- December 19, 2013
Post submitted by Mitchell Scuzzarella, HRC Digital Media Intern
Throughout 2013 we saw many public figures come out as LGBT or straight allies, helping make the year one of the most monumental yet in the fight for equality.
Whether they were political figures, film and television stars or champion athletes, each made a difference in showing people around the world to power of speaking out. Here is a look back at some of the major moments in coming out in 2013.
Basketball star Jason Collins made history back in May after revealing his sexuality in an issue of Sports Illustrated.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” said Collins.
His decision was met by support from friends, fellow athletes and celebrities, who tweeted their pride in Jason’s decision to live openly.
In response to anti-gay sentiment in Russia, Prison Break star Wentworth Miller came out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival. After stating that, as a gay man, he must decline his invitation to attend the festival, Miller blamed Russia’s discriminatory laws for his decision.
“I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people are systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly,” wrote Wentworth in the letter posted on GLAAD’s website.
Wentworth later appeared at the HRC Portland Dinner to discuss his coming out story.
Now a cherished member of Phoenix Mercury, WNBA player Brittney Griner came out as a lesbian during a pre-draft interview with USA Today.
Griner, who spoke with the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated about her decision to come out, later opened up about her sexuality and past bullying.
“It was hard. Just being picked on for being different,” Griner told the Associated Press. “Just being bigger, my sexuality, everything.
After denying rumors of her sexuality before, the Fast & Furious star bluntly revealed her attraction to men and women in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“I do as I please,” said Rodriguez. “Men are intriguing. So are chicks.”
Rodriguez is known for the headstrong characters she has played in action and horror films, including blockbusters such as Resident Evil and Avatar.
British diver and Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley is the most recent celebrity to come out after releasing a Youtube video to fans revealing his relationship with another man.
Tom’s decision to live openly was met with the support and celebration of millions of fans around the world.
The decision for these public figures to come out and live openly is an act of bravery and authenticity, helping change the hearts and minds of Americans throughout the country. Even today, coming out still matters, and the stories that come from it can create new advocates for equality with the positive message it sends.
For the last 25 years HRC has celebrated the power that coming out still has when we mark the anniversary of the first National Coming Out Day in October.
See for yourself how coming out makes a difference and take a look at some of the most influential coming out moments in American media. Watch below.