A List of Gay and Lesbian Celebrities and Their Relationships
I must say I did not have much knowledge or interest in gays or lesbians until quite recently. I'm a fan of Adam Lambert and learned about his coming out in 2009, but not until a few months after the fact. It still remains a mystery whether or not his coming out as gay had anything to do with him finishing runner up in American Idol. I also regularly watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show hosted by Ellen Degeneres, who has come out as a lesbian some years ago and has since married Portia de Rossi. Being a fan of Adam and Ellen has led me to become interested in this whole topic of being gay or lesbian.
It might be hard to imagine why it is such a big deal to go public about one's sexuality. Especially for celebrities, their coming out can ruin their reputation. On the other hand, they may not want to continue living in a closet, keeping their sexuality a secret. This would be an enormous burden to them. Gay or lesbian, I think we should embrace their talent!
1. Elton John
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947, Elton John is one of the most successful and bestselling artists of all time. His songs "Candle in the Wind" and "Crocodile Rock", among others, have become virtual classics in the history of popular music. In a 1976 Rolling Stone interview, he talked about bisexuality. Later he married Renate Blauel in 1984 and when he divorced her four years later, he told Rolling Stone he was "comfortable" being gay. He met his Canadian boyfriend, David Furnish in 1993 and in December 2005, after being together for twelve years. they entered a civil partnership in the U.K. This gives same-sex couples rights and responsibilities comparable to civil marriage. On December 25, 2010, John and Furnish's son, Zachary was born via a surrogate.
2. Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres, born in 1958 is an American stand-up comedienne, television host and actress. She hosts the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres was in a relationship with actress Anne Heche from 1997 to 2000 and in 1997, she came out publicly as a lesbian in an Oprah Winfrey Show. Since 2004, she has been in a relationship with former Ally McBeal and Arrested Development star Portia De Rossi. After the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California, DeGeneres announced in May 2008 that she and De Rossi were engaged, and gave De Rossi a three-carat pink diamond ring. They were married in August 2008 at their home in Beverly Hills.
I have seen Portia De Rossi on Ellen a few times as well as footages from their home and it's clear they love each other. Their wedding picture was quite beautiful!
3. Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert, born in 1982, is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. He has had quite a success so far. His debut album "For Your Entertainment" went gold and his first concert tour the Glam Nation Tour, was successful. He was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011. While he was competing in American Idol in 2009, photos of him romantically kissing another man surfaced on the Internet. Adam confirmed that the photos were of him, stating that he had nothing to hide and has always been open about his life. He confirmed that he was gay in a Rolling Stone cover story interview shortly after he was named the American Idol runner-up. Adam is now apparently dating a Finnish reality TV personality Sauli Koskinen. They had been together in Paris in December 2010 and vacationed in Bora Bora in February 2011.
4. Portia De Rossi
Portia De Rossi (Born Amanda Lee Rogers in 1973) is an Australian actress best known for her roles as lawyer in Nelle Porter and Ally McBeal. She was married to a documentary film maker Mel Metcalfe from 1996 to 1999. According to her memoir "Unbearable Lightness", during the time she was married to Metcalfe, she became interested in a woman who lived in the same apartment complex with whom she started a relationship. From 2000 to 2004, she dated singer Francesca Gregorini. She broke up with Gregorini as she began dating Ellen DeGeneres whom she met backstage at an awards show. In 2005, she opened up publicly about her sexual orientation in interviews with Details and The Advocate. She recently explained in an interview that as a young actress she was fearful of being exposed as a lesbian. She has been married to Ellen DeGeneres since August 2008.
5. George Michael
George Michael (born Georgios Kyrjacos Panayiotou in 1963) is an English musician,singer-songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s with the pop duo Wham! As of 2010, Michael has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. In an interview in 2007, Michael admitted that he hid the fact that he was gay because of worries over the effect it might have on his mother. He was in a relationship with Anselmo Feleppa from 1991 to 1993. Feleppa died of a brain hemorrhage in 1993. Since 1996 until recently, Michael was in a long term relationship with businessman Kenny Goss, who operates the Goss Gallery in Dallas. Michael has had repeated run- ins with the law regarding drug possession. He was arrested for possession of drugs in February 2006 and in September 2008. Just recently, Kenny Goss and Michael split after fifteen years. It is speculated that Goss was no longer willing to put up with Michael's drug problem.
6. k.d. lang
k.d. lang (born Kathryn Dawn Lang in 1961) is a Canadian pop and country singer and occasional actress. She has received both the Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances. Her hits include "Constant Craving" (a major staple on FM radio here!) and "Miss Chatelaine". She is also known as a gay rights activist. Lang came out as a lesbian in a 1992 article of the LGBT-related magazine The Advocate. The August 1993 issue of Vanity Fair contained a detailed article of her which stated that she thought she would be ostracized by the country music industry when she came out as a lesbian. Fortunately, Nashville was accepting. Lang was in a relationship with American actress and musician Leisha Hailey for nearly five years. The relationship ended in 2001.
7. Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin (born Enrique Martin Morales in 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican pop singer and actor. He has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, first as a member of a boyband Menudo, and since 1991, as a solo artist. Martin had a relationship with Rebecca de Alba for over fourteen years. Although they talked of starting a family together, their relationship eventually ended. In 2008. Martin became a father of twin boys, Matteo and Valentino via a surrogate mother. In March 2010, Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official website by stating "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man". He then announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he is in a relationship though he as chosen to shield his boyfriend from the spotlight. Recently, it has become clear that Martin's boyfriend is from Spain and that the couple wants to get married in Spain since same-sex marriage is legal there, whereas in Martin's native Puerto Rico, it is illegal.
8. Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova (born in 1956) is a Czech-American tennis player and former world No. 1. Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles. Both of these are all-time records. She is arguably one of the greatest tennis players in the history of tennis. In 1981, shortly after becoming a U.S. citizen, she came out publicly as a lesbian. (This was shocking to me as a teenager!) She was in a relationship with author Rita Mae Brown around this time. From 1984 to 1991 Navratilova had a long term relationship with author Judy Nelson who was married with two children. Their split caused a much-publicized legal wrangle. She was then in a relationship with Toni Layton which also involved a legal battle upon their split. Navratilova is currently in a relationship with Julia Lemigova, former Russian beauty queen, model and entrepreneur.
9. Boy George
Boy George (born George Alan O'Dowd in 1961) is a British singer-songwriter and lead singer of Culture Club, who were successful in the 1980s. When Boy George was with Culture Club, much was made of his androgynous appearance, and there was speculation about his sexuality. (At the time, I thought he was beautiful!) In his memoir Take It Like a Man (1995), George states that he had a secret relationship with Culture Club drummer Jon Moss and that many of the songs George wrote for the band were directed at Moss, most notably "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me". This song was about the abuse he received from Moss. George also says in his memoir that Moss had broken off his engagement with a woman to be with George. In an episodic documentary in 2006, George declared on camera that he was "militantly gay" and that he understands why men fall in love with one another as well as with women.
10. Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King (born Billie Jean Moffitt in 1943) is a former professional tennis player. She won 12 Grand Slam Singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She married Lawrence King in 1965 and in 1971 she had an abortion, and later explained in her autobiography that she decided on the abortion because she believed her marriage was not solid enough to bring a child into her family. The same year, while still married, she began an intimate relationship with her secretary, Marilyn Barnett. King was forced to acknowledge the relationship when it became public in 1981. She divorced Lawrence King in 1987. She confessed in 2007 that she had concealed her sexuality for so many years because her parents were homophobic. She ended up with an eating disorder due to the emotional burden of hiding her sexuality, and at the age of 51, she was finally able to talk about it properly with her parents. She is now in a relationship with Ilana Kloss, former professional tennis player. The two reside in New York City.