14 Stars That Decided to Come Out Later in Life and Don’t Regret It

Our world is quickly changing and the things that seemed impossible and prohibited before, look totally normal today and are supported by society. But for many people, it’s still difficult to accept certain parts of their personalities. Some are scared of their friends’ and families’ reactions. Others don’t want to be judged by the public. But accepting yourself for what you really are can bring comfort, relief, and even love at any age.

We at CHEERY decided to find out which celebrities, after so many years of fear, decided to open to the world and finally feel happy. And in the bonus section, you will find out what celebrity was forced to do it.

Sara Ramírez

In 2016, the star of Grey’s Anatomy, publicly said that she was bisexual. The actress says that she was scared of making such announcements before, because she thought it would have a negative effect on her career. Ramírez supposed she would be discriminated not only in her everyday life, but also in Hollywood.

Sarah continued to learn new things about herself. And then she came out as non-binary at the age of 44. Being non-binary, “isn’t about being married to one hairdo or a way of dressing,” Ramirez says. “It has more to do with your understanding of gender being on a spectrum. A lot of times you don’t feel male or female, other times you feel like both, and at times you feel like neither.”

She added, “In this society, we often feel this pressure to live in these rigid boxes. When I stepped out of the box I had put myself in, I discovered my own possibilities for change.”

Braunwyn Windham-Burke

Braunwyn noticed that she has always been more attracted to women. But it took her 42 years to feel comfortable enough to actually talk about it. She says, “I’m just now starting to feel like I’m becoming the woman I was supposed to be. So, for me to be living completely authentically and say, ‘I’m a lesbian. That was who I have always been.’”

She married Sean Burke when she was still young, just 20 years old. Now, they are raising 7 children together. Braunwyn said they are not going to get divorced because raising the kids always comes first for them. Besides, Sean is still her best friend.

Windham-Burke is dating a very special woman, and her husband knows her. She says that it’s not like they are 1 big family, but Sean and Victoria are very polite and respectful with each other.

Carl Nassib

Carl is the first NFL player to openly come out as gay. He says he lived 15 terrible years when he couldn’t share his feelings with other people.

Nassib hopes that at some point in the future, our world will change for the better so much that the whole coming-out process will just not be necessary. And until then, he’s going to do everything to make people accept others for what they are.

Caitlyn Jenner

In 2015, ex-Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner announced that she has always felt as a woman and decided to do a transition at the age of 66. She says that being transgender is difficult, and this process is always traumatic for families.

But the woman hopes she can prove that there’s a good ending to such stories. And Jenner has really inspired several people that had been afraid to make this step for decades.

Aunjanue Ellis

Invision / Invision / East News

The actress first announced that she was bisexual in an interview for “Variety”, at the age of 53. She says that her friends and family always knew about it, but she wasn’t really eager to share this information with the whole world. And many people just didn’t notice it.

In March 2022, the actress even attended the “Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards” event wearing a jacket with “Queer” on the sleeve, but nobody noticed it.

Aunjanue’s family has always supported her, but they didn’t want any public attention. When she was asked why she hadn’t talked about it before, she said that nobody asked her.

Rick Cosnett

The famous actor, who is also Hugh Grant’s cousin, came out as gay at the age of 36. Rick posted a message about it on his social media. He said he promised himself to live honestly and at peace with himself.

He added, “Sometimes that is a really hard thing to do when you have all these subconscious things you don’t even know about from childhood and from society and from being, you know — just life.”

Emeli Sande

35-year-old singer has recently announced that she’s finally found the love of her life. The passion for music connected the 2 women. Sande says that she has never been happier. She added, “I’ll always love music and I love my career but now it just feels that despite what happens, I can just enjoy life and be really happy. If you don’t really have someone to share it with or someone supporting you behind the scenes, it’s very difficult. I’m not sure what I identify as but I guess so. I just feel like I should fall in love with whoever I fall in love with.”

Jessica Phillips

When she was almost 50 years old, the famous Broadway actress lived with 2 children from her first marriage and her husband, Ted Wilson. At some point, she needed to leave New York and move to Los Angeles for some time.

When she was away from her family, Jessica decided to learn more about herself, and she realized that she was queer.

She said, “It wasn’t about changing identities, rather expanding my identity. That period of time really was a beautiful experience for me and also really painful and scary and sad because, as you know, when we open ourselves to change and newness, there’s loss attached to that, and there was a lot of loss for me.”

Jessica and her friend Chelsea Nachman opened a new side of their relationship. The actress is happy that her sons accepted the changes that happened to her mom. She adds, “I do not have the answers, but I know that taking risks is okay and changing your mind is okay.”

Mackenzie Phillips

The famous actress publicly said that she was bisexual at the age of 62. She said, “I’ve had boyfriends, I’ve had girlfriends throughout my life.” Talking about her personal life, she jokes that she loves everybody, “Not everybody, almost.”

Phillip Schofield

Famous British tv-star openly announced he was gay at the age of 57. His wife Stefanie and their 2 daughters helped him make this step. Phillip said that he took a long time to think about the situation before he shared it with his wife.

He said, “We’ve never had any secrets. She’s amazing, she’s incredible there’s no one in my life who would have supported me, as a wife the way she’s supported me.”

Witold Sadowy

Agnieszka Sniezko / East News

Polish actor, journalist and writer celebrated his 100th birthday by coming out as gay. During an interview on tv, he said, “I’m gay. Now I have said everything, as in confession. I am proud that I was an honest man. I don’t regret anything.” He lived in a relationship with Jan Ryżow, an engineer, from 1942.

DJ Qualls

The actor decided to tell the entire world he was gay at the age of 41. He posted this on Twitter, “It is 11:20pm. I just came out on stage at a show in San Diego. Yep, I’m gay. Been gay this whole time. Tired of worrying about what people would think of me. Tired of worrying about what it would do to my career.”

Before that, Qualls never talked about this personal life, but thanks to this honest confession, he got a lot of support from his friends and fans.

Kal Penn

45-year-old star of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle said he was gay in an interview about his book “You Can’t Be Serious.” It turned out that he had already been in a relationship with his boyfriend for 11 years. They were engaged and planning to get married. Penn never hid his feelings but his family and his boyfriend didn’t want this to be public.

Kal said that his family has always supported him. He added, “I discovered my own sexuality relatively late in life compared to many other people. There’s no timeline on this stuff. I’m glad I did when I did.”

Gabby Tuft

Ex-professional wrestler, known as Tyler Reks, came out as a transgender woman at the age of 41. Gabby says it was a tough path for her and she would do all she can to make sure this process is not as traumatizing for others as it was for her. Now, she’s an activist within the transgender community.

When she was a child, she loved wearing her mom’s dresses, but she knew others might not approve. After retiring from professional sports, she started experimenting with her wife’s makeup and clothes when nobody was at home.

Fortunately, her wife, Priscilla, and her daughter fully supported her. It was Priscilla that taught Gabby how to use makeup and wear heels and helped lift her out of her depression. Then, Priscilla carefully encouraged Tuft to consider transitioning, and she has fully supported her throughout the entire journey. Gabby posted on her Instagram, “So this is Love. 24 years later, our connection and our bond is stronger than ever. Yours until the end of time.”

Bonus: Rebel Wilson wasn’t given a chance to choose a good time for coming out.

In 2019, Rebel Wilson decided to make an experiment. For a whole year, she dated very different people. She literally had to make herself do it, but she was happy with the result. She said, “It actually really helped me in finding what I liked and what I didn’t like.”

Then, her friend decided to introduce Wilson to his friend, designer Ramona Agruma. He thought the women would like each other. And he was right.

Unfortunately, Rebel was forced to tell the entire world about her new love. It was an Australian news outlet that told the actress they were going to out her.

Wilson was not ready for such publicity, but she decided to come out on her terms and posted this on Instagram, “It was a very hard situation but trying to handle it with grace.” The couple got a lot of support from the fans.

Do you know anyone personally that had been hiding their preferences for a long time, but came out later?

Cheery/People/14 Stars That Decided to Come Out Later in Life and Don’t Regret It
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