14 LGBTQ+ Celebrities Who Came Out in Old Age

Mitch
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Age is just a number, and coming out of the closet? Well, there’s no expiration date on that, either. Even the glitz and glam of stardom couldn’t suppress the authentic voices of some celebrities who chose to come out of the proverbial closet later in life.

So, let’s tip our hats and raise our glasses – here’s a tribute to 14 courageous LGBTQ+ celebrities.

Clive Davis

Photo by Christopher Peterson via Wikimedia Commons

Clive Davis, the iconic music industry mogul, had us all tuned in when he came out as bisexual in his 80s. Known for his golden ear, Davis revealed his bisexu@l!ty in his 2013 memoir, “The Soundtrack of My Life.”

The book is quite a page-turner, not just because it spills the tea on his sexual orientation, but it also pulls back the curtain on the glitz and glamour of the music industry.

George Takei

Super Festivals via Wikimedia Commons

George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the “Star Trek” series, boldly announced he was gay in 2005 at the spry age of 68.

Often known for his cheeky social media presence and infectious laughter, Takei turned his personal journey into an opportunity for advocacy, becoming a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

Pat Patterson

Miguel Discart via Wikimedia Commons

After a stunning career in the ring, Patterson, a WWE hall of fame, made a bold move at 73, revealing his truth in his 2014 autobiography, “Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE.”

Known for his fearlessness inside the ring, Patterson proved just as courageous outside it.

Kevin Spacey

14 LGBTQ+ Celebrities Who Came Out in Old Age
Maryland GovPics via Wikimedia Commons

At 58, he decided to step into the spotlight and declare his truth. In what can only be defined as classic Hollywood timing, Spacey revealed his s*xu@l orientation amid allegations of s*xu@l misconduct in 2017.

The announcement delivered on Twitter surprised many but also led to a conversation about the circumstances of his coming out story.

Sally Ride

NASA Johnson Space Center via Wikimedia Commons

While her extraordinary achievements are often linked to her space exploration, another notable aspect of her story remained untold until she died in 2012. It’s the love story of Sally and Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years.

This relationship kept away from the public eye during her lifetime, made Sally the first known LGBTQ+ astronaut.

Kelly McGillis

Robert Connolly via Wikimedia Commons

At 51, Hollywood couldn’t handle the heat when “Top Gun” star Kelly McGillis buzzed the tower with her coming out in 2009.

McGillis, who had been married twice to men and has two daughters, declared in an interview with SheWired that she was “done with the man thing.” She said, “I did that, tried it, and now I know where my priorities lie.

Jim Nabors

Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks via Wikimedia Commons

Off-screen, Nabors maintained a low profile about his personal life until the age of 82, when he tied the knot with his long-term partner, Stan Cadwallader, in 2013.

This marked his public coming out, proving it’s never too late to embrace your true self and love who you want to love.

David Ogden Stiers

CBS Television via Wikimedia Commons

David Ogden Stiers, best known for his stirring performance as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in the critically acclaimed TV series MASH*, came out when he was 66.

This revelation, like a well-aged fine wine, was worth the wait. Stiers, a beacon of style and sophistication, gracefully revealed his s*xu@l!ty in 2009. 

Richard Chamberlain

Harry Chase via Wikimedia Commons

Richard Chamberlain, a heartthrob for many during the 1960s and 1970s, known for his roles in “Dr. Kildare” and “The Thorn Birds,” demonstrated that personal revelation can be a timeless affair.

At 69, Chamberlain publicly came out as gay in his 2003 autobiography, “Shattered Love.”

Suze Orman

David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s talk about a powerhouse lady who knows all about money, honey. Suze Orman, a personal finance guru, came out when she was 55.

She had been dropping dollar wisdom for years on TV shows and in best-selling books, but the revelation about her s*xu@l!ty was a nugget she withheld for quite some time.

Kelly Holmes

Doha Stadium Plus Qatar via Wikimedia Commons

Britain’s double Olympic gold medalist, Kelly Holmes, who had always kept her personal life strictly personal, surprised many in 2014 when she revealed her relationship with a female partner.

The revelation, at age 43, serves as a testament to the idea that it’s never too late to embrace one’s truth.

Jim Ferlo

Mark Knobil via Wikimedia Commons

Ferlo, a former Pennsylvania State Senator, casually shattered the glass closet at 63 during a rally for nondiscrimination legislation. Quite the venue for a personal announcement, right?

Standing firm in the political arena, this daring move in 2014 made him the first openly gay legislator in Pennsylvania.

Joel Grey

Peabody Awards via Wikimedia Commons

It wasn’t until his 80s, after a long, distinguished career that included an Oscar, a Tony, and a Golden Globe, that Joel Grey decided to step into another equally significant role: that of an openly gay man.

In his memoir “Master of Ceremonies,” he wrote about his journey toward self-acceptance, revealing the challenges and triumphs of his personal life alongside his public persona.

Oliver Sacks

Luigi Novi via Wikimedia Commons

It was in his 80s that the illustrious neurologist and author added another plot twist to his story. Sacks, the author of numerous bestsellers including “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” came out as gay in his autobiography “On the Move: A Life.”

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  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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