Smollett confirmed that he is gay during a chat with Ellen De Generes.Earlier, his co-star Malik Yoba had been quoted saying that "I know Jussie; he is gay, and he's very committed to issues around the LGBT community." Yoba later said he had been misquoted."It feels like a nice time to be celebrating something like that, especially on the heels of the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions," the actor said.Ellen De Generes came out shortly after her character Ellen, on an ABC sitcom, came out on-air amid controversy in 1997.In August she opened up more about her sexuality in an interview with Harper's Bazaar U. Actor Thomas Dekker, known for his roles in "Heroes" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," came out publicly via a tweeted statement in July after he said "a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to 'out' me." Dekker also revealed that he had married in April.Jussie Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, on the Fox TV show "Empire" came out, and so did the actor.After years as a stand-up comedian and actress, Rosie O'Donnell came out two months before her talk show went off-air in 2002.The announcement came during a comedy routine at the Ovarian Cancer Research benefit at Carolines Comedy Club in New York.
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Anna Paquin celebrated LGBT Pride Month in June 2014 by proudly declaring her status as a "happily married bisexual mother." The "True Blood" actress has been wed to her co-star Stephen Moyer, right, since 2010, the same year she initially shared her sexual orientation with the public.
"Marriage is about love," Paquin tweeted on June 8, "not gender." In December 2013, "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts came out as a lesbian in a Facebook post reflecting on the past year and thanking fans for their support after her bone marrow transplant.
Bob Harper's confirmation that he's gay came about as a desire to comfort a "Biggest Loser" contestant. It's just who you are." Maulik Pancholy's sexuality wasn't a secret, but he did take the extra step of going on the record about it in November 2013 -- just in case someone out there wasn't clear.
On a November 2013 episode, personal trainer Harper, 48, talked about his sexuality for the first time on the reality weight loss competition in an effort to show the contestant that he doesn't have to be ashamed. The actor, who memorably portrayed the obsessive and loyal assistant Jonathan on "30 Rock," told Out magazine that he's been in a relationship for nine years.