Many trailblazing celebrities have come out as gay over the years, but only a handful have been brave enough to do it in old age. Although people have grown more accepting of the LGBTQ community over the years, there was definitely a time when it was “taboo” to discuss one’s sexuality in the media. Most gay celebrities used to keep their sexuality on the down low, for fear of getting snubbed for certain roles in Hollywood. Thankfully, those incredibly repressive times are behind us, and several famous actors, musicians and politicians have come out at the age of 50 and over. A few LGBT celebs even came out in their 80s.
Who is the most famous LGBT celebrity who came out late in life? George Takei tops our list. In 2005, at the age of 68, George Takei came out with a statement to the Associated Press. He has since become a champion for gay rights all over the world. At the age of 82, Jim Nabors came out and married his partner of 40-years, Stan Cadwallader, in 2013.
Barry Manilow still hasn’t officially come out as gay, but in 2015 – at the age of 71 – he married his longtime partner Garry Kief. Other gay men who came out late in life include Richard Chamberlain, Pat Patterson and Clive Davis.
On October 29, 2017, Kevin Spacey, at 58, tweeted he “had loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout [his] life, and [he chooses] now to live as a gay man.”
In 2005, at the age of 68, George Takei came out with a statement to the Associated Press.
At the age of 82, Jim Nabors came out and married his partner of 40-years, Stan Cadwallader, in 2013.
Richard Chamberlain came out in his 2003 memoir Shattered Love. He was 64-years old at the time.
When astronaut Sally Ride passed away in 2012 at the age of 61, her obituary revealed that she was in a relationship with her partner Tam O’Shaughnessy for over 25 years.
Wrestling star Pat Patterson came out publicly in 2014 at the age of 73.
Financial guru Suze Orman came out in 2007 at the age of 56.
David Ogden Stiers
In his 2013 memoir, 80-year old music mogul Clive Davis revealed that he was bisexual.
In 2009, Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis (age 51) revealed that she was a lesbian.
At the age of 82, Broadway legend Joel Grey came out as gay in 2015.
In 2015, Oliver Sacks came out as gay when he was 82 years old.
In 2014, TV writer Neal Baer came out as gay when he was in his 50s.
In 2014, Pennsylvania politician Jim Ferlo came out as gay. The then-63-year old said, “I’m gay. Get over it.”