Colton Underwood came out as gay in an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, 14 April 2021. The former “Bachelor” reality TV star and professional football player joins the ranks of some of the most famous American celebrities to come out since the 2010s.
He even told the interviewer that he just came to terms with the fact earlier in 2021. “I’m still nervous, but yeah. It’s been a journey for sure,” Underwood says. He revealed that he had tried running from his sexual orientation and even hated himself for it.
Since coming out, the reality TV star has received support from other male celebrities that have been out for a long time. Dan Levy had this to say:
“Coming out” can be a terrifying, uncomfortable, and traumatizing experience because we still live in a world where we are made to fear the consequences of living freely. Let that sink in. So happy for @colton Underwood. His courage will undoubtably save lives today. ?? https://t.co/gAaYldPD9a
— dan levy (@danjlevy) April 14, 2021
Colton Underwood joins the most popular celebrities that have come out as gay since the 2010s. Here is a list ranked from recent to oldest:
1. Lil Nas X – 2019
Montero Lamar Hill, known by his stage name Lil Nas X, came out publicly as gay on 30 June 2019, the last day of Pride Month. In a tweet, the Gen Z rapper said:
“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. [sic]”
Since he came out, Hill has been not held back with showing his true self. The “Old Town Road” crooner appears at events, shows and interviews wearing colourful outfits. In 2021, he released a controversial music video for “Montero (Call me By Your Name)”, which has gay and gothic themes.
2. Shepard Smith – 2017
Shepard Smith, or simply Shep Smith, is an American broadcast journalist that recently jumped ship from Fox News to NBC News and CNBC. In 2017, he confirmed that he was gay and mentioned that he had been dating Giovanni Graziano since 2012.
Smith is famous for reporting the death of Princess Diana in 1997, President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment trial, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the 2001 execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 for Fox News.
3. Jussie Smollett – 2015
Although Jussie Smollett came out to his parents back in 2001, the world did not know about his queer sexuality until 2015. His announcement came while he played Jamal Lyon in the Fox drama series “Empire”.
He had come out publicly to Ellen DeGeneres in March during a televised interview. Later, he revealed that his sexual preference was more fluid and that he could also fall in love with a woman.
This narrative was depicted on the show that shot him to fame when he got down with another female character. Smollett said that he and the creator, Lee Daniels, intentionally wanted to pass the sexual fluid message.
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4. Tim Cook – 2014
While Tim Cook is not into the entertainment industry, he sure is a celebrity. As the chief executive officer of Apple, the makers of iPhones, he is well known in many circles.
Cook came out publicly in 2014, although there were already rumours about his sexuality since 2011. While he prefers to keep his personal life private, he is very vocal in supporting LGBT rights.
5. Anderson Cooper – 2012
Cooper is an American television journalist and known as the primary anchor of the CNN news broadcast show “Anderson Cooper 360°”. He also works as a correspondent for “60 Minutes” on CBS News.
His larger-than-life reputation came for his on-the-ground reporting of breaking news events such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He has won 18 Emmy Awards and came out as gay in 2012.
Cooper’s announcement made him “the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television” at the time, according to The New York Times. Anderson Cooper had been Tim Cook’s go-to person for advice after the tech genius came out.
While he and his long-time boyfriend Benjamin Maisani split up in 2018, they plan to co-parent a son named Wyatt Morgan, who Cooper welcomed through a Surrogate in April 2020.
6. Jim Parsons – 2012
“The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons came out publicly in a 2012 interview with the New York Times. His family and colleagues already knew of his sexual status but did not divulge the information to the public.
He was in a relationship with art director Todd Spiewak for about 15 years before they married in May 2017. Parsons has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy for his role as Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory”.
7. Zachary Quinto – 2011
Known for his role as Sylar from the science fiction drama series “Heroes”, Quinto had been one of the most popular American celebrities that first came out as gay in the early 2010s.
Also known for playing Spock in the Star Trek franchises from 2009 to 2016, the actor came out in 2011. He claimed that the suicide of gay teenager Jamey Rodemeyer had touched him deeply.
Speaking to New York Magazine, Quinto said he came to the realisation “that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.” He had, however, being a supporter of gay rights before coming out of the closet himself.