In a world where being a homosexual or bisexual can be seen as wrong, there are still examples out there which show a different view and cast us in a better light. It is these people who are good role models, helping to make our world a better place, and which help to make us not feel alone just because we are different.
In 1997 Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian to the world on the Oprah Winfrey show, as well as in her television show at the time Ellen. On her television show she went on to explore different LGBT issues in the final season. Many people have informed Ellen of how they sat down with their family when her coming out episode of Ellen aired hoping that it would provide a window where they could open up and come out themselves. On her talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show she is not afraid to speak her mind about issues, including bullying, gay rights, and animal rights. She is a positive example of what makes a good person as she is funny, and clearly enjoys life. The fact that she is a lesbian is just one small detail which does not change who she is, and it does not mean she cannot achieve things.
Portia de Rossi (DeGeneres)
Given I just was speaking of her wife, it is only right for me to move on to Portia. I do not know too much about Portia, but like her wife she supports a number of different causes and charitable organisations. I have not read her autobiography Unbearable Lightness, however from the quotes I have seen and from her interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show I will say that it is something worth reading as it details her struggles with anorexia nervosa as well as her sexuality, and how Ellen has been a positive thing in her life. “Ellen DeGeneres was the “worst-case scenario.” She would expose me as being gay. She would force me to live a truthful, honest life, to be exactly who I am with no pretence. I thank God for her every day.”
Here is a name which I would not be surprised to find not many people know. She is the first American country music singer to come out as a lesbian. That is not a good thing to be known for, and sadly for Chely some see her as that and only that; which is a shame as she is a good singer and has some great songs. Her sexuality should not determine if she can sing or not, and she does not let opinions stop her from living her life how she wants to. She came out in 2010 because she could no longer live a lie, and she wanted to try supporting other closeted homosexuals find the strength to come out. For years she lived believing that she was wicked and could never act on her true feelings and sexuality so was in hidden and secretive relationships, and she decided to change this to give herself a better life as well as hopefully inspire anyone else in that situation to do the same. Although I have not read it I just know someone who has, I recommend her autobiography Like Me as it details her struggles in life, and it also can help you not feel alone as really we all go through similar things. “I hear the word ‘tolerance’—that some people are trying to teach people to be tolerant of gays. I’m not satisfied with that word. I am gay, and I am not seeking to be ‘tolerated’. One tolerates a toothache, rush-hour traffic, an annoying neighbour with a cluttered yard. I am not a negative to be tolerated.” Chely Wright is an activist, and has started two charities. One is for helping supply musical instruments to American schools, the other (The Like Me Organisation) is a LGBT organisation which brings together members and allies to support, assist, and educate LGBT individuals, and their friends and family members.
Lady Gaga is bisexual and an advocate for the LGBT community. She is thankful for her fans, especially her gay fan base. She once said “If we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones.”, and as a part of this statement wore a meat dress. Some may find some of her actions questionable, but there is no denying that she makes good points. She has spoken about being a bisexual and how that makes people uncomfortable as there are so many myths about just what that means (for example she once said this about her past boyfriends; “The fact that I’m into women, they’re all intimidated by it. It makes them uncomfortable. They’re like, ‘I don’t need to have a threesome. I’m happy with just you’.”). This is a positive step for bisexuals, as someone needs to speak out and correct those myths as well as show the world that bisexuality is a valid sexuality and are not simply confused or trying to be popular without committing to being homosexual or heterosexual.
Sara is probably best known as playing Darlene Conner on Roseanne; however other than that she is possibly pretty unknown to most of the world. One thing about her which she does keep private is her private life, which is a commendable thing to be able to do in the entertainment industry. She came out as a lesbian in 2004 after the birth of her first child. This was the first of two children Sara had with previous partner Allison Adler. In 2010 she made a statement about her sexuality, when talk show The Talk (which she is a host on as well as a creator) was first starting, during which she said; “I don’t think it will be a problem. I don’t ever really think of things as ‘out ‘or ‘in.’ I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them and share when it seems right.” This is a positive take on her sexuality as she is who she is, and it makes no difference really. For anyone who does not know, The Talk is a talk show with a theme of motherhood/parenthood, and they give opinions on latest news “through the eyes of mothers”. This is another positive fact about Sara since she is a part of this, and can show that she has just as much right to be a mother and voice her opinions on things as any other mother.
Zachary Quinto came out as gay in October 2011, after the suicide of gay teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, because he realised “that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it, is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.” He is an active supporter of gay rights and organisations like the Trevor Project, and contributed a video to the ‘It Gets Better Project’ (an Internet-based campaign aiming to prevent suicide among LGBT youth).
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris is open about his sexuality, and does not feel the need to hide who he is or his relationship. He lives his life for him, to make him happy, regardless of the opinions of others. When coming out he said; “I am happy to dispel any rumours or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love.” Neil Patrick Harris has twins with his partner, David Burtka, born in October 2010. After the Marriage Equality Act was passed in New York in 2011 he announced that he and David Burtka were engaged.
Lily Tomlin career possibly speaks for itself. She is a successful woman; she is an actress, comedian, writer, and producer. Although she did not officially come out to the press until 2001 her sexuality has never been a secret, and neither has her partner Jane Wagner. In an interview with the Just Out magazine in 2008 Lily Tomlin said; “Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane… In interviews I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don’t always write about it,” which shows that it was not her which may have made her sexuality a secret, but the press itself. Lily and Jane have been together since about 1971. They have worked together on numerous projects (as Jane is a writer, producer, and director).
After being in a 15 year relationship (1988-2003) with Danny Mozes, Cynthia started dating Christine Marinoni in 2004. At the time she did not establish a label for herself, she just was now in a relationship with a woman. When speaking about her relationship with Christine in 2007 she stated; “I don’t really feel I’ve changed. I’d been with men all my life, and I’d never fallen in love with a woman. But when I did, it didn’t seem so strange. I’m just a woman in love with another woman.” showing that she felt that it was a natural part of who she was. In 2012 she fully explained what her sexuality is; “I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can’t and shouldn’t be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering … While I don’t often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have ‘chosen’ is to be in a gay relationship.” In the same interview she also expressed her feelings about being wary of using a label, particularly that of bisexual, due to the fact that “everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals;” since bisexuality usually does not get treated as a valid sexuality. In actually putting that out there she has shown her beliefs, as well as shown comfort in who she is and her identity.
Bob Brown is an Australian politician. He is the former leader of the Australian Greens Party (from November 28th, 2005 to April 13th, 2012). He was the first openly gay member of the Australian Parliament, and then later became the first openly gay leader of an Australian political party. As a leader of the greens, part of what he did try push for was marriage equality in Australia; despite his opinion that he personally was past the age to get married. This was not something he was doing for himself, but something he wanted to happen simply because he felt the country deserved equal rights and that everyone had the right to legally marry the person they loved (not just have an equivalent – domestic partnership – which is available in some areas of the country). He and partner, Paul Thomas, are both activists for a variety of things. Before becoming a part of the political world, Bob was a doctor.