This is a love letter to my fellow LGBTQ+ people who are celebrating. This is also to those who are hurting, and to those who haven’t come out yet. You are loved and valued. Your experiences are valid and your emotions are justified. Your journey may be rocky, but I am so glad you are who you are. This is a reminder that we are not alone. We have each other and our allies. At a time when new celebrities are outed as racists, rapists or worse on a terribly regular basis, I want to spark hope.
Not one person on this planet asked, but read on for 7 celebrities worth celebrating and coming out to.
1. Lady Gaga (she/her)
I can only dream that after coming out to Lady Gaga, she’d perform an acoustic rendition of “Born This Way.” And maybe, just maybe, Bradley Cooper would cameo with some harmonies. Lady Gaga — aka Mother Monster, my queen and supreme bad b*tch, has been a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She spoke at the 2009 National Equality March and protested “don’t ask, don’t tell” by inviting four LGBTQ+ former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Gaga discussed her bisexuality: “I am bisexual. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.” In 2009, Gaga’s “Poker Face” earned an award for International Video of the Year. She accepted the award by thanking “God and the gays,” and frankly, I’ve never had more respect for someone. Later that year, Out Magazine featured Gaga on the cover: “I very much want to inject gay culture into the mainstream. It’s not an underground tool for me. It’s my whole life.” And that’s on periodt.
2. Jennifer Garner (she/her)
Following her role in the stunning film “Love, Simon” as the mother of a closeted gay teenager, Jennifer Garner discussed the impact of her performance with Pride Source: “I just wanted to be a beacon for moms who are confused, or for kids who want to help their moms through something, or for kids who are looking for what they are hoping to get back from their parents when they have that conversation with them.” Garner persists as an icon and a role model to cishet white women everywhere. Her activism supports without speaking over minority voices. Her allyship deserves emulated recognition and emulation. Let me once again say that Jennifer Garner is a dream and I would love to share my coming out experience with her.
3. Demi Lovato (she/her)
Demi Lovato truly has the strength of nations in her heart. As an immeasurable force in Hollywood and her advocacy for LGBT people is powerful beyond words. She marched in the Los Angeles and New York City Pride celebrations, even filming the music video for “Really Don’t Care” at the Los Angeles march. Lovato’s support of GLAAD, the world’s leading LGBT advocacy organization, makes her a force of nature. She was honored with the Vanguard Award at the 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2016. “I think Demi’s transparency about her experiences and trauma is absolutely life-changing for so many people who hear her story and enjoy her music and media presence,” recent Florida State University graduate Devin Bittner said. “She is by no means a perfect activist or even one of the most significant celebrity activists, but she always brings a completely human touch to everything she does and every cause she supports… She does what she can in her power as a 27-year-old still reeling from years of the pressures of fame and addiction and finding her own place in the world to let the people who admire her know what she stands for. For any of her shortcomings, I believe she’s authentic and I believe that she cares.” Demi is a champion for human rights and a gem in this hurting world. We don’t deserve her.
4. Sam Smith (they/them)
Sam Smith built their magnificent career off three hit singles, and if that’s not a power move, I really don’t know what is. They publicly discussed their struggle with OCD on Twitter (another dose of bad bitch energy). Sam Smith self-identified as nonbinary in 2019 in an interview with Jameela Jamil: “When I saw the nonbinary, genderqueer, and I read into it, and I heard these people speaking, I was like, ‘F*ck, that is me.’” To top it off, they declare themselves a feminist (we stan a champion for women’s rights). “I identify as genderqueer but am scared by the pressure that comes with representing the community and how my actions could hurt somebody else,” Florida State University sophomore Alberto Blanco said. “Sam Smith highlighted how it’s always a good start to deliberate with yourself first but it’s also great to share and be open about who you are and what it is your heart and mind are saying (always with it being in check obviously). Always living for yourself and communicating your journey with those you love.” In the battle for LGBT rights, Sam Smith is a figurehead for nonbinary and gender nonconforming folks. As he accepted the Person of the Year award from Attitude Awards, Smith said, “let’s live as loudly and as queerly as possible.” I could not have said it any better.
5. Janelle Monáe (they/them)
First of all, wow. This world is forever undeserving of Janelle Monáe. They are a blessing and we should support them at all costs. They publicly identified as pansexual and nonbinary. The strides Janelle Monáe made brought attention to identities frequently dismissed by the cishet public. “I’m inspired by Janelle Monáe because they’re so outspoken,” Florida State University rising junior Tyler Covington said. “I think it’s so important to be outspoken when you have a platform as big as theirs. They use their platform any chance they get.” Monáe’s work spans across multiple mediums like film, music and dance. Their acting in movies like “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight” and “Harriet,” has gathered over 20 awards from a variety of councils. Furthermore, their reputation as a leading black artist remains untarnished by any controversies. Monáe has been, is and always will be an icon. Their unproblematic lifestyle deserves adoration and emulation.
6. Andrea Gibson (they/them)
Andrea Gibson, the absolute star, is an American spoken word poet and an activist from Calais, Maine. As one of the most influential voices in the spoken word community, they consistently use their platform to speak out against gender, sexual orientation and racial discrimination. Their work explores topics of grief, loss, family, love, race, sexuality, gender, self-harm and survival. Their work is bold, beautiful and honest. Some of my favorite pieces are ”Touring With a Black Poet (Privilege is not Having to Think About It)”, “Letter to White Queers”, “Swing Set”, “Maybe I Need You” and “Honey.” Coming out to Andrea Gibson would put the world on pause. The whole Earth would stop spinning for a hug, a few tears shed and a poem. And that is a beautiful moment.
7. Anne Hathaway (she/her)
Anne Hathaway is my eternal girl crush and there’s nothing the world can do to change that. In addition to her long-running career as an immensely talented actress and vocalist, she continuously establishes herself as an enduring ally. Her older brother is an openly gay man and before her rise to fame, her family was supporting and loving. “Anne Hathaway isn’t in the LGBT[Q]+ community, [but] she’s an ally. She doesn’t have to speak out against the injustices the community faces and yet she does. She uses her platform to uplift the voices of those who otherwise wouldn’t be heard. Hathaway constantly goes above and beyond. She not only understands her privilege, but she uses it for the better,” Florida State University junior Chase Clough said. These ideals prevail in Hathaway’s political alignment and have become the backbone of her identity. Hathaway lives a life of love, acceptance and empathy, three things this world certainly lacks.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision prohibiting gender-based discrimination in the workplace revolutionized the future of this county. Progress is made, but the battle is not over. Find hope in the good news and strength in the dark. But never give up. Happy pride!