Even at the end of a decade marked with tremendous social and political milestones for LGBTQ people, the power of witnessing queer public figures live as their authentic selves can’t be underestimated.
Though the 2010s brought marriage equality to the U.S. and a marked surge in transgender visibility across the globe, the challenges many members of the LGBTQ community continue to face are numerous. Against the backdrop of the Trump administration ― which has dismantled federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people ― seeing queer actors, artists and other celebrities embrace their truths feels even more profound. (It appears mainstream Hollywood is slowly catching on to the demand for more inclusive entertainment, too.)
In the era of social media, celebrities have more options to connect directly with their fans than ever before, so it’s no surprise stars like Lil Nas X and Lilly Singh opted to use platforms like Twitter and Instagram to share their sexualities.
Others, like “Treadstone” actor Brian J. Smith and NFL veteran Ryan Russell, opted for a tried-and-true, though no less impactful, approach by opening up about their authentic selves in interviews and essays with high-profile media outlets.
As 2019 winds to a close, HuffPost is taking a look back at 20 LGBTQ celebrities who talked about their sexuality this year. This isn’t intended as a comprehensive list, but merely a celebration of some famous faces who helped further the global push for LGBTQ acceptance by sharing their respective truths.