Top 10 Coming Outs of 2012
The courageous people that helped gain visibility for the LGBT community.
1. Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz
Boxer Orlando Cruz knocked off the boxing world when he announced he was a "proud gay man" in October. According to the Associated Press, Cruz is believed to be the first professional boxer to come out as gay while still competing.
"I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing, knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho," Cruz told the AP. "I kept this hidden for many, many years."
The Puerto Rican boxer, ranked among the top in the world in the featherweight division, made the announcement in the heels of his fight with Mexican boxer Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino title. Cruz won the fight unanimously.
"I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself," he said. "I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."
2. R&B Singer Frank Ocean
If there were any stereotypes left to be broken, they are gone now. Frank Ocean shook the hip-hop community when he revealed his first love had been a man in a blog post last July. Ocean’s coming out in the often-homophobic business of rap and hip-hop music is living proof that things are getting better for the LGBT community.
While many thought the news would be a turnoff for many fans, people appreciated his bravery. The media attention he received, coupled with his talent, put him at the top of the music charts this year. He was the best-selling artist for U.K. music retailer HMV, was named MTV person of the year, and received six Grammy nominations.
3. Journalist Anderson Cooper
CNN news anchor and war correspondent Anderson Cooper publicly announced he’s gay in a letter to long-time friend writer Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast last July.
Sullivan wrote that, knowing that Cooper was gay, he asked him for his outlook on how the visibility of gay people was paramount for the LGBT community to gain full equal rights.
Cooper responded by coming out of the closet and explaining why he didn’t publicly talk about his sexual orientation before.
"The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," Cooper wrote.
4. Matrix director Lana Wachowski
Larry is now Lana. One of the Wachowski brothers, Larry, known for directing the blockbuster trilogy "The Matrix," became the first major Hollywood director to publicly come out as transgender in late July.
The 47-year-old director revealed her transition while promoting her latest film, "Cloud Atlas," The New York Post reported. A trailer of the movie showed Lana introducing the film with her brother, Andy Wachowski, and director Tom Tykwer. "Hi, I’m Lana," she’s seeing saying, with her hair styled in pink dreadlocks, a reminiscent to that of Milla Jovovich in "The Fifth Element." Before transitioning, Wachowski had actually been married for over 10 years.
Lana Wachowski revealed she had struggled with her sexuality from a young age, and even contemplated suicide before transitioning during a speech she gave while accepting the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign annual gala in October.
5. Former NFL Player Wade Davis
When former NFL player Wade Davis came out to his sister almost eight years ago, she made a comment saying she was going to be their parents’ favorite from now on. When he approached his mother, she told him that being gay is an "abomination" and that "you already have enough being black."
"That process was very hard; me and my mother are still evolving. I’ve been with my partner for six years and she’s never met him. It wasn’t acceptable for her, and we never talk about it when we see each other," Davis, now 34, a former defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, told SFGN.
"The idea of masculinity is something that people grew up with in the black community. That makes you question, can I grow up strong black gay man? They think you’re weak, effeminate. It’s a black community problem, not a black MSM problem," he said.