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Thread: Celebs: In and Out

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    Exclamation Celebs: In and Out


    In 2000, Barbara Walters asked Ricky Martin about rumors that he was gay. The pop singer shifted awkwardly in his chair and refused to answer her question, though he did say, “I live la vida loca.” A few years later, paparazzi photographs popped up of Martin on a beach in a Speedo with another man. Then came the announcement that he was having twins via a surrogate, but no mention of a significant other. Finally, in March 2010, Martin told us what we’d suspected all along: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man.” The reaction was largely a collective yawn. Many people already assumed the singer was gay, and some argue that a celebrity coming out just isn’t a big deal anymore. It’s normal and expected, and that’s progress. So why, then, did it take Martin (shown here in 1999) so long to come out? And why do so many other celebrities widely thought to be gay remain in the closet? The answers are complicated and as individual as the persons involved. Coming out is never easy, and most gay advocates agree that everyone—celebrity or not—deserves the freedom to make that choice on their own personal terms. Here are a few of the celebrities who decided to be open about their sexuality—long after a large segment of the public believed them to be gay.
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    Lance Bass

    Lance Bass played it straight during his time with boy-band ’N Sync—and during his interviews about planning a trip into outer space. He even dated the actress who portrayed Topanga on Boy Meets World. In 2006, he finally came out in a cover story in People magazine. “The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that [the rumors] really were starting to affect my daily life,” he said. Bass (left) and one-time boyfriend Reichen Lehmkuhl.
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    Clay Aiken

    In 2006, a sexually suggestive video of Clay Aiken, the American Idol runner-up, leaked from a gay dating Web site. But that same year, he gave a big interview to People where he implied he was straight. He even offered a cover-up for the video: it wasn’t him; it was just somebody who looked exactly like him. He finally came out in September 2008. “It was the first decision I made as a father,” he said.
    ate jaate jo milta hai tumsa lagta hai
    mai to pagal ho jawunga aisa lagata hai

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    Ellen Degeneres

    Ellen DeGeneres should be applauded for being the first television sitcom star to come out of the closet in 1997. But the cover language of Time magazine—“Yep, I’m Gay”—hinted that she thought most of America already knew. Ellen has only increased her popularity in the last decade, as the host of her own daytime talk show and more recently as the new judge on American Idol.
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    mai to pagal ho jawunga aisa lagata hai

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    Sean Hayes

    Sean Hayes played the flamboyant gay sidekick, Jack, on TV’s Will & Grace, and everybody assumed he was gay in real life, too. But Hayes, showing off his future six-pack at the 2003 SAG awards, kept quiet about his sexual orientation until an interview with the Advocate seven years later.
    ate jaate jo milta hai tumsa lagta hai
    mai to pagal ho jawunga aisa lagata hai

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    Rosie O'Donnell

    Rosie O’Donnell, the “queen of nice,” pretended to have a crush on Tom Cruise, but it wasn’t a match that was ever meant to be. At the height of her talk-show fame, Rosie was often seen pushing her son’s stroller while walking with another woman. In 2002, when The Rosie O’Donnell Show was finally about to wrap, she sat down with Diane Sawyer and told the world that she was a gay mom with her partner Kelli Carpenter (the two have since split). Here, O’Donnell poses with Madonna in 1992.
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    George Michael

    We all had faith that George Michael would eventually let down his hair, but we never expected it to be under such scandalous circumstances. In 1998, the British pop icon was arrested for engaging in a “lewd act” with a man in a public restroom. Soon after, he revealed that he had been in a long-term relationship with a man. Here, Michael performs as part of WHAM! in 1983.
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    Roy Ashburn

    Roy Ashburn, the Republican state senator from California, had a history of voting against gay issues. So it was pretty embarrassing that he was busted on a DUI in March 2010, after leaving a gay club in Sacramento with another man. Since even the best politician couldn’t talk his way out of this scandal—was he just there to listen to Lady Gaga’s new single?—he finally announced that he was gay. Then he added that he has voted anti-gay because that’s what his constituents want. How lame.
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    Lily Tomlin

    Everybody in Hollywood had known since the 1970s that actress Lily Tomlin, shown here in her famous 'Ernestine' character from the 'Laugh In' show, was a lesbian--but she kept it under wraps for years. “In some ways I regret that I didn’t do it [sooner],” she later said.
    ate jaate jo milta hai tumsa lagta hai
    mai to pagal ho jawunga aisa lagata hai

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    Ricky Martin

    Ricky Martin posted a long, rambling note to his fans on his blog in March 2010 that ended with the news that took him a decade to put into words: “I am ... a homosexual man.”
    ate jaate jo milta hai tumsa lagta hai
    mai to pagal ho jawunga aisa lagata hai

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