Rappers Who Have Come Out As Gay

The world of hip-hop isn't exactly known as the most welcoming of places for the LGBTQ+ community, and the genre has a history of making queerness a punchline. 

For example, we've seen it from Migos, when Quavo suggested to Rolling Stone that iLoveMakonnen "undermin[ed] his credibly" by coming out. We saw it when hip-hop heavyweight Eminem peppered "Rap God" with anti-gay slurs, despite claiming he had no problem with homosexuality. We saw it in Snoop Dogg's infamous 2013 interview with The Guardian, when the "Gin and Juice" rapper claimed, "[Homosexuality is] acceptable in the singing world, but in the rap world I don't know if it will ever be acceptable because rap is so masculine."

Thankfully, the world is slowly changing. Snoop Dogg walked back on his comments. Frank Ocean won a Grammy for "Channel Orange" after penning a Tumblr letter about his sexuality, and Lil Nas X, who reigns supreme over Spotify streaming, shocked the country and hip-hop world when he came out during Pride Month. Though the hip-hop community is just beginning to accept queerness, these openly gay rappers are bravely paving the way.

Frank Ocean

Odd Future has long been criticized for its homophobic lyrics, so much so that the band was booted from Australia's massive Big Day Out festival in 2011, according to Billboard. That made it all the more shocking when, the following year, Odd Future member Frank Ocean publicly came out in a statement posted to his Tumblr account. 

According to NPR, Ocean posted the message after a "journalist who attended a listening party" for his then-upcoming album "Channel Orange" "noted that several of the songs were addressed to a male love object."

In Ocean's letter, which was originally meant to be included in the "Channel Orange" liner notes, the rapper spoke about having his first gay romance at the age of 19. It was unrequited love at its most heartbreaking and he was ultimately rejected after their fling. "Some things never are. And we were. I won't forget you. I won't forget the summer. I'll remember who I was when I met you," he wrote. The letter ends with, "I feel like a free man. If I listen closely.. I can hear the sky falling too." Okay, does anyone else need a tissue?


Since her tenure with Odd Future, Syd (previously known as Syd tha Kid) has received a Grammy nomination and major praise from massive artists, such as Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams, according to The Guardian. She also made the brave step of publicly coming out before her bandmate, Frank Ocean, released his aforementioned Tumblr letter. 

According to LA Weekly, Syd came out via the "Cocaine" video. "I decided to do it because I wish I had someone like that [an openly gay female artist] while I was coming up," she told LA Weekly. "People write on my Tumblr just thanking me for making the video, saying that I really inspire them, and they want to be like me. But I wasn't always this way, this comfortable with myself, and I remember what that was like."

Nonetheless, the Odd Future DJ wasn't exactly accepted into the gay community, particularly considering Odd Future's controversial history (Tyler the Creator uses the word "f****t" 200 times on "Goblin" alone). The group's tracks were so vulgar that, according to The Guardian, Syd's parents "kicked her out of the house for a few days" when they first gave it a listen. Though the backlash from the LGBTQ+ community "hurt [her] feelings," she said it did make her think more deeply about her art. Syd has since left Odd Future in her past.

Big Freedia

Big Freedia was already making waves in her New Orleans hometown — collaborating with everyone from RuPaul to Diplo and scoring her own Fuse show called "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce." 

However, her notoriety skyrocketed to the next level when she got a life-changing call from Beyoncé's publicist. Big Freedia told Vice she "died in [her] own skin right then and there," so when Queen Bey called her personally, she likely died a second time. Big Freedia lent her voice to Beyoncé's infamous spoken-word interlude on "Formation," saying: "I did not come to play with you hoes. I came to slay, b***h..." And slay she did.

Big Freedia might be best known for her music and bombastic personality, but she's also known for her unapologetically outspoken advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights. She told the Advocate she considers herself a "voice for a lot of people who really don't have a voice." In 2018, she shared her touching coming out story in a "Backseat Heat" segment on "The Wendy Williams Show." "One day I had a birthday party, and I was like all of my friends [are] there, so I'm going to tell my mom today that this is who I am," Big Freedia recalled. "And when I told her, she said, 'Mama already know, baby.' She already knew. That was my backbone, baby."

Taylor Bennett

Chance the Rapper isn't the only talent in his bloodline. The star's younger brother, Taylor Bennett, made waves in the hip-hop world with his full-length projects "Broad Shoulders" and "Restoration of an American Idol," his Billboard charting single "New World" with EDM rockers Krewella, and his 2018 Young Thug collaboration "Better Than You Ever Been." In 2017, the same year his Krewella hit climbed the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs charts, Bennett came out as bisexual.

He opened up about his sexuality in a tweet, admitting to Rolling Stone that it was surprising that some of his followers actually thought his account had been hacked. This gave Bennett the chance to walk back on his comment, which he contemplated for about 5 or 10 minutes, before experiencing an outpouring of love from his fanbase that prompted him to push forward. 

"I decided to come out before my 21st birthday because I felt like I was going to be a man and not just a man, a grown-ass man. I had felt like I wanted to say who I was and I was so tired of listening to everybody else. It's the one point of my life that I just decided to be myself," he said.

Kevin Abstract

Brockhampton, the 15-member rap collective and self-described boy band, has taken the internet by storm with its DIY ethics. Its members are truly a product of the internet age and, according to Forbes, spawned from the depths of a Kanye West message board. Since then, they've reportedly landed a Viceland documentary, a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200, and a multi-million dollar record deal with RCA, which frontman Kevin Abstract claimed was going to help them push their "gay agenda." The star, whose real name is Ian Simpson, has been open about his sexuality to the group's fervent fanbase — but that wasn't always the case.

In 2012, Abstract read Frank Ocean's famous coming-out letter on Tumblr. He was just 16 years old and had recently had his first experience with a man. Though the rapper wouldn't openly discuss his sexuality until a couple of years later, the star told Fader that Ocean's letter "saved" him. 

Today, he hopes to normalize his sexuality by singing about it. "I'd see negative comments and forget [being gay] was a big deal to some people, that some people hadn't heard it before," he told ShortList. "My goal is just to normalize it. Straight rappers talk about their sexual relationships without warning me. And they are more explicit and violent. I have to express myself and who I am."


Makonnen Sheran, known by the pseudonym iLoveMakonnen, rose to fame when his single "Tuesday" became a Top 20 hit after Drake crafted an epic remix. The Canadian rapper subsequently signed the up-and-comer to his OVO Sound label, but according to iHeartRadio, iLoveMakonnen didn't start out on top. The rapper initially crafted his songs with a keyboard and a broken Gateway computer, yet still managed to capture the attention of designer Alexander Wang, who put him in the brand's spring/summer 2016 campaign. 

Sheran has since parted ways with Drake, who helped him nab a Grammy nomination, but he made an even bigger impact on his own when he came out as gay on Twitter in 2017.

In a since-deleted series of tweets (via i-D), iLoveMakonnen said: "As a fashion icon, I can't tell u about everybody else's closet, I can only tell u about mine, and it's time I've come out. And since y'all love breaking news, here's some old news to break, I'm gay. And now I've told u about my life, maybe u can go [live] yours." According to i-D, the star's tweets were mostly met with support from his fans and, of course, a couple of jokes about why he didn't reveal the news on a Tuesday. It is, after all, the day of the week that spawned his entire career.

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks is one controversial woman. The rapper has had a feud with countless A-listers, including (but not limited to) Elon Musk, Grimes, Lana Del Rey, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Rihanna, Russell Crowe, and — for some inexplicable reason — Action Bronson. And one could argue the realization that Banks has been practicing witchcraft in a blood-stained room for half a decade and that Rihanna made fun of it is far more newsworthy than the fact that Banks doesn't consider herself straight. 

Banks is an out and proud bisexual — and has been for years. The star publicly addressed it in a 2012 interview with The New York Times, noting that she's "not trying to be, like, the bisexual lesbian rapper." She discussed it again in a Rolling Stone interview later that year. 

By 2015, the rapper felt like people still didn't get the hint and took to Twitter to air her grievances following an onslaught of accusations claiming she was homophobic. "It's really tiring having explain myself to people I'm not even talking to. Because of course I don't wanna piss off my fans," Banks wrote (via Billboard). "Just give the Azealia Banks is a homophobe thing a rest because I'm not. I have a transgender sibling. My whole life is gay. All of my friends are gay, I am bisexual. ... So please ... Stop."

Brooke Candy

Los Angeles rapper Brooke Candy has some major credits under her belt. The star collaborated with Charli XCX on "Cloud Aura" and "Shake It" and toured with her, she shared the stage with Lizzo, and styled the "Truth Hurts" singer during her dates with Haim. But Candy's showbiz success is just a small puzzle piece in her extraordinary life. 

According to Billboard, the singer once worked as a stripper. Her father was the CFO of Hustler, and she would find boxes filled with sex toys around his office. This made it all the more surprising that her family supposedly had some closed-minded views regarding sexuality. When Candy finally came out as pansexual, she claimed her father swept it under the rug and her mother kicked her out of the house. Candy was forced to live in her car for "a long time," and her relationship with her parents never recovered.

Today, Candy hopes to use her music to help those who feel alone. "I want to speak to anyone who feels like an outcast or anyone who feels deprived of their rights or are otherwise disenfranchised," she told Billboard. "I want to create music that can be played in every gay club all over the world because those are my people."

Young MA

Brooklyn-based rapper Young MA rose to fame in 2016 when she dropped her viral single "OOOUUU." The song has since amassed more than 300 million YouTube views and reached multi-platinum status, though the singer admitted to The Guardian that she had to "dumb down" her lyrics to make the track catchy. 

Young MA uses similar tropes to the leagues of male rappers that came before her. She often objectifies women in her lyrics. As The Guardian pointed out, she sings about not opening the door for "wh***s" and comments on the way women look in sundresses. However, her work still feels radical rather than regressive, because Young MA is one of the few outspokenly gay members of the greater hip-hop community. The star knew she was gay since her first year of school, but denied it to her mother until she came out — to the support of her family — when she was 18 years old. 

"There's a lot of rappers out there, a lot of gay girls expressing themselves; I'm not the first to say it, I'm not the first to rap about it," she told The Guardian. "But I'm the one who broke down those doors that everybody has been trying to break down. I did that. I'm the one who went triple platinum first." 

Zebra Katz

Zebra Katz, or rather the alter ego of rapper Ojay Morgan, has become somewhat of a poster child for the queer rap movement. In 2012, he skyrocketed to fame when his song "Ima Read" was chosen for Rick Owens' Paris fashion week show. Though the song uses the word "b***h" a whopping 87 times, what most people don't know is that, according to The Guardian, the single was an homage to New York's ballroom scene, as depicted in the 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning" — and all the voguing and drag culture that came with it. 

In fact, Morgan actually developed his Zebra Katz persona because he felt like rap needed a "strong, black, other, queer male."

"There are a lot of rappers who can't come out and say they are queer and are sleeping with people of the same sex," he told Independent.ie. "You don't have a large number of hip-hop artists who state they are queer and proud. That's what is most jarring to me. It's kind of sad that those few who do come out get so much attention because they are gay, rather than because of their music."

Mykki Blanco

Mykki Blanco told Plus that his father knew he was gay since he was 3 years old, though he didn't come out publicly till much later. Aside from revealing his sexuality in 2015, Blanco also shared a key fact about his health. 

When he told the world he was gay, Blanco also revealed he was HIV positive. According to Plus, Blanco is the "only living rapper who acknowledges having the virus." 

The musician came out on Facebook during Pride Month. He initially held back the information because he was worried it would ruin his rap career, noting that he planned to come out when he was around 40 years old or after he had made millions. But something prompted him to change his plans and come out sooner. "I did it on this whole emotional whim," he told Plus. "But I think afterwards, when 'Newsweek' and 'Time' magazine — who have never heard of me before — are writing about it, I'm like, 'Oh, wait, maybe it's been a while since someone's done this.'"

Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X, born Montero Lamar Hill, had us at "Old Town Road" — the most streamed song of the first half of 2019 — and then he hit us in the feels again when he performed to a gymnasium of screaming elementary school children, but he really tugged at our heartstrings when he came out on the very last day of Pride Month in 2019. The rapper revealed the news in a tweet following weeks of online speculation. 

"Some of y'all already know, some of y'all don't care, some of y'all not gone fwm no more, but before this month ends I want y'all to listen closely to c7osure," he tweeted. "C7osure" is a track from his "7 EP," and while it doesn't confirm his sexuality, it does hint at someone finally being true to their identity. The rapper later clarified that he "thought [he] made it obvious" when he worked a rainbow into his EP's cover art.

Unfortunately, Lil Nas X did get some backlash after coming out so publicly. He admitted to "BBC Breakfast" that he didn't feel like homosexuality was "accepted in either the country [or] hip-hop community," but he hoped fans would "feel comfortable" with it. The rapper has received the full support of his manager, Adam Leber, who wrote in an Instagram post (via BuzzFeed), "So proud of you Lil Nas X. You are incredibly brave."

Da Brat

'90s hip-hop star Da Brat is widely regarded as one of the seminal female rappers. Her debut album "Funkdafied" featured the titular hit single, which reached platinum status, making her the first solo female rapper to have an album go platinum, per XXL. Throughout her life, Da Brat had to come up against the boys, revealing that she experienced sexism as a woman in hip-hop. But after 25 years, she decided to speak her truth.

In 2020, the rap icon opened up about coming out in an interview with Variety. Da Brat cited pervasive homophobia in the '90s for her decision not to come out earlier. "I was always told you want to be f***able to men. ... I mean, you saw what happened to people like Ellen. ... People were totally against it." But having found love with entrepreneur and haircare mogul Jesseca Dupart, Da Brat decided to come out. "To me, Pride is loving myself and not making excuses for anything: Live in your truth," she continued. "If I can inspire someone or help somebody to deal with their issues and their sexuality, then I'm here for it."

In 2022, Da Brat and Dupart tied the knot in a fancy, fairytale-esque ceremony. Speaking with People, the loved-up wives gushed about their excitement at spending the rest of their lives together. "I met somebody that made me want to be so out loud and tell everybody and scream it from the mountaintops," Da Brat declared. We stan.

Cakes Da Killa

We're living for rapper Cakes Da Killa and his confectionery-inspired rap aesthetic — his debut EP was deliciously entitled "Easy Bake Oven." Cakes is gay and discussed his coming out story in a video for Billboard. He recalled his mom finding a love letter to another boy, and the budding rapper immediately attempted to eat the note to stop her from reading it. Eventually, he told her he was gay and has been out and proud ever since. "I was happy to come out at a young age because I was kind of one of those really, really ambitious kids where it was like, 'Okay, if she throws me out I'm just gonna live on the pier!'" he joked. However, he urged gay fans to be cautious when coming out to homophobic parents, noting it's important to have a back-up plan if things go awry.

Cakes' sexuality inspires much of his lyrical content. NBC News noted his music serves as a much-needed opposition to a hip-hop culture where homophobic lyrics have traditionally been the norm (50 cent, famed for using the "f" word in his songs, has since apologized for past homophobia, as has Eminem).

Cakes' first full-length mixtape, "The Eulogy," proved popular and was widely praised. Pitchfork exalted the rapper's unapologetic and uncompromising declarations regarding the joys of gay sex. "We need people who are willing to say: 'I'm gay and I don't give a f***,' and the world will be a better place," Cakes told Attitude.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah is a pioneering female hip-hop star. There has long been speculation regarding the rapper-turned-actor's sexuality and for years she refused to discuss her private life. Back in 2010, Colorlines argued the constant media intrusion into Latifah's sexuality was doing more harm than good, and "chasing people out of the closet" when they wished to keep their private life private wasn't helpful, particularly if it would make Latifah a "reluctant heroine" for the LGBT+ community.

That year, Latifah was interviewed by Upsale (via Pride) where she was once again asked to confirm rumors that she's gay. "I don't have to explain anything," she stated. "I don't have to confirm anything. Look, I need my time. I need my life." She also previously told The New York Times that she doesn't care whether people think she's gay, but it was important for her to maintain a modicum of mystery around her personal life.

In time, however, she did come out, in her typically understated fashion. Accepting the Lifetime Achievement accolade at the 2021 BET Awards, a tearful Latifah paid tribute to her long-term partner, Eboni Nichols, and the couple's son, Rebel. "I'm gonna get off this stage, but I thank you so much for all of you," she said. "The fans, for supporting every crazy-ass thing I've done through the years ... Eboni, my love. Rebel, my love. Peace. Happy Pride!" According to an insider who spoke to Radar, Latifah and Nichols welcomed baby Rebel in 2018.

Angel Haze

Young rapper Angel Haze may be known for their dainty stature, but make no mistake: They are one fierce freestyler when they grab the mic. The rapper is known for their positive and life-affirming lyrics, which often feature ruminations on their sexual orientation. Haze discussed their coming out story in their cover of Macklemore's "Same Love," replacing their peer's somewhat questionable lyrics (The Lonely Island famously parodied Macklemore's insistence that he's straight) with proudly LGBT+ ones. "At age thirteen, my mom knew I wasn't straight ... She sat me on the couch, looked me straight in my face/ And said you'll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS/ It's funny now, but at thirteen it was pain," Haze rapped in lieu of Macklemore's "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-K" lyrics.

Having initially come out as a lesbian, Haze told Out that they realized they are pansexual. "Sexuality is like having a favorite color. It doesn't rule you, you know? ... And then I realized I was attracted to transgender people and people who classify themselves as 'other,'" they revealed. "It didn't change anything about how I looked at life."

Famously, Haze was involved in a steamy romance with Ireland Baldwin, daughter of Kim Basigner and Alec Baldwin, in 2014. Per HuffPost, the pair proudly showcased their love on social media. "An interracial gay couple, I mean that's just weird for America right now. We f*** and friends don't f***," Haze told The Independent at the time.


Y-Love, also known as Yitz Jordan, is a rapper famed for infusing his past Orthodox Judaism into his music, often rapping about rabbinical teachings in Yiddish, per the Montreal Mirror. But Y-Love soon found a discordance between his Hasidic faith and his sexuality.

In 2012, he revealed he is gay and once claimed to be the first rapper to come out as such, though this is disputable (Frank Ocean's coming out, for instance, coincided with Y-Love's). In an interview with Out, Y-Love discussed the importance of going public with his sexuality. "I've never been conflicted about my sexuality," he said. "Any conflicts that have come up in my life have come up because of other people's homophobia." He highlighted the significance of living his truth, revealing he spent years worrying about the potential effects coming out might have on his public reputation, before ultimately conceding that his personal happiness — and the value of representation as a Black gay rapper — eclipsed a need for acceptance within the hip-hop community.

The rapper also discussed being shunned by his Hasidic Jewish peers after coming out, explaining, "As far as the ultra-Orthodox community is concerned, I won't be able to return to any type of Jewish observance." However, his faith hasn't waned. Speaking with the Jewish Journal, he mainly blamed strict religious practices for his inability to speak his truth earlier, noting that for years he couldn't be seen in public with another man. Thankfully, Y-Love is now living his best life.

Amplify Dot

Brit Amplify Dot (or Ashley "Dotty" Charles, as she's known to her pals) is a rapper, TV host, and DJ. In 2012, she signed with EMI, making her the first British female rapper to be signed to a major label in 10 years, per Music Week. The rapper showed immense promise from a young age. When Dot was just 13, she grabbed the attention of Missy Elliott when attending one of her concerts in London. The rap vet pulled Dot up onstage after being impressed by her freestyling skills and the two engaged in a rap battle, which Dot humble brags that she won, per The Guardian.

In a 2020 article for Vogue, Dot described herself as a stud lesbian and emphasized the importance of Queer role models outside of those who subscribe to white-centric notions of selfdom. "Navigating life in the heteronormative Western world can be tricky for a gay gal like me," she wrote. "Especially when our most visible spokesperson is a white gazillionaire named Ellen." She also discussed the prevalence of violence against butch-presenting gay women, highlighting the murder of a number of lesbians in a region of Chile that has become notorious for its homophobic hate crimes. "Being 'butch' means wearing your sexuality on your sleeve, which, in an age still inexplicably marred by homophobia, can have grave consequences all over the world," she stated.

Dot is married to Line Charles and the happy wives have two children together, per The Guardian.

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Big Dipper

Big Dipper is known for his unique blend of rap that fuses hip-hop with neo-soul, along with humorous and pastiche elements. For instance, his track "Lookin" is an uncompromising body-posi anthem encouraging plus-sized men to embrace and love themselves. 

In an interview with Tablet, Big Dipper identified as a bear, a term that refers to hirsute, well-built gay men. "I never knew where I stood [in the gay scene] until I looked around and realized that not only did a certain group of people find me attractive, but the feeling was mutual, and that was the bear community," he revealed. "I was able to find a place where I felt confident and sexy and comfortable." He also admitted being a "white, gay, chubby, Jewish bear ... doesn't scream 'rapper.'"

But as he revealed to Out, his love of hip-hop began at a young age, since he had far more flair for rapping than singing. Regarding being a gay hip-hop artist, he contrasted himself with straight rappers, many of whom he deemed preoccupied with reducing women to the sum of their parts. Accordingly, he said he initially fell into that same trap, albeit from a gay perspective, rapping about being thirsty for men. In time, however, he explained he realized his unique perspective could bestow the genre with far more meaningful material. "Now I've got a little more practice under my belt, and I'm able to rap about more of my experience than just sexual ones," he said.