Posted by on October 12, 2016

Kristen Stewart had a long-term relationship with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson.

Today on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate nine famous folks who have taken that bold and brave step this year of being out and proud and having something thoughtful to say about it.

Of the celebrities who have come out so far in 2016, Kristen Stewart would have to rank as the biggest.

An A-list actress who juggles big studio flicks with independent features went public in July with her relationship with girlfriend Alicia Cargile.

‘I would never talk about any of my relationships before, but once I started dating girls it seemed like there was an opportunity to represent something really positive,’ the actress told The New York Times Style Magazine.

‘I still want to protect my personal life, but I don’t want to seem like I’m protecting the idea, so that does sort of feel like I owe something to people.’

National Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this yearThere had been plenty of speculation about the former Arrow and Teen Wolf star Colton Haynes’ sexuality and in May, he put the rumors to rest: he is gay. ‘I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready,’ he told Entertainment Weekly ‘I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet.’But staying in the closet was painful: ‘People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting.’

National Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this year

Charlie Carver, one of the former stars of MTV’sTeen Wolfand ABC’s Desperate Housewives,series, posted a heartfelt essay on Instagram in January about his journey towards coming out as a gay man. The 28-year-old actor wrote: ‘I’ve lived “out,” not feeling the need to announce so. I was comfortably out in my private life. And for a time, that was enough. … ‘I now believe that by omitting this part of myself from the record, I am complicit in perpetuating the suffering, fear, and shame cast upon so many in the world. … In my silence, I’ve helped decide for to you too that to be gay is to be, as a young man (or young woman, young anyone), inappropriate for a professional career in the Arts (WHAAA???) So now, let the record show this- I self-identify as gay.’

It was just last weekend that former Grey’s Anatomy star Sara Ramirez told the world that she didn’t just play a bisexual on television for all those years, she’s also bi in real-life. In a speech at the True Colors Fund’s 40 to None Summit in Los Angeles, the Tony Award winning actress described herself as ‘woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American immigrant.’ Nico Tortorella Trey Pears

National Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this year

Nico Tortorella, one of the stars of the TV Land series Younger, came out publicly as sexually fluid in June. The 28=year-old actor says he’s never hidden his attraction to both females and males. ‘I’ve never been in any sort of closet … I was never really in the house,’ he told Page Six. ‘I think it’s one thing to hide … and it’s one thing to come out of the closet in a public statement. But I’ve always done me and never been shy … and have been vocal about it.’ Tortorella also appeared on the podcast The Drop-In with Will Malnati and said his ‘ability’ to love someone is not dependent on what is ‘between [their] legs. … it’s not about sex for me. It’s about being totally, emotionally connected to somebody.’

Lilly Wachowski, half of the famous duo behind the Matrix moviesNational Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this year, made her first public appearance over the weekend came out publicly as a transgender woman in March. Her sister and directing partner, Lana, came out as transgender in 2012. The Wachowski sisters most recently co-created the TV series Sense8. Lilly claims a reporter from the UK publication Daily Mail showed up on her doorstep wanting to do a story which essentially forced her to come out publicly. ‘My sister Julie likes to joke, “You can’t write this shit.”

National Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this yearWhile competing in the 14th season of American Idol, Rayvon Owen never let viewers know he was gay. He finished fourth. The 25 year old saved that big reveal for the video for his debut single Can’t Fight It which was released in February. The video ends with Owen kissing a man who is his real-life boyfriend, Shane Bitney Crone. Crone’s story of love and loss is featured in the documentary Bridegroom. Owen told Billboard of his coming out: ‘You’d be surprised at the amount of times I tried to pray the gay away from me or tried to tell God to take this away from me. No kid should have to do what I did and pray to not be who they are. That’s why I think it’s important even in 2016 to say this.

Christian rocker Trey Pearson of the band Everyday Sunday posted this simple message on Facebook National Coming Out Day: Nine celebs who went public as LGBTI this yearback in May: ‘To my fans and friends: I’m finally being honest with myself. I love you all.’ He attached a link to an article in 614 Columbus in which the man married to a woman and father of a young daughter declares that he is gay. ‘I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it never was an option for me. I have been suppressing these attractions and feelings since adolescence. I’ve tried my whole life to be straight. … I know this is how God made me, and I am proud of who I am. I know there is nothing I can do to change it.’

YouTube personality Alexis G. Zall made sure she had an 18th birthday she would never forget. In June, she offered ’18 tips for 18 years’ for her more than 1 million subscribers. Tip number 8 was the bombshell: ‘It is totally OK to be a girl who likes girl or a boy who likes boys and me personally, I am a girl who likes girls.’ She then perhaps read the minds of her subscribers by adding: ‘Did that bitch just come out?’ She did! ‘I can say I feel the most comfortable with myself as a human being that I have ever felt. This year especially I feel like I learned so much.’

Brian Justin Crum came out to the world his first time on national television. It was his first appearance on NBC’s America’s Got Talent in June. Sharing his personal story of being gay, being bullied and battling his weight got the audience in his corner. But it was his soaring vocals that got him all the way to the finals and a fourth place finish. Crum’s first post-Talent performance was at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Vanguard Awards gala on 24 September where GSN caught up with him. ‘It was so intense and amazing,’ he says of his television experience. ‘I want to be there for everybody, I want to hold everyone’s hand. So it’s a little overwhelming but I love it and I just want to be there to support my community as much as I can.’

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