2016 was another strong year for the Gay Agenda, with a number of famous faces coming out and joining the community as out and proud LGBT people. With anti-LGBT sentiments on the rise throughout the world, coming out has never been more important. So let’s look back and celebrate some of the public figures who took a big, sparkly axe to the closet in 2016.

Charlie Carver

The Desperate Housewives and Teen Woolf star came out as gay in a series of heartfelt Instagram posts back in January, explaining,  “as a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say [I am gay] – and without being a dick about it, I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger” (click here to read more).

Kristin Stewart

Twilight heroine Kristin Stewart revealed in July that dating girlfriend Alicia Cargile allowed her to be able to “feel again,” adding that she had hidden her bisexuality while dating men because “everything personal felt like it was immediately trivialised” (click here to read more).

 

Aubrey Plaza

The Parks and Recreation opened up about her bisexualty in July, explaining that she falls “in love with girls and guys.” Reflecting on her LGBT following, she said, ““I feel like I operate in an old-school way that only gays truly understand. So for me it’s the ultimate compliment. My tastes are like an older gay man’s, and I think that’s who I really am” (click here to read more).

Trey Pearson

With a wife and two children, Christian rock singer Trey’s coming out was something of a surprise. In a heartfelt letter, he explained how he had tried “not to be gay for more than 20 years,” adding that coming out had been one of the “hardest” but “most freeing” moments of his life (click here to read more).

Amandla Stenberg

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg was just 17 when she came out as bisexual in January this year, citing fellow famous black women Solange Knowles, Ava Duvernay and Willow Smith the people who inspired her to be herself. “It’s a really really hard thing to be silenced and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in,” she said.

“As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman I’ve been through it, and it hurts, and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable.”

Lilly Wachowski

Responsible for the iconic Matrix trilogy, Lilly Wachowski came out as transgender in March this year – four years after sister Lana also came out as trans. Describing herself as “one of the lucky ones,” she spoke out against transphobia, explaining that, “when you’re transgender you have to face the hard reality of living the rest of your life in a world that is openly hostile to you” (click here to read more).

 

Colton Haynes

Colton Haynes came out as gay officially in May after months of speculation. The 27-year-old said coming out allowed him to be “happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been” (click here to read more).

Brian Anderson

Skateboarding star Brian Anderson revealed he was gay in September. Wanting to be the role model he never had, he told Vice, “I think about how I felt when I was younger, totally scared – a lot of these kids don’t have hope… To hear what I went through and how everything got better for me and how I felt a lot happier and felt more free and didn’t have all this shame buried inside my body… to convey that message was really important to me” (click here to read more).

George Shelley

Former Union J member George Shelley refused to be labelled when he came out in Feburary. Describing traditional sexual categories as “a little bit old-fashioned,” he said, “what is important to me is that I can be myself” (click here to read more).

Rayvon Owen

The American Idol finalist took bravely decided to include his same-sex partner in his music video for Fight It, rather than a female love interest, in a bold statement of personal truth. “When I read that treatment,” he explained, “I knew I couldn’t be dishonest. Not that I ever lied to people in the past, but the truth had been omitted” (click here to read more).

Nico Tortorella

Hunky actor Nico Tortorella initially came out as sexually fluid in June, but later revealed that he was comfortable using the term “bisexual” to define himself. Explaining that he doesn’t “see the world as gender binary,” he described himself as “label-less” (click here to read more).

 

Callum Scott

Callum Scott shot to stardom thanks to a stint on 2015’s series of Britain’s Got Talent. He later went public about his sexuality in an interview with us, explaining that LGBT people need “reassurance” from LGBT people in the public eye (click here to read more).