Yesterday’s article was about celebrities whose coming out gained huge attention, or because it was simply important to reveal their attraction towards women. Today we continue with wonderful ladies who are paragons towards the way to being publicly accepted, and who can be idols for us not just because of their successful careers, but because they decided to live openly despite all of their struggles.
A classic coming out : Ellen Page
The Canadian actress whose breakthrough role was in Juno, spoke up at Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Valentine’s day event, coming out as gay. At the conference of the largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group of the US, Ellen gave an 8 minute-long speech. Honestly all of her speech could be quoted for emphasizing the struggle of hiding, wanting to be good enough and the importance of being visible.
I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. (...) I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.
Ellen has already been an LGBTQ activist before her coming out, and since then she speaks up for equality and visibility even more. After her coming out she played multiple lesbian roles, like Julianne Moore’s partner in Freeheld (she is also a producer of the movie). Ellen and Ian Daniel started a documentary series in 2016 called Gaycation, which is about discovering LGBTQ communities worldwive.
Coming out at the age of fifty: Jodie Foster
At the 2013 Golden Globes, Jodie Foster won the Cecil B DeMille award (lifetime achievement award). The actress known for being reserved started with a confession that, according to her, she didn’t have the chance to make until then. Her fellow co-workers were awaiting her speech (thinking finally, the moment arrived), when she announced: 'I’m...single.' Followed by laughter, she talked about how her life has been a series of coming outs, individually for everyone she has met.
In her speech, she said she understands the importance of a public coming out, however, as someone who was followed by cameras everywhere since the age of 3, she really appreciates the small ounce of privacy she’s been left.
She thanked her co-workers, family and friends, and one of her life’s deepest connections, the other parent of her kids, past-lover, soulmate and best friend, Cydney Bernard.
The fact that Jodie Foster is a lesbian was an open secret even we knew about, despite never having met her. But the “real”, the “official” coming out only happened when she was fifty years old.
In 2014, Jodie married her lover, Alexandra Hedison, who was formerly Ellen Degeneres’s partner.
A stand-up coming out: Kristen Stewart
Kristen played Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room (2002), and she is just as mysterious about her love life as her “mother”. Her breakthrough role was the Twilight-series (2008-2012). At that time, she dated fellow protagonist Robert Pattinson in real life, but ever since then, she mostly dated women. Kristen never spoke about her private life publicly until last year. She came to the realization that while her privacy is her own, she is in a lucky position that she can help others.
I didn't talk about my first relationships that went public because I wanted things that are mine to be mine. But considering I had so many eyes on me, I suddenly realized [my private life] affects a greater number of people than just me. It was an opportunity to surrender a bit of what was mine, to make even one other person feel good about themselves.
This February she even dissed Trump in her memorable Saturday Night Live stand-up coming out. As host, her opening monologue quoted a few tweets about how the president dislikes her. And it got more heated.
Donald, if you didn’t like me then you’re really probably not going to like me now. Because I’m hosting “SNL” and I’m like soooo gay, dude.
The one who didn’t find it difficult: Erika Linder
The Swedish androgynous model and actress entered the modeling world as a young Leonardo Dicaprio in 2011. Later on she became the face of masculine, feminine and unisex collections as well. As an actress, her debut was in the Canadian Below Her Mouth as Dallas the roofer. Erika declared that her coming out wasn’t a very difficult process.
When I first started modeling, I wasn’t even out yet. Like I didn’t even know where my head was at. The only thing I told my agency was ‘OK, if I’m going to do modeling, I’m going to do it my way and I’m going to be myself throughout the whole thing.’ And modeling actually, this industry, helped me come out because, I mean, everyone’s gay. And it was just kind of like — I just felt really comfortable. I just got so much — this is going to sound bad — but I got so much attention from girls so I was like ‘This is fucking nice!' I was like, ‘This is great!’ So it just happened.
The one who was always out: Rachel Maddow
The political TV commentator, showman and writer discussed the difficulty of coming out in a 2009 Charlie Rose interview.
Coming out both to oneself and to one’s family and friends and everything I think is a different degree of traumatic for everybody who goes through it. It wasn’t easy. I figured it out when I was about 17 and I wish I had figured it out earlier. But I am glad, I am happy for the decision to have this come out publicly very soon after I figured it out myself, so my time as a closeted person, which I think is a pretty awful place to be, was a very, very short period of time in my life and for that I’m grateful. (...) Find your own way, but it is better to be out than to be closeted. And I can say that in terms of quality of life and in terms of what's ethically right for your community. It is better for other gay people if you're out. The more people that come out the better. That's the only thing that I encourage anybody to do. And I certainly live that.
Translated by Éva Csermendy