Girl Gallery: 35 Ladies Who Came Out As LBTQ In 2012

For the past few years, the ladies have been coming out in droves, each new year bringing another list of big stars breaking through to the other side — Wanda Sykes, Cynthia Nixon, Amber Heard, Evan Rachel Wood, Meredith Baxter, Chely Wright — the list goes on and on. This year lacked a definitive female megastar Coming Out Moment (Megan Rapinoe, maybe), but it didn’t lack a plethora of really fantastic Coming Out Situations. Perhaps most exciting is how many women of color came out this year — half of the women pictured below, in fact!

So, who came out this year?

The 2012 Summer Olympics brought a slew of out athletes to our attention: three-time US Olympic volleyball player Stacy Sykora, South African archer Karen Hultzer and WNBA Star and Team USA basketball player Seimone AugustusFurthermore, two Team USA Soccer players made their sexual orientation public at long last: Lori Lindsey, who actually came out right here on Autostraddle, and her best friend, heartthrob Megan Rapinoewho came out in an interview with OUT Magazine and made your pants explode.

Other athletes who came out this year are Mexican-American Mixed Martial Arts fighter Jessica Aguilar and Swedish skier Anja Pärson.

Some celebrities already known to be gay came out “officially” this year, like Style Icon JCrew Creative Director Jenna Lyons who essentially came out two years ago but officially came out last month. When comedian Tig Notaro revealed her cancer diagnosis in the most brilliant stand-up set of all time, she was also revealing her gayness publicly for the first time. Many were unaware of Australian chef Kylie Kwong‘s sexual orientation until she announced that her girlfriend of five years was pregnant. Celebrity Chef and Reality TV Personality Anne Burrell was herself shocked when Ted Allen allegedly “outed” her because she already felt pretty out, but now she’s really out.

Lots of musicians this year, too, like Australian country music artist Beccy Cole, former American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis (bisexual), Jamaican reggae singer Diana Kinghip-hop artist Azealia BanksCantonese pop star Denise Ho and controversial hip-hop artist Kreayshawn. Also, punk rock star Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! came out as transgender!

Screen stars who made the leap this year include Filipina singer/actress Monique WilsonBold & The Beautiful star Joanna JohnsonAustralian actress Magda Szubanski and child star and iconic 70’s/80’s tomboy Kristy McNichol. Actress/singer Raven-Symone didn’t officially come out, but she didn’t do so in a way that many interpreted to be essentially “coming out” in so many words — it’s debatable! — and The Matrix director Lana Wachowski spoke publicly about her experiences as a transgender woman for the first time.

The 2012 elections brought out queer politicians in droves: Texas State Rep Mary Gonzalez, previously out as queer or LGBTQ, came out as pansexual this year. Wisconsin State Rep JoCasta Zamarripa came out as bisexual and Kyrsten Sinema became Arizona’s first out bisexual congresswoman. Others came out because of relatives in politics, like Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forrester.

Some of the people in this gallery have been “out” in their private lives for some time but didn’t have public lives until this year — humans vaulted from relative obscurity onto the gay mainstage in 2012 include reality TV stars like The Glee Project‘s Dani ShayThe VoiceDe’Borah Garner and America’s Next Top Model‘s Laura LaFrate. (Her fellow queer contestant AZMarie has been out in the public eye since before ANTM, otherwise we’d include her here too!).

Reality TV also proved an ample venue for other women to come out — on Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, dancer Joseline Hernandez came out as bisexualas did R&B/soul singer/songwriter a K.Michelle, while R&B Divas offered R&B singer-songwriter Monifa Carter a platform from which to come out.

Without any further ado, the class of 2012:

Did I miss anyone? Do you feel upset about the inclusion of this or that person? If so, please refrain from beginning any sentences with “um…” but feel free to employ as much punctuation and all caps as possible. If you feel full of joy about the inclusion of all of these people, I encourage you to also employ a lot of punctuation and capitalization!

Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2842 articles for us.

53 Comments

  1. Kreayshawn? If she’s a white girl using the n-word, I could care less that she’s on the LGBTQ spectrum. Except that maybe it’s just another instance of white privilege: as soon as she comes out, white queers rejoice and instantly/conveniently forget her racist vocab.
    Celebrating her for coming out and providing hip hop with some queer representation WITHOUT having anything to say on her racism is not ok, autostraddle.

  2. So I was innocently clicking through the pictures until I got to Stacy Sykora and had to stop. Something about her name and volleyball sounded familiar but I just couldn’t place it. And then I remembered, I used to walk by a shrine dedicated to her once a week on my way to class because she went to my university. Gay Aggies represent!

    I was just too excited not to share.

  3. it was so nice to see so brave ladies to come out, but it is only a percentage of ladies who have turned the corner to true love. there are so many ladies who aren’t celebrities who have decided to stop hiding their true self’s. The hard part was telling friend and families and even in a few cases husbands.

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