyboard Artist, Songwriter, Screenwriter.
5. Tessa Thompson
In a 2018 interview, Tessa Thomspon spoke openly about being bisexual. She said, "[In my family] you can be anything you want to be. I’m attracted to men and also to women. If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don’t even have to have the discussion."
Thompson is rumored to be in a romantic relationship with Janelle Monae, but Thompson did not directly confirm or deny the relationship in the interview. She only stated that the two loved each other deeply and she understood why people speculated about their relationship.
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
6. Lee Pace
Pace came out seven times a week before finally coming out for real.
In the past, Pace was so not out that occasionally gossip blogs would put him together with an actress, like his friend Judy Greer. He brought her to the premiere of “A Single Man.”
“At the time, I knew he was gay,” Ms. Greer said in an interview. “I didn’t really talk about it to anyone — not even really because he asked me not to, just because it’s his business. When I saw that stuff online, I thought it was really strange. I didn’t think anything of it but to be flattered that anyone would think he would want to go out with me. I was like, ‘Oh my God, whattt?’ He was so tall and handsome! I thought, I’ll ride this wave for a minute.” She laughed. “And I was single at the time.”
7. Bebe Rexha
Much like Ora, when asked about the "Girls" controversy on The Dan Wootton Interview, Rexha spoke frankly about welcoming both men and women into her romantic life. "At the end of the day I feel like we all just want to be loved and love and find love," she shared.
8. Joey Pollari
After coming out to his family when he was 18-years-old, Love, Simon actor Joey Pollari came out publicly in an interview with the Advocate, saying the film mirrored his experience as a queer teen.
9. Alyson Stoner
The Disney Channel icon you may remember from Mike's Super Short Show, Camp Rock, or, perhaps most powerfully, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, has come out as queer in a personal essay for Teen Vogue.
The dancer, actress, and singer shared the story of how she fell in love with a woman and was forced to confront her identity and faith head-on.
"I spent years—not months or weeks or days, but years—trying to identify the source of my attraction to her," she writes. "Like many, I had internalized some of the harmful beliefs and misconceptions about LGBTQ people and identities. At the time, I thought, Maybe it’s because I moved away from my father as a child and didn’t have typical male guidance in my life."
The reckoning came when she gave up trying to deny who she was and admitted to herself the truth about her sexuality, whatever the consequences might be.
"'If by being honest I get banished to hell, so be it. I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry,'” she continues. "Right then I expected absolute emptiness, the height of despair and the lowest point in my life. I instead felt an inexplicable embrace. Slowly, a curiosity set in, as if giving up might actually be the impetus needed to see life, God, love, humanity, and (literally) everything in a new way. I’m not talking about believing whatever I felt like; rather, I felt a transformation, an ascension, an approach to life rooted in real love."
10. Brendon Urie
In a July 6, 2018 interview with Paper, Brendon Urie came out as pansexual. The Panic at the Disco singer stated:
"I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don't care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart's in the right place. I'm definitely attracted to men. It's just people that I am attracted to".
Birthplace: Summerlin, Nevada, United States of America
Profession: Guitarist, Songwriter, Pianist, Musician, Singer-songwriter.
11. Jessie Paege
YouTube celebrity Jessie Paege came out as bisexual in a series of YouTube videos in the summer of 2018. She later said in an interview with The Advocate:
"I always was a bit hesitant when it came to relationships and romance growing up. I was never the friend in a relationship or talking about crushes, and I think that came from my own insecurity and feelings. I realized that the term “bisexual” is fluid and the label fit me perfectly and the feelings I was scared of in high school".
Birthplace: New Jersey, United States of America
12. Paris Jackson
In 2018, Paris Jackson came out as bisexual publicly though she had been out to her family and friends since she was 14. She confirmed her sexuality in a Tweet, stating:
"How many times have I publicly referred to the community as ‘my fellow LGBTQ+’? Like, even on stage. I’ve been apart of the community for years. I even mentioned having crushes on girls when I was eight in a magazine before. I’ve been caught kissing girls in public".
Profession: Actor, TV Personality.
13. Cassandra Bankson
YouTube star Cassandra Bankson came out as gay in a 2018 video where she stated:
"I struggled with self-harm growing up, and a lot of that stemmed from trying to mitigate my attraction to other women. I was destroying myself over something I can't change. Maybe this will be the wake up call to someone who is homophobic or hateful, to show that who I love doesn't change who I am".
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
14. Amandla Stenberg
In a June 2018 interview, Amandla Stenberg spoke openly about being gay. She stated, "I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way."
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Profession: Model, Actor.