“Harold & Kumar” Actor Kal Penn, also a former White House employee during the Obama administration, came out gay this week and we’re more than excited. He announced his engagement to partner Josh while promoting his new autobiography “You can’t be serious.” Penn, 44, revealed People magazine that he and Josh had been together for over a decade.
“I’ve always been very public with everyone I’ve interacted with personally,” he told People. “Whether it’s someone I meet in a bar when Josh and I are out or we’re talking to friends. I am very excited to share our relationship with the readers. But Josh, my partner, my parents, and my brother – four people I’m closest to in the family – are pretty calm. They don’t love attention and shy away from the limelight. “
Although coming out is a personal choice and everyone has to decide when the time is right for them, Penn felt that he came out later than most people. The actor said that “people find out their shit at different times in their life” and that he’s glad he did.
Penn is right. Several notable characters came out later in life. Here’s a look at seven other celebrities who did just that:
As a source of pride reported last month, Cassandra Peterson, known for her character Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, also came out like Penn about a new book. In Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, Peterson revealed that she has been in a committed relationship with another woman for nearly 20 years.
As with Penn, the response to Peterson’s news was positive.
“I’m so glad so many people are interested, you know?” She told Pride Source’s editor-in-chief, Chris Azzopardi.
Anderson Cooper, the famous CNN anchor reporter and son of fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt, came out in 2012 at the age of 45. It was then that Cooper cleared his sexual orientation to former Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan after being a mom on the subject for years.
“I’ve started to wonder if the unintended consequences of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principles,” Cooper said in an email to Sullivan. “I realized that by keeping silent about certain aspects of my private life, I had given some people the wrong impression that I was trying to hide something – something that made me uncomfortable, ashamed or even anxious. That’s worrying because it’s just not true. … The fact is, I’m gay, always has been, always will be, and I couldn’t be happier, more satisfied and more proud. “
Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes was married to a man, record producer Dave “Jam” Hall, for seven years in the 1990s. However, she didn’t officially come out as a lesbian until 2008 when she spoke at a rally for same-sex marriages in Las Vegas. In the same year Sykes married her wife Alex Niedbalski.
In one Interview 2019 with Jason A. Michael at Pride Source, Sykes said coming out was difficult.
“When I got to see my parents, it wasn’t well received at all,” said Sykes. “We basically stopped talking. And it was instant. And at the age of 40 I felt abandoned. These are the people who gave birth to me. ”
Like Sykes, actress and comedian Marsha Warfield didn’t come out easily. In fact, her mother let her keep it a secret until she died. She told Pride Source about her coming out journey in a last interview.
“[My mom] Telling me that she didn’t want me to get out in the area we lived in while I was alive didn’t hurt at the time, ”said the star of the classic ’80s sitcom “Night dish” and more recently the hit series by Fox “9-1-1.” “It hurt later. You get older and realize how suppressed you were and how much you missed. ”
Warfield now has a “boo” named Angie, and she’s hoping they’ll get married soon.
David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce, star of the NBC series “Frasier”, came out at the age of 48 during an acceptance speech at the 2007 Tony Awards. After winning Best Actor in a Musical Award for Curtains, Pierce said he wanted to “thank my partner Brian because it’s been 24 years since he listened to you.” Notes – that’s why I’m up here tonight. ”
Pierce and his partner, television writer, director and producer Brian Hargrove, married the following year.
“Good morning america “ anchor Robin Roberts is a survivor. She fought breast cancer and had a bone marrow transplant in front of the world. Roberts came out in 2013 at the age of 53 Facebook post thanks her friend, masseuse Amber Laign, for all of her support during Roberts’ illness.
In 2015 she was named one of 31 icons of LGBT History Month 2015 Equal Opportunities Forum.
Legendary “Star Trek” Actor George Takei waited until he was 68 years old. In an interview with Frontiers magazine In 2005, Takei said he felt compelled to come out after then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a same-sex marriage law.
“It doesn’t really come out suggesting opening a door and stepping through,” Takei told the magazine of his announcement. “It’s more like a long, long walk down a narrow corridor that is beginning to widen.”
Takei has been very popular since it appeared on social media. He has been married to his partner Brad Altman since 2008.