In honor of National Coming Out Day, welcome to the final list of Queerty’s Out for Good, an 11-part series of mini-profiles celebrating coming out and those who made public declarations to break down barriers for others like them.
The year’s honorees constitute a range of folk from all walks of public life. From a 27-year-old mixed-race Danish professional hockey goalkeeper to the 58-year-old mayor of Ottawa, these courageous individuals might not be the richest or most famous people. In a difficult time for minorities, they share a dedication to living their own truth every day and to having a positive effect on society in the process.
It takes courage to come out. It takes courage to announce to the world that you are willing to stand up and be a role model dedicated to making the world a more accepting place.
These eleven individuals showed the rest of the world how it is done.
With no further ado, and in no particular order, here they are…
1. Connor Jessup, actor
Jessup came out because he believes “queerness is a solution” to the world’s woes.
2. Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
Watson came out with a warning to others not to waste time, and to come out as early in life as you feel comfortable.
3. Matt Easton, BYU valedictorian
Easton brought attention to the anti-LGBTQ attitudes of the Mormon church, and those of his alma mater Brigham Young University to set other students free.
4. Jonathan Van Ness, humanitarian style maven
For Van Ness, coming out as non-binary pushed back against femme shaming. Coming out as HIV+ brought attention to and helped humanize people living with the virus.
5. Bella Thorne, actor/model
Bella Thorne wanted the world to know she’s attracted to people, regardless of gender identity.
6. Lilly Singh, comedian & YouTuber
Singh came out to her huge following as a way of accepting herself whileprojecting her queer “superpowers”… “Female, Coloured, Bisexual”.
7. Lil Nas X, chart-topping rapper
Lil Nas X wanted to come out to destigmatize homosexuality in the world of hip-hop.
8. Ryan Russell, former college & NFL player
NFLer Russell made his personal disclosure in order to be a better teammate and to bolster his own self-esteem so he could, in turn, help others.
9. Tyler Blackburn, actor
Blackburn came out as bisexual in an open letter to himself, and as a demonstration of honesty to other young men feeling the same way.
10. Shiho Shimoyamada, Japanese soccer star
On her way to the 2020 Olympics, Shimoyamada wanted the world to know she is gay so they would finally begin to see LGBTQ women in sports.
11. Jon Lee-Olsen, pro hockey goalkeeper
Lee-Olsen became only the third male pro hockey player to ever come out. He did so in a live interview to open the door to other queer athletes in sports.