Sharing with pride! Like Raven-Symoné, Dan Levy, and more, celebrities have become important figures within the LGBTQ community as they’ve championed equality both on and offscreen.
The That’s So Raven alum’s personal life became the subject of headlines in August 2013 when she tweeted her reaction to the legalization of same-sex marriage. “I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you,” she wrote at the time.
Three years later, she spoke about her journey to self-acceptance and admitted that she “never thought” she would publicly come out.
“Being on television sets from age 3 till age 30, I’m more comfortable there,” she said in a May 2016 video for the Lexus L/Studio docuseries It Got Better. “I know what lines I’m supposed to say. Somebody else picks my clothes for me. I have makeup done. I have hair done. And you create a family with these people that sometimes are closer to you than your own family.”
The Disney alum felt like she couldn’t be honest about her sexuality because she had been “branded at such a young age” to fit the network’s image. “I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn’t matter,” she said at the time. “It was only what was supposed to be sold as the Raven-Symoné brand.”
Though she’d known she was attracted to women from a young age, the former The View co-host took her time when approaching her sexuality in public. Levy, for his part, came out to his parents when he was 18 — but once feared that he would always have to hide his identity from the rest of the world.
“I legitimately thought that I would have to live with this secret — my being gay — for the rest of my life because I didn’t have the security of seeing a lot of people like myself being celebrated in popular culture,” the Schitt’s Creek creator and star said in September 2019 at the GLAAD Gala in San Francisco. “Had I not had the love to give me a sense of security, I don’t know if I would have found my way out of the closet, let alone create the opportunity for myself to tell stories on television that have effected some positive change in the world.”
The Emmy winner portrayed queer romance with positivity across the six seasons of Pop TV’s Schitt’s Creek, which came to an end in early 2020. Though the Rose family is no more, Levy vowed to keep telling honest stories for his communities.
“Support, encouragement, and love: three relatively simple acts of kindness that can change the course of a person’s life,” he said at the time. “I promise to continue to do my part in celebrating this radiant community in all the work that I do, big and small.”
Scroll down to learn more about stars’ coming-out stories.