6 Celebs Who Came Out Later In Life

Many celebs have come forward in recent years to support the LGBTQ+ community as an ally, with even more Hollywood elites identifying as members of the community themselves. Today, many amongst the younger generations of celebrities, such as Kristen Stewart, Bella Ramsey, and Joe Locke, choose to bravely declare their sexuality early on in their acting careers. However, this hasn't always been the obvious course of action in the past, resulting in a number of surprising reveals and announcements as LGBTQ+ rights continue to expand.


Moreover, while not every star finds a public announcement necessary — as in the case of Jodie Foster, whose coming out speech was more of an obligatory move than anything — most celebs who have spoken out about their sexuality have done so from a place of empowerment and equality. To that end, the actors, singers, and comedians who have waited until much later in their careers to open up about their sexual orientation prove that it's never too late to be out and proud to the world.

Susan Sarandon came out as bisexual in her 70s

Legendary actress and activist Susan Sarandon delighted fans when she casually shared her bisexual orientation during an episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in 2022 at the age of 75. The short clip of her confession quickly circulated and has become a popular reaction video ever since. Sarandon's breezy coming out moment occurred when she recounted a conversation between her and her son, who suggested that she get a cat after the passing of her dog, to which she replied, "and I'm bi, so ... " When host Jimmy Fallon asked her if she liked both dogs and cats, Sarandon cheekily responded, "I'm very fluid where animals are concerned."


Moreover, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show” star has always been an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ+ community, and she admitted to being "open" in regard to her sexuality as early as 2017. Additionally, Sarandon is no stranger to playing queer-coded roles, including Louise in "Thelma & Louise" and Sarah Roberts in "The Hunger." She first became associated with the LGBTQ+ community after "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", but her infamous love scene with vampire seductress Catherine Deneuve in "The Hunger” is what cemented her as an official gay icon. The "Dead Man Walking" actor embraces the label to this day.

Jodie Foster delayed coming out in public to protect her privacy

Award-winning actress Jodie Foster came out to the public for the first time in 2013 during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. At the time, the "Silence of the Lambs" star was 50 years old and had alluded to her sexuality only once before at the 2007 Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast, where she mentioned her ex-wife, Cydney Bernard. It wasn't until the 2013 Golden Globes event that the "Taxi Driver" star clearly voiced that she was gay, but the delay certainly didn't come from a lack of pride and acceptance. "If you had been a public figure by the time you were a toddler, if you had had to fight for a life that felt real, and honest, and normal against all odds, then you too might value privacy above all else," Foster said during her speech at the Golden Globes, per the Guardian.


She preceded this justification with a candid confession: "I already did my coming out about 1000 years ago, back in the stone age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her. To everyone she actually met." Today, Foster is married to photographer Alexandra Hedison and shares two children with Bernard. The actress split from Bernard in 2008 and married Hedison in 2014.

Kal Penn found coming out to his family relatively easy after telling them of his acting ambitions

Kal Penn, actor and former associate director in Barack Obama administration, came out publicly at 44 years old. The "Harold & Kumar" star announced his sexuality in 2021, leading up to the release of his memoir, "You Can't Be Serious," which documents his career and the details of his (then 11-year) relationship with his fiancé, Josh. "I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people," Penn told People. "There's no timeline on this stuff. People figure their s*** out at different times in their lives, so I'm glad I did when I did."


What's more, straying from the norm in any sense can feel difficult to navigate when you come from an ethnic background. However, this wasn't the case for the "Designated Survivor" star. "I shared things with my parents and close friends first," said the "House" actor. "I know this sounds jokey, but it's true: When you've already told your Indian parents and the South Asian community that you intend to be an actor for a living, really any conversations that come after that are super easy. They're just like, 'Yeah, okay.' I felt very supported by everyone. That's a wonderful thing. I know everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate."

Sara Ramirez used their personal experience to advocate for others

Sara Ramirez is known for their role as bisexual character Dr. Callie Torres on the long-running TV series "Grey's Anatomy." In October 2016, the 41-year-old actor shared their own experience as a queer and bisexual-identifiying person during a speech at the True Colors Fund's 40 to None Summit. The two-day event was designed to build awareness surrounding the issue of homelessness among LGBTQ youth and youth of color in America.


In their speech, Ramirez explained that "because of the intersections that exist in my own life — woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides — I am deeply deeply invested in projects that allow our youth's voices to be heard, and that support our youth in owning their own complex narratives so that we can show up for them in the ways they need us to."

Wentworth Miller left his starring role due to its erasure of his homosexuality

"Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller is another popular actor who came out as gay well into adulthood. Miller has admitted to struggling to accept and voice his homosexuality in the past. So, it came as some surprise when the actor came out via a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in 2013 to decline an invitation to appear as a guest of honor amid the Russian government's anti-LGBTQ laws. "As a gay man, I must decline," the then-41-year-old Miller wrote in his letter, per USA Today.


The "Stoker" writer and co-producer followed up with another proud confession in 2020 when he refused to reprise his role as "Prison Break" character Michael Scofield. "My gayness was largely erased (by me, for starters) in the first decades of my career," Miller wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post, per Them. "It is my want, now, to center it in a way that cannot be missed by myself or anyone else."

Wayne Brady came out as pansexual in 2023

Comedian Wayne Brady officially came out as pansexual in 2023. "Bisexual — with an open mind!" the 51-year-old jokester told People. The "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" star lives with his daughter Maile and ex-wife Mandie Taketa, but admitted to feeling attracted to men. "In doing my research, both with myself and just with the world, I couldn't say if I was bisexual, because I had to really see what that was, especially because I really have not gotten a chance to act on anything. So, I came to pansexual because — and I know that I'm completely messing up the dictionary meaning — but to me, pan means being able to be attracted to anyone who identifies as gay, straight, bi, [transgender] or non-binary," Brady told the outlet.


That said, people often misunderstand the difference between being pansexual and bisexual or use them interchangeably. To clarify, individuals who identify as bisexual are attracted to more than one gender, while pansexual individuals feel attraction toward all genders. And, contrary to popular belief, bisexuality does not reinforce the gender binary, as it "encompasses attraction to more than one gender and can include individuals who identify outside of the traditional male-female binary," relationship expert Sameera Sullivan told Glam during an exclusive 2023 interview.