Celebs who came out in 2018

"Coming out and living openly aren't something you do once, or even for one year. It's a journey that we make every single day of our lives. Every coming out experience is unique and must be navigated in the way most comfortable for the individual. Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, coming out can be an arduous journey. It is also a brave decision to live openly and authentically," the Human Rights Campaign said on the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, 2018.

Coming out publicly can be a very empowering experience. And when you're famous, using your platform to come out openly and proudly can inspire LGBTQ+ fans to embrace their true selves. No longer afraid of hiding their sexual identity like stars from the past, here are celebrities who shared their truth and came out in 2018.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe spent her entire career refusing to confirm or categorize her sexuality ("I only date androids," she famously told Rolling Stone), but on her 2013 hit "Q.U.E.E.N.," she gave fans a glimpse at her attraction to other women and the stress it has caused her. She sings, "Am I a freak because I love watching Mary?/Hey sister, am I good enough for your heaven?/Say, will your God accept me in my black and white?/Will he approve the way I'm made?/Or should I reprogram, deprogram, and get down?"

However, in an April 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, the eclectic R&B singer came out with a vengeance. "Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-a** motherf****r," she proclaimed. While the mag pointed out that Moonlight star "initially identified as bisexual," she explained, "but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, 'Oh, these are things that I identify with too.' I'm open to learning more about who I am."

Rita Ora

On May 11, 2018, Rita Ora released the single "Girls." In her not-so-subtle opening verse she sings, "I ain't one sided, I'm open-minded/I'm fifty-fifty and I'm never gonna hide it." When asked if she considered herself bisexual or gender fluid in an interview with People, Ora responded, "I think the way … If people look at it like that, it's very narrow-minded, and I don't think that's what this record is. I don't think that that even matters. Yeah."

However, pop star Hayley Kiyoko, who fans call "lesbian Jesus," blasted the song for being "downright tone-deaf" and accused it of fueling "the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women."

Facing criticism of her song, Ora chose to out herself, in a move some thought may have been coerced by Kiyoko. "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," Ora wrote on Twitter. "I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone."

Lee Pace

In an awkward interview with W Magazine on Feb. 28, 2018, Guardians of the Galaxy star Lee Pace was asked about his dating and personal life. "I've dated men. I've dated women," he answered. "I don't know why anyone would care. I'm an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don't know what to say — I find your question intrusive."

The Pushing Daisies star then took to Twitter to address his statements. Citing the importance he places on privacy, Pace reiterated how surprised he was at such a personal question during an interview about his professional work. However, he also took the opportunity to fully answer the question in his own way. "As a member of the queer community, I understand the importance of living openly, being counted, and happily owning who I am. That's how I've always lived my life," he tweeted, adding "Just as it's been important to me to portray queer characters with dignity for my entire career: A Soldier's Girl (Showtime. 2003). The Normal Heart (Broadway. 2011). Halt and Catch Fire (AMC. 2014-2017). Angels in America. (Broadway. NOW.) Onward, with Pride."

Ronan Farrow

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Ronan Farrow helped spark the #MeToo movement by exposing producer Harvey Weinstein's decades of alleged sexual abuses in his bombshell report for The New Yorker. While being presented with the Point Courage award in April 2018 for his work on reporting sexual assault allegations and transgender issues, Farrow publicly came out after years of rumors surrounding his sexuality. 

"Being a part of the LGBT community, which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it, and has been such a stalwart source of support through the sexual assault reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible — that has been an incredible source of strength for me," he said per The Advocate. "LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it's like to be there."

Alyson Stoner

Alyson Stoner, who you might remember from the Disney channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody or the dancing kid in Missy Elliot videos, came out in a personal essay for Teen Vogue on March 30, 2018. In the piece, Stoner wrote about the woman who was the inspiration for her single, "When It's Right."

"I spent years — not months or weeks or days, but years — trying to identify the source of my attraction to her," she explained. "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." 

But in the end, Stoner embraced her sexual identity: "I, Alyson, am attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways. I can love people of every gender identity and expression."

Tessa Thompson

In a June 2018 interview with Net-a-Porter, Tessa Thompson came out as bisexual and discussed her relationship with Janelle Monáe. "We love each other deeply," she admitted, adding, "We vibrate on the same frequency." Revealing that she is "attracted to men and also to women," the Thor: Ragnarok star credited the acceptance of her family for allowing her to "be anything that you want to be." She explained, "If I bring a woman home, [or] a man, we don't even have to have the discussion."

However, she understands that not everyone is met with the same acceptance, and so she struggled with the feeling that she had "a responsibility" to speak openly about her relationship to encourage others. The Sorry To Bother You star explained, "Janelle and I are just really private people, and we're both trying to navigate how you reconcile wanting to have that privacy and space, and also wanting to use your platform and influence. … That was something I was conscientious of in terms of this declaration around Janelle and myself." 

Jason Mraz

For Pride Month in June 2018, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz wrote a poem as a "love letter" to the LGBTQ community for Billboard. He ended the poem with the lines, "You stood up for me/You stood up for the world/And now the world is better because of you/We still have a long way to go/But know/I am bi your side/All ways," which led many to speculate that the Grammy-winner was coming out as bisexual. 

The following month, Mraz confirmed his sexuality to Billboard. "Honestly, I didn't realize it was going to be so telling," he told the publication. "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."

Abbi Jacobson & Joey Pollari

In an April 6, 2018, interview with Vanity Fair, Broad City star Abbi Jacobson revealed that she goes "both ways." She added, "I date men and women. They have to be funny, doing something they love. I don't know — I've never really been interviewed about this before." Jacobson, who was single during the interview, joked about potential love interests coming forward after her reveal: "Yeah, who knows? The world is my oyster."

Love, Simon and American Crime actor Joey Pollari publicly came out as gay in a March 13, 2018 interview with The Advocate. The 23 year old revealed he came out to his family and friends when he was 18. "I think all my friends and family knew on some level. I think maybe two people were shocked," he said. "The only part that was difficult was me coming out to myself. And I think that is the most difficult coming-out."