22 Kickass Queer Women Who Came Out in 2013

2013 was another stellar year for ladies who like other ladies who want the world to know that they like other ladies! It was also another stellar year for challenging popular stereotypes about what queer looks like. Over half of this year’s coming out stories were women of color and almost half are over the age of 35, six are mothers, seven are married, five are divorced, nine are athletes, six are actresses, two are writers and one has an eight foot wingspan. Let’s meet these humans!


1. Jodie Foster, 51. Actress & Director.


The legendary Jodie Foster kicked off 2013 by officially coming out at The Golden Globes during her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award acceptance speechShe also announced that she was single, but has since hooked up with The L Word‘s Alexandra Hedison, who dated Ellen DeGeneres once upon a time because The Chart.

Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts Inaugural Gala Presented By Salvatore Ferragamo - Inside

“You know, I always thought you and Helena Peabody made such a cute couple until you pulled a knife on her.”


2. Jenna Wolfe, 39. News Anchor.

Jenna Wolfe being pregnant in June

Jenna Wolfe: Preggers and Proud

Jenna Wolfe, a correspondent for The Today Showannounced in March on Today that she was totally pregnant and also totally super-gay. Furthermore, Wolfe is totally gay for NBC News Correspondent Stephanie Gosk, and the two welcomed a new tiny human into the world this past August. If you’re interested in keeping up with baby Harper, good news: she has a twitter account.

It's a new baby!

Look what we made!

3. Fallon Fox, 37. MMA Fighter.


Lesbian MMA Fighter Fallon Fox came out as transgender in March, after a reporter threatened to leak the story without her consent. There was unfortunately an ensuing controversy over her eligibility to fight and lots of really bigoted commentary and public response — but that didn’t stop Fallon, who returned to the ring in October. She recently appeared on the tumblr “hold hands in sochi” with her partner Amy Pierson and was honored at the 2013 Emery Awards for her LGBT advocacy efforts.


4. Brittney Griner, 23. WNBA Basketball Player.

Photo via Getty Images

Photo via Getty Images

I know it’s hard to imagine, but once upon a time many of us hadn’t even heard of Brittney Griner, let alone cast our homosexual eyes upon her impressive wing-and-fingerspan. Then, after securing the honor of 2013’s WNBA Top Draft Pick when she was snatched up by the Phoenix Mercury, Brittney Griner became the first major athlete to come out publicly upon turning pro. The highlight of Brittney Griner’s year was probably meeting us and taking a picture with me at the GLAAD Awards in San Francisco, but a bunch of other stuff happened too: she appeared on the cover of ESPN Magazine in May, designed a bowtie for the marriage equality organization Tie the Knot, hit the series-winning shot in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks and was featured in Elle Magazine as a “slam-dunking girl-loving phenom who proves there are a whole lot of ways to be a woman.” Yup, a 6-foot-8 masculine-of-center lesbian was featured in a mainstream high fashion magazine. Progress!


Hey Girl, don’t you wish you were this snake


5. Zoe Saldana, 35. Actress.


Oops forgot my shirt

Zoe Saldana told Allure, “I might end up with a woman, raising my children…that’s how androgynous I am.” Although it was unclear what androgyny had to do with sexual orientation, we still considered it a promising tidbit of information because Zoe Saldana is really hot, talented and famous. Unfortunately, before you had a chance to make her marry you, she tied the knot with Italian artist Marco Perego. The most important element of this story is that for some reason I can no longer recall, I had to sign up for a subscription to Allure in order to read the full interview and compose this stellar follow-up post, so now I have access to a lot of information about hair serum if you’re ever in need.


6. Charice Pempengco, 21. Singer/Actress.


You know what would look even cuter in my hand than this blimp?

Charice, #2 Critter of All Time and #1 on the Autostraddle ALTERNATIVE Hot 100 (the list was in relatively random order, but I did intentionally put some of the most extra-special celebs in the top ten), was one of the most groundbreaking coming out stories of the year. The Filipino singer, who shot to stardom via YouTube and singing competitions with the help of big fans like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, went on to guest-star on Glee and appear as a judge on The X Factor Philippines in 2012. In September, Charice said she hopes to one day marry her girlfriend Alyssa Quijano. Fans are eagerly awaiting her next album, Chapter 10


7. Grace Bonney, 32. Design Blogger & Entrepreneur.

Grace Bonney via {Apartment Therapy}

Grace Bonney via Apartment Therapy

Grace Bonney, the enormously successful founder of the website Design*Sponge, came out on her blog this summer. She’s since shacked up with food writer, producer and private chef Julia Turshen!

8. Jenny Owen Youngs, 32. Musician.


photo by navja sol

Singer/songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs came out in a letter on everyoneisgay.com, and then did her first coming out interview right here! This very place! She also announced her engagement to Everyone is Gay’s Kristin Russowho recently let you in on how you too can snag a kickass super-cute musician bride of your own.

Jenny & Kristin getting married

Jenny & Kristin getting married

9. Sharnee Zoll-Norman, 27. WNBA Basketball Player.

via Bossip

via Bossip

Chicago Sky guard Sharnee Zoll-Norman came out in June in an interview with the Windy City Times, saying, “I’ve never had an official coming-out, or something where I felt I had to announce that I was gay. But everyone knows. I wear my wedding ring proudly; I have matching tattoos with my wife, and also have her name tattooed on me.”


10. AB Chao, 38. Design Blogger.


Photo by Angela Kohler via abchao 

Writer and interior stylist AB Chao, a top design blogger who hosts design camps nationwide, came out on her site this past July, writing, “I’ve described coming to the realization that I’m gay as having a void in my life, not knowing what it was, and trying to fill it with everything I could find: writing, decorating, career paths, expensive jeans, all of the bourbon. And then, one sunny fall day, getting on a roller coaster, careening down to the stomach-dropping part of the ride, and finally, finally understanding, “Oh. THIS is what that was.” Perfect.

ab reads up on our Agenda

AB reads up on Our Agenda


11. Raven-Symone, 28. Actress.


Actress Raven-Symone, who you’ve loved for your entire life, kinda came out last year, but this year she totally came out to express her delight over marriage equality. It was shortly confirmed that indeed, she’s currently dating model/actress AZ Marie, making them the cutest couple of 2013.


By flashing this peace sign in this photograph, Raven-Symone caused world peace

12. Meleana Shim, 22. Soccer Player.

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland TImbers)

(Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland TImbers)

Portland Thorns midfielder Meleana Shim was never closeted, but wanted to take “the unique step of talking about it publicly for the first time” on OutSports the day before her NWSL championship game. Defying stereotypes on multiple levels, Shim told OutSports that she’s not usually pegged as gay because her long hair and style don’t fit the “stereotypical image” of what a lesbian looks like. Shim is a pro ambassador for Athlete Ally, saying, “I’m a lesbian who will continue to advocate for LGBT rights until sexuality isn’t used to make people uncomfortable or unsafe. I remember being a young girl and wondering if there were any professional athletes like me. Every aspiring athlete who is questioning his or her sexuality should have positive role models who are proud of who they are.”

Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian via Oregon Live

(Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian via Oregon Live)

13. Jasmine Jordan, 21.

Jasmine and her father, Michael Jordan

Jasmine and her father, Michael Jordan

The daughter of basketball and all-around legend Michael Jordan came out on Instagram in August, posting a photo of herself and her girlfriend Carmen Tyson-Thomas, a former Syracuse Orange basketball player, captioned “This Little Closet Is Holding Me Back.”

14. Layshia Clarendon, 22. WNBA Basketball Player.


Layisha Clarendon raised some admiring eyebrows when she showed up at the WNBA draft in “a skinny tie, blazer, and puffed Mohawk” — she was the 9th draft pick, heading to the Indiana Fever. In September, she came out publicly when she appeared in a campaign called Br{ache The Silence, aimed at “tearing down the walls of homophobia in women’s sports.”

15. Belle Brockhoff, 20. Snowboarder.


20-year-old Australian snowboarder and Olympics hopeful Belle Brockhoff was the first athlete to come out publicly as a lesbian in response the anti-gay laws in Russia, telling Australia’s ABC TV, “I want to be proud of who I am and proud of all the work I’ve done to get into the Olympics and not have to deal with this law.” Brockhoff, who is half Chinese, is ranked ninth worldwide.

16. Anastasia Bucsis, 24. Speedskater.


Canadian Olympic speedskater Anastasia Bucsis was the second athlete to come out in response to Russia’s anti-gay laws in anticipation of the Sochi Olympics.


17. Michelle Rodriguez, 35. Actress.

michelle rodriguez in entertainment weekly

Michelle Rodriguez in Entertainment Weekly

We waited, and waited, and waited, and we thought the day would never come. And then it did! And it was a big deal.

18 & 19. Abby Wambach, 33, and Sarah Huffman, 29., Soccer Players.

Soccer player Abby Wambach‘s sexual orientation was an “open secret,” but she made it official in October when she married her girlfriend, soccer player Sarah Huffman.

2013 ESPY Awards - Arrivals


20. Maria Bello, 45. Actress & Activist.


Maria Bello came out in a touching Modern Love column in The New York Times, in which she wrote about her ever-evolving definition of “family.” She wrote about her exes, and her child, and her present relationship, which is with a woman — specifically social impact investor Clare Munn. It’s a really great column written by a really great lady we’re thrilled to have on our team.

21. Crystal Bowersox, 28. Singer.


American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox “came out for Christmas” as bisexual! Yup, she’s the bisexual angel atop your Chirstmas tree who tweeted “let me set the record straight. I’m Bi. Pun intended” and released a new Christmas single called “Coming out for Christmas.” I look forward to her next single, “Moving In For Mother’s Day.” HEY-O!

22. YOU


You know who else came out this year? YOU WEIRDOS. Not all of you, of course, but according to Facebook, a whole bunch of y’all have taken the plunge in 2013. Whether it went surprisingly well or truly terrible, you did it. You took a deep breath and did it. Congratulations!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3179 articles for us.


  1. Apparently, and anyone who’s in PDX please confirm/deny, Mana Shim has this very powerful gay aura. As in women around her tend to swoon for no other reason than she is there. She just looks women in the eye and they’re gone.

  2. Were there any particularly-kick-ass-gay-pride-particles going around in the air this year? I DID come out in 2013, and it went AMAZING! I’m proudly/estatically wearing a wedding ring since Tuesday when my girlfriend asked me to marry her. Everything was worth it…

    • I remember watching Girlfight at the theater when it came out and just sitting there with my jaw on the floor because that chick was so fucking hot. And almost 14 years later she is…

  3. Go Brittney G – she’s genuinely ultra awesome, true inspiration. For someone heavily unorthodox and lightly MOC like me at least.

    Also in my next job i want to be an alien intelligence agent – to have a flying disc craft with Bond type gadgets – and to abduct FF, turn her over to alien lesbians and save her from humanity. She’d be an asset to invasion force too.

  4. I came out in 2013, it was the greatest thing I could have ever done for myself. A lot had to do with a friend recommending autostraddle in 2012. Here’s to 2014, another year for all of us to be brave, and to be brilliant.

  5. I should have stuck to basketball, then maybe I could have playing with or against Griner, and instead of Diana argue-kissing, it would have been Brittney and I, but I’ll live the stan fangirl life for now.

    I came out to one person and a couple of strangers this year, hopefully the rest who I want to know will know eventually.

    That snake on Brittney though -_- lucky

  6. I also came out this year! February was when I started and because I am feminine of center I guess I will be coming out for a long time to come.
    The girl I have been seeing is now officially my girlfriend! so life is wonderful

  7. I did totally come out in 2013 and though it will probably always be rocky with most of my family, it was and still is totally worth it. I’m so f-ing happy now that I’m out and glad to see so many famous people embracing who they are as well.

  8. RAVEN.
    Although I first came out at thirteen, and then for real at nineteen, I had my best dramatic coming out this year. I was living with a bunch of sorority girls who were Christian and had military boyfriends and I thought they’d freak out if they knew I was a homo, so I snuck girls in through my back door and hid them in the closet and under the bed and was pretty sure my housemates just thought I was asexual and had a lot of sleepovers. After one housemate accidentally got pregnant and announced that and her impending fast-track wedding, I thought it was the best moment to casually announce my homoness, so I left a post-it note on the fridge that just “I’m gay. <3". I woke up to lots of hugs and apparently my roommates had figured it out and decided I would tell them when I was ready. And then they invited my girlfriend to their wedding. And fell madly in love with my next girlfriend. And we babysit their kid all the time. And it's just the best thing ever.
    Yay for coming out.

  9. I’m not sure Zoe Saldana came out. She was more like, “I’ve never been attracted to girls before but it is possible it might happen in the future”, and her hotness notwithstanding is somewhat annoying. If you are a pro-gay rights straight person, just say that and we’ll appreciate it. That whole deal felt like a publicity stunti IMHO.

  10. D’awww. I came out as trans to a bunch of people on 10th October. It’s scary but I don’t regret it at all.

  11. I was watching American Horror Story while reading this article, and when the last one appeared on my screen: “you”! I got really freaked out for a microsecond, thinking that my computer was talking directly to me.

    Yes, this was the year, and it went really well.

  12. I admitted my trans* feelings to my sister a few months ago, and before that a woman I knew from college. Slowly by slowly I plan to come out to my close friends at home, but for me I guess it’s a bit weird as I think I’m in the non-op category. But, then I see women like Fallon Fox who had surgery in her mid 30’s if I remember reading correctly gives me hope.

    Speaking of which, didn’t she come out last year? I know I read about her fight(I think it actually was the first one) after coming out trans* they said she one her match, which was mostly one sided.

  13. HOW did no one tell me about Abby Wombach??? Were you all afraid I couldn’t handle that it wasn’t me she is marrying?

    While I could understand that fear, it would be unjustified. I am totally happy for her.

    • I didn’t know that she wasn’t out so I somehow totally missed that story as well! I have to hide my ignorance regarding women’s soccer, I hide it behind my ignorance regarding harry potter

  14. #1, gahhhhhh!
    I’ve been planning to come out for the longest time (like, a couple of years), and I thought I would do it sometime this year and I really really want to, but every time I’ve come close I’ve broken out in hives and quietly hyperventilated.

    • Yeah, I know (and I’ve read Dorothy’s thing on it too!), but her announcement earlier this year was considered the “official” coming out by her camp, so I went with it!

  15. I love the diversity of this list. There are so many crush worthy ladies!! Jenna Wolfe is the absolute cutest!

    • Two thoughts:

      1. Could Jenna Wolfe be considered a critter?

      2. She and Stephanie Gosk are so adorable together!

  16. This article and the comments are making me have FEELINGS. Here’s to coming out in 2013! Signed, Miss July.

  17. I nearly spat tea all over my laptop when I read the “oops I forgot my shirt” caption on the Zoe Saldana photo.

  18. As the resident vocal Thorns fan (moved my season ticket so I can join the Riveters), I’m so excited to see Mana Shim on this list

    • YES! I came here hoping to see Mana on the list too.
      Thank you for joining the Riveters! We are going to bring it loud and proud again next season. Stay tuned to the website/FB group/hashtag for details after the holidays.

  19. It is weird that i completely forgot that i came out for the first time like 6 months? Its completely slipped my mind. I went from being deep in a closet on lonely island to actually acknowledging the fact that no, i do not enjoy penis, i like the vaginas. Life’s getting kinda somewhat better! Yay for me and everyone else who came out this year & ages past

  20. Once you accept things as they are all the painful memories of battling with your sexuality just kind of, melt away.

  21. i’m sorry, i just now processed “fingerspan” and had to come back hours later. lord have mercy.

  22. I started coming out a good couple years ago, but I don’t feel like I’ve completed it yet. I am not sure I ever will. I feel like I get a bit closer to finished with posts like this.

  23. I would be really excited to see a listicle in approx 6 months times entitled “things I learned from my Allure magazine subscription.”

    Also, with this bumper glut of basketball outees, are all the jokes about softball-playing women going to have to change to basketball? That would be a big find-and-replace job.

    I would be really excited to see a hard-hitting series of articles entitled “how gay is your sport?” comprising infographics, anecdata, made-up statistics and lots of sports-terms innuendo.

    Also, it took me literally several seconds to work out what the fuck Br{ache meant. I would never want to undermine a valuable LGBTQ awareness organisation, but they seriously need to close their brackets.

  24. Great article Riese!! All the hot women right? Right?

    I bow to all of you who came out this year because a closet is no place to live.

  25. Life is so much easier when we let go of fear, and tell ourselves it’s absolutely necessary for me to be happy!

  26. this is such an inspiring list and it’s so nice to see some research and commentary about each human on it as opposed to the dumb one word listicles i’ve been seeing all around the internet. maybe i’m biased (i’m definitely biased) BUT i still think this proves that autostraddle is the smartest publication in all the land, run by the best editor in chief in the world. thanks for amazing journalism as always, riese <3

  27. When 2013 started I never thought I would come out so its great to see so many awesome (and hot) ladies were brave enough as well :)

  28. How am I supposed to go about my daily routine with these gorgeous ladies in mind and knowing that the world is filled with more amazing, beautiful women? It’s distracting.

  29. This year was both exciting and sexually frustrating. So many perfect queers, so much distance (and in some cases monogamous relationships) between us.

  30. I enjoyed this post and applaud their success and progress of this cause. No doubt these women’s celebrity is based on high social, verbal, musical or athletic intelligence in addition to appearance; but I believe there is still a long way to go as we raise this half-full glass.

    Except for the two bloggers, all of these women are watched for a living. I wonder why you didn’t feature women who are recognized for symbolic, spatial or mathematical prowess. Are there none able to come out who are in traditional male jobs? Or are female engineers, scientists etc. still so rare from gender and orientation bias the statistics are against it?

    The only leadership position I see is Ms. Foster’s Directorship. Do gays have to hide more if they are supervising men? Or are physically attractive women facing a steeper societal impediment against command?

    I ask because I am working for equality and because brains are sexy. Call me a reverse bigot, but I think the world should be run by women or at least incorporate “traditional female attitudes” of cooperation, nurturing and compassion.

    We need to offer more than “Allure” in role models, figuratively as well as literally.

    • I disagree that the athletes are “watched for a living”. They would play the game they play with or without an audience. I think playing a sport on a high professional level ticks off a lot of the boxes in your post: it involves quite a bit of spatial prowess, is a traditional male job, involves leadership, and is a hell of a lot more than just providing “allure”. We like Mana Shim because she kicks ass on the field, not because she’s attractive. (Which she is, but that’s icing on the cake.)

  31. LAYSHIA! <3 I remember back in the day when my gaydar just had a gut feeling about her, and now she'll all out and pro-ball-playing and written about on Autostraddle… sigh

  32. A little late to the convo, but I also came out this year and I really surprised at how okay it was. Thanks AS for all the support!

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