As 2014 winds to a close, we take a
look at the biggest coming out stories of the year.
2014 was the year the NFL got its first
openly gay player: Michael Sam.
The 24-year-old Sam was drafted by the
St. Louis Rams but was cut before the start of the regular season.
He is currently a free agent.
On Saturday, OWN broadcast a
documentary on Sam and a one-on-one interview with the player.
Sam revealed to Oprah Winfrey that he's
heard from other gay
players in the NFL. He also said that coming out was the
right thing to do.
Another first came in country music,
where Ty Herndon came out to become the first openly gay male country
music artist and only the second after Chely Wright. Another artist,
Billy Gilman, followed Herndon's lead later in the same day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook ended rumors about
his sexuality in October, when he wrote an op-ed in which he said
that being gay was “among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
The announcement made Cook the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500
Ellen Page, the actress best known for
her role in the film Juno, came out in a Valentine's Day
speech delivered at an LGBT youth conference in Las Vegas.
“The reaction [to coming out has]
been really beautiful and I think it’s been so beautiful because,
to me, it’s so indicative of the change that’s happened and how
society has evolved,” Page said during an appearance to promote her
most recent film, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“And I couldn’t be more grateful
for just the support I’ve had. And quite frankly for me, it was
just pretty immediate. And I felt like all this toxicity and worry
and baggage that I was carrying, just sort of vanished. I don’t
think I could even have anticipated how happy I feel,” she added.
Singer Sam Smith has played down his
coming out, telling Ellen DeGeneres that he's been out since he was
“My mum said she knew when I was like
3, so I didn't actually have to properly come out,” Sam said.
“So you waited a year to tell her?”
Ian Thorpe's coming out also made waves
in 2014. After years of denials, Thorpe, Australia's most decorated
Olympian, acknowledged he's gay in July, saying he lied because he
“didn't know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay.”
Thorpe comes out gay: “I'm not straight”)
YouTube celebrity Connor Franta, 22,
told his nearly 4 million subscribers that he's gay in a video simply
titled Coming Out.
“You are who you are and you should
love that person,” Franta said in the video.
Actor Daniel Franzese appears to have
taken that advice to heart, appearing in numerous gay-themed videos
since his coming out in April. Franzese, who is best known for
playing Damian in the film Mean Girls, has joined
the cast of HBO's gay drama Looking,
which returns for its second season on January 11.
“It's like I finally feel comfortable
to tell the kind of jokes and comedy I have been holding in for so
long. It's pure freedom and a blessing people are picking up on it,”
Logan Lynn in discussing his part in a spoof of Sam Smith's hit
single Stay With Me.
Franzese, Adrian Anchondo star in Sam Smith spoof.)