National Coming Out Day Celebrates 12 Celebrities Who Came Out As Gay In 2012

By @FionnaatIBT on
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    Known for his roles on Guiding Light, Chuck and White Collar, actor Matt Bomer came out in February of 2012 as he thanked this partner, publicist Simon Halls, and their three children during his acceptance speech for a Steve Chase Humanitarian Award.

  • Jim Parsons

    Jim Parsons plays one of television’s favorite eccentric geniuses, Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. Parsons came out in an interview with the New York Times in May, revealing that he has been in a relationship for 10 years.

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    Anderson Cooper has been called “the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television,” by the New York Times. After years of being extremely secretive about his private life, Cooper came out by allowing author and blogger Andrew Sullivan to publish an email that stated he is gay.

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    The late astronaut Sally Ride did not come out until her obituary revealed her partner of 27 years was Tam O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University. Ride was not only the first American woman in space, but remains the youngest American launched into space and the first and only known LGBT astronaut. Ride succumbed to pancreatic cancer on July 23.

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Today commemorates the 24th annual National Coming Out Day, which encourages LGBT individuals to be proud and open about their sexuality.

The date Oct. 11 was chosen as the anniversary of a huge March on Washington for gay rights and AIDS action held in 1987.

For many, coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender still can be a difficult experience. Over the years, however, as social attitudes have changed, many celebrities have come out and paved the way for others to be more comfortable revealing their sexuality.

In the past, celebrities risked losing their careers by coming out. Now many find their coming out as a self-liberation or a medium for social change.

The year is far from over, but here’s a look at 12 well-known names that have come out in 2102 -- some in just the past week.

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