In July of 2012, Anderson Cooper finally made a statement and publicly came out of the closet.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
Rumors swirled around the CNN host for years and many wondered why Cooper chose to come out at the time that he did. A person’s sexuality is a deeply personal thing and it is no doubt difficult for any public figure to release that information to the millions of unknown people.
The celebrity gay rumor mill is an old tradition in Hollywood. Legends like Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, and Marlene Dietrich were all forced to deal with speculation about their sexuality and the Hollywood mega-celebrities of today are certainly no different. As Cary Grant’s daughter Jennifer famously said,
Can’t blame men for wanting him. And wouldn’t be surprised if Dad even mildly flirted back. […] Dad somewhat enjoyed being called gay. He said it made women want to prove the assertion wrong.
Sexuality speculation does certainly add a new level of interest around a celebrity, as the are-they-or-aren’t-they questions seem only to make a celebrity all the more interesting. The truth is that we all, on some level, feel that we have a celebrity “figured out” so when we learn new information, it always comes as a shock. Below, you’ll find our list of celebs who can’t seem to elude the gay rumors.
For John Travolta, 2012 was the year of sexual assault accusations. Though many of the suits have been dismissed, it seems that every week brings with it new sexual assault allegations against the “Grease” actor. More interesting is that every single one of the accusations brought against Travolta have been from men. This, coupled with the fact that Travolta has a certain talent for dressing up in drag (as he did in “Hairspray”) have made it so that rumors of Travolta being gay have followed him for years. Despite the accusations, the Scientologist has been married to fellow actress Kelly Preston for a whopping 22 years.
We all love Kelly Clarkson for her strong breakup ballads. It’s what she’s known for, after all. The woman can belt out a breakup song like magic and during a particularly difficult breakup, we love to sing along, right? Well, that along with the fact that the American Idol alum has never had over-publicized relationships have led to rumors about her being a lesbian for quite some time. As Clarkson herself said to Cosmopolitan magazine,
“People think, ‘Oh, she’s been single for too long. That’s kind of an insult to the gay community. Being single doesn’t mean you’re gay. But I’m never insulted by it, obviously. I mean, I get hit on by the hottest girls ever. Oh, my God, if I were a lesbian, I would be so in luck. But it’s just not my thing. I’ve always batted for the boys’ team.”
Kelly Clarkson got engaged to longtime boyfriend Brandon Blackstock in late 2012 so maybe her impending nuptials will finally put the rumors to rest.
Oprah Winfrey is a legend, there is no denying that. This is a woman with serious power and a woman who’s known for using her power for good. Why, then, hasn’t she been able to squash the gay rumors for all these years?! No matter how much time goes by, the rumors that Oprah and longtime friend and colleague Gayle King are simply relentless. Forget that both Oprah and Gail have both publically denied the rumors for years, and forget that Oprah has been in a relationship with Stedman Graham for at least 20 years, because these rumors will likely never go away.
It’s safe to assume that James Francos’ sexuality has alluded others for years. As the hunky, multi-talented actor said just a few weeks ago,
In high school these girls got mad at me and so they spread this rumor that I was having a gay relationship with one of my closest friends. And they even made up a little dance they would do in the girl’s locker room about me being gay. I still don’t know what the dance was.
Like Kelly Clarkson, Franco has said that he doesn’t take the longtime gay rumors to heart and is never offended by them. Many believe that the actor is gay because of the many roles he’s taken in the past where he’s portrayed gay figures, as he did in “Milk.” Pretty stupid, right?
Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
Ever since the two actors wrote and starred in the critically-acclaimed “Good Will Hunting” in the late 1990s and accepted multiple awards together, rumors about the two being together have never ceased. According to Damon in a recent interview with Playboy magazine,
I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay. As if being gay were some kind of f–king disease. It put me in a weird position in that sense. (T)he fact that Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres can come out so beautifully and powerfully, and it’s a big f–king deal that it turns out nobody gives a shit.
We’ve been hearing the “Ryan Seacrest is secretly gay” rumors ever since the television personality shot to fame with “American Idol” in the early 2000s. Seacrest has been known to take special care to groom himself, and is affectionately known as a proud “metrosexual,” however, our generation’s Dick Clark has been in a relationship with “Dancing with the Stars” alum Julianne Hough for over two years.
There are two things we always hear about “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe.
1) He’s a dead ringer for fellow actor Elijah Wood
2) He’s gay
Confirmation that Harry himself is gay would undoubtedly break the hearts of female “Harry Potter” fans everywhere (myself included), but Radcliffe has denied the rumors for years. Radcliffe is a passionate advocate for gay rights and even works with The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization that offers suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, but has said,
“My favorite thing I saw was a guy on the Internet that said, ‘Of course he’s gay. He’s got a gay face,’ which I thought was kind of an odd thing to say anyway.”A ‘gay face’? That’s a very worrying thing, like they have sat at home and have got pictures of me next to other famous, gay [people] — Elton John, I don’t know — just comparing across the years. I’m not sure. It’s very, very odd.”
Many would argue that the Tom Cruise gay rumors have been around since Tom was married to Nicole Kidman (remember that?!), but the South Park episode, aptly titled “Tom Cruise won’t come out of the closet” really put the rumors on the map. Thanks, Matt Parker and Trey Stone. Even though the newly single acting superstar has enough Scientology rumors to last any actor a lifetime, rumors surrounding his sexuality probably won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.
Hey, here’s a guy who actually is gay! After years and years of rumors, Anderson Cooper came out of the closet in July 2012, saying,
It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true. I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible.
It’s disappointing that so many public figures face pressure to release such deeply personal information to millions of people they don’t even know, but hey, we suppose that that is the price of being famous in the first place.
Clay Aiken, the beloved second season “American Idol” winner, TV personality, actor, producer, author, and activist, also dealt with years of rumors surrounding his sexuality before he came out of the closet to People magazine in September 2008. Aiken had decided to come out after having his first child via surrogate, according to his interview with the magazine.
It was the first decision I made as a father. I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.
Bravo, Mr. Aiken!