“I just asked for her to accept me. And she has.”
Coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is a major moment in a person’s life, following a long journey of self-discovery. It’s a moment that can be filled with both love and heartache as someone decides to open up to their closest friends and family about their most authentic selves.
While coming out doesn’t always go as planned, there are also so many heartwarming stories about people who are met with positivity and support from their inner circle. These important gestures of acceptance can be life-changing and are a vital step to becoming an overall more compassionate society — and that’s why some celebrities have decided to share their own coming out stories. Thankfully, many stars have had positive experiences coming out to those closest to them, which makes these moments worth celebrating.
In honor of Pride Month, here’s what these celebs shared about coming out…
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Miley Cyrus, who identifies as pansexual, came out to her mom Tish when she was 14 — although at the time, she identified as bisexual. In an interview, she recalled that she told her mom that she felt similarly about both girls and boys. Although she says it was initially hard for Tish to understand, Miley says her mom accepted her for her true self.
“I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, I love them. I love them like I love boys. And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn’t want me to be judged and she didn’t want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has,” Miley told Paper magazine.
Shortly after JoJo Siwa publicly came out as gay, she opened up about telling her parents — who said they already had a feeling that she would come out to them one day. While her mom expressed that she had known “for the last two years,” she says her dad shared that he just wanted her to be happy.
“My mom said she’s known for the last two years. She’s like, ‘I just know with you!’ Around two years ago, she was like, ‘I don’t think you only like boys, that’s totally okay.’ They’ve always been so everything…My family is awesome. Like my dad said, love is universal. You guys can love whoever you want to love, and you guys can do in life whatever you want to do. You can dream a dream and make that dream come true, no matter what. Just be happy, happiness is sometimes really hard,” JoJo said during a live stream.
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Ellen DeGeneres says she came out to her mom Betty when she was in love for the first time as a young woman. The duo was walking on the beach when Ellen opened up and they shared a touching moment that ended in a few tears.
“We were walking along the beach and – with our pants rolled up and barefoot – and the water was coming in. I said: ‘I’m in love.’ And she says: ‘That’s great.’ And I said: ‘It’s with a woman,'” Ellen said during an interview on “20/20.”
Ellen says both she and her mother cried together and while Betty didn’t understand it at the time, she always has loved her for who she is and “how happy” she is.
When Dan Levy came out to his parents as a teenager, it was actually because they asked him if he was gay. When Dan shared that he was, his parents told him that they had known all along — and fully supported him.
“My mom asked me over lunch one day, and I said yes. My mom and I have a close relationship in that sense and it almost felt like she knew that I was ready,” Dan shared on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.”
His father Eugene added, “We knew…for the longest time. We were waiting and mom couldn’t wait any longer.”
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Demi Lovato had an emotional experience telling their parents about their sexuality. They say that in 2017, they told their mom and dad that they could potentially see themselves ending up with a woman in the future, just as much as they could see themselves with a man.
“It was actually, like emotional, but really beautiful. After everything was done I was like shaking and crying and I just felt overwhelmed, but I have such incredible parents. They were so supportive. My dad was like, ‘Yeah, obviously.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, okay dad,'” Demi shared on the Radio Andy SiriusXM show.
They added, “My mom was the one that I was like super nervous about, but she was just like, ‘I just want you to be happy.’ That was so beautiful and amazing, and like I said, I’m so grateful.”
Ruby Rose says her mom knew about her daughter’s sexual orientation even when she was young. So when Ruby came out to her mother at age 12, it wasn’t a big surprise for her.
“She knew when I was six apparently…I didn’t know anyone else that was gay or a lesbian. So I didn’t really know how to word it. So I was just like, ‘I think I should let you know that when I eventually get a boyfriend, they’ll be a girl.’ And she was just like, ‘I know,'” she said on “Today.”
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When Sara Ramirez took on the role of Callie Torres, a bisexual doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy,” they hadn’t yet come out about being bisexual themselves. But after continued violence against the LGBTQ+ community, Sara decided they needed to speak out and tell their closest friends.
“During a movie night at my house one night, I pressed pause and then I shared my truth with the room and I waited because I wasn’t sure what to expect. But everyone was very supportive and very happy for me. The reaction was something like, ‘Huh, cool. Can we go back to the movie now?'” Sara told People.
When Evan Rachel Wood was ready to come out as bisexual, she had a young son and wasn’t sure how he was going to react. When she brought up the topic and asked how he would feel about his mom dating another woman, she says his response was surprisingly enthusiastic.
“He was like, ‘I think that would be amazing. That would be so cool!'” she shared with Self.
Amber Rose, who identifies as bisexual, says that when she came out to her mom there were no issues and she just wanted her daughter to be happy with whoever she chose.
“When I had my first girlfriend — me and my mom are best friends — I just told her and my mom was like, ‘Whatever makes you happy girl. Whatever you like, that’s your business, I don’t care.’ It was really easy for me,” Amber told Curve.
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Kal Penn says he discovered his own sexuality “relatively late in life” so when he came out to his Indian parents about his relationship with his partner Josh, he was worried about their reaction. Thankfully, they shared that they were fully supportive of him.
“I shared things with my parents and close friends first. 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’…That’s a wonderful thing. I know everybody has different experiences with that and so I definitely feel very fortunate,” Kal told People.
Keiynan Lonsdale was filming “Love, Simon” when he came out to his castmates. He had previously been hiding that he was dating another man and decided that he finally wanted to share with his friends — much like his character did in the film.
“Before we got to the filming wrap party, we just went out for drinks. Like, all the cast and I. I don’t even know how I said it, but I just said it to the group, and they were, of course, really supportive, and I explained to them that I wish I had said something earlier. It was great. It’s an interesting thing to go through that kind of growth and learn those lessons while your character is also learning those lessons. I’m very thankful for it,” Keiynan told THR.