10 Famous Homosexuals
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is coming out, but these 10 famous homosexuals of history led the way. Homosexuality was not a crime or even controversial in many ancient cultures. Only in recent American and European history has it been seen as anything exceptional and these exceptional homosexuals were not shy about declaring their gayness.
- Sappho The ancient Greek poet wrote volumes about her preference for the love of women. Her surviving works are still taught today as classic examples of romantic poetry. Her name gave us the word “Sapphic,” referring to gay women, while her island home of Lesbos gave us the word “lesbian.”
- Oscar Wilde The famed writer and wit was the toast of 1890s London. He lived large and was out and proud. Unfortunately, homosexuality was illegal in Victorian England. He served two years at hard labor and retired to Paris after his release a broken man.
- Rock Hudson Hudson was a Hollywood leading man and sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s. His true sexuality was not disclosed publicly until he was diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s. For many Americans, this was the first time a familiar name was linked with either AIDS or homosexuality, serving as a wakeup call to the nation.
- Elton John The Pinball Wizard was a top rocker when he stunned the world by admitting his bisexuality in a 1976 interview. Twenty years later, he formed a lifelong relationship with the man of his dreams. The two married in a civil ceremony in 2005.
- Melissa Etheridge For most of the twentienth century, gay celebrities had to keep their sexuality a secret or risk career suicide. That all changed in 1993 when rock star Etheridge declared that her love songs were, in fact, about other women. She quickly became a symbol for gay rights and inspired other celebrities to openly acknowledge their own sexuality.
- Ellen DeGeneres Rumors circulated about DeGeneres’s sexuality soon after the debut of her hit show “Ellen” in 1994. She finally came out in 1997; her sitcom character did the same a short time later. It was new territory for network television, but did not slow down DeGeneres, who starred in two other hit series and the animated hit “Finding Nemo” before marrying the woman of her dreams in 2008.
- Sir Ian McKellen England’s top Shakespearean actor became a Hollywood action star in the 2000s with “X-Men” and “Lord of the Rings.” His homosexuality clearly did not impede his career path because he has been out since the 1980s. He has been an active campaigner for the gay rights movement since that time.
- George Takei Takei, on the other hand, kept his sex life to himself while he starred as Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series in the 1960s and the hit movie series it spawned in the ‘80s. He finally came out in the 2000s. He has since spoofed his own sexuality in Comedy Central roasts and on the cartoon series “Futurama.”
- Lily Tomlin. The award-winning actress has been a comedy star since the 1960s. She has been in a lesbian relationship with producer Jane Wagner for almost as long. Although her sexuality was never really a secret, she officially came out in 2001.
- Portia de Rossi The beautiful star of “Arrested Development” and “Ally McBeal” broke numerous male hearts when the tabloid press outed her in 2000. She began dating Ellen DeGeneres five years later. They were married in 2008; Portia legally changed her last name to DeGeneres in 2010.