National Coming Out Day: 10 LGBTQ Celebrities Who Paved The Way

Coming out can be a difficult journey that the National Human Rights Council tries to make less painful with its annual National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. This is the 30th anniversary of the observance, which emphasizes the importance of creating a safe world in which LGBTQ people can live openly as their authentic selves.

“Coming out can be one of the most courageous acts an LGBTQ person makes, and that courage is inextricably tied to our continued progress toward full equality,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a news release. “Visibility matters, and research shows that when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support full equality under the law. Coming out and sharing our stories is essential to advancing LGBTQ equality and fighting back against attempts to turn back the clock on our progress.”

To honor the milestone anniversary of National Coming Out Day. here are 10 celebrities whose personal journeys have helped pave the way toward acceptance of the LGBTQ community around the world.

Ellen DeGeneres

In 1997, the acclaimed T.V. personality shocked the world with her iconic “Yep, I’m Gay” cover story for TIME Magazine. (Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew Brusso/Hbo/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

Ellen Page

The “Juno” star came out during a Human Rights Council speech in 2014 and has since become a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights. (Photo credit: Photo by Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock)

Colton Haynes

The fan-favorite “Arrow” and “Teen Wolf” actor came out to Entertainment Weekly in a 2016 interview. (Photo credit: Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock)

Melissa Etheridge

Back in 1993, the singer bravely declared “I’m very proud to have been a lesbian all my life” during the Triangle Ball in Washington, D.C., paving the way toward acceptance of the LGBTQ community. (Photo credit: RMV/REX/Shutterstock)

Cynthia Nixon

After years of playing the iconic Miranda on HBO’s “Sexy and the City,” the actress publicly addressed her sexuality and has since become and integral voice for LGBTQ rights, especially during her current campaign to become the next governor of New York. (Photo credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock)

Gus Kenworthy

After tweeting “I am gay” in October 2015, the Olympic freeskier has become an exemplary figure for gay athletes around the world. (Photo credit: Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock)

Holland Taylor

The “Two and a Half Men” actress came out in 2015 after publicly addressing her sexuality for the first time at age 72 and soon went on to confirm her much speculated relationship with “American Horror Story” actress Sarah Paulson. (Photo credit: John Salangsang/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Robin Roberts

In 2013, at 52 years old, the “Good Morning America” host Facebook to post a shoutout to her longtime girlfriend Amber. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Lead photo credit: Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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