Glee Actors Who Spoke Openly & Honestly About Their Sexuality
April 29, 2018
It’s been several years since
ended (sorry for the reminder) and we still can’t help but look back on it fondly as a show that was not only relatable, but that also brought awareness to a lot of issues that other TV shows didn’t cover. Teen pregnancy, Glee interracial couples, bullying, drug use and coming out were only a few of the topics addressed on the series. And while it was definitely entertaining for viewers, it was also very educational.
Through all the years it was on television,
Glee did an excellent job at covering LGBTQ+ issues in particular. Along with showcasing a variety of queer couples, there was also a “Born This Way” episode where the glee club performed some of Lady Gaga‘s hit songs and learned about the importance of acceptance. As amazing as the inclusivity was within the show, though, even more amazing is the fact that many of the actors also talked openly and honestly about their sexuality IRL, too. Wondering who? Take a look:
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Although he identifies as a "straight male,"
played a gay character on the show and is very proud of that. In an interview with Darren Criss Today in 2011, he spoke honestly about his sexuality, saying, "I think it's more empowering to everybody, including myself, if I'm articulate about identifying myself as a straight male playing a gay character. Ultimately, that's more powerful for both communities."
In that same interview, the 31-year-old also said he was sort of inadvertently raised by the LGBTQ+ community because he performed in musicals since he was 9. "I was friends with older guys—they were who I looked up to. It wasn't until later that I put together that they were gay."
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Just because she was married to
Ryan Dorsey doesn't necessarily mean that identifies as straight. Although the jury's still out on whether or not she's actually a member of the queer community, she likely alluded to being bisexual in a 2015 interview on Naya Rivera The View.
Rosie O'Donnell said on the show that "new research found that women who are bisexual are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than lesbians," Naya quipped back with, "Rosie, no wonder I'm crazy. This just solves it all." Hmm...
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In a 2011 issue of
Seventeen, , who had a relationship with Naya's character on the show, talked about her sexuality IRL and was super honest about it. Just because she identifies as straight now, she got real with the mag about how, sometimes, it takes a little while to figure your sexuality out. Heather Morris
When asked if she ever kissed a girl in real life, Heather said, " One time I did it when I was curious with a friend." She was also asked if she had any advice for someone that's questioning their sexuality, to which she replied, "Everybody's process is different. When I was younger, you're like, 'I love my friends. Girls are so fun to hang out with. I don't like boys. Maybe I'm gay!'"
The truth of the matter is, everybody's process is different, and Heather understands that!
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Even though rumors have been swirling that
is Kevin McHale dating actor , he has never Austin McKenzie come out publicly until very recently.
Ariana Grande released her song "No Tears Left to Cry" last week, Kevin took to Twitter to share his excitement while simultaneously addressing his sexuality for the first time. He wrote, "#NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT. Ty @ArianaGrande."
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On one particular night of the
Glee tour, decided to switch out her usual shirt, which said, "Lucy Caboosey," to one that said "Likes Girls" during the performance of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." As a result, fans took that to mean that she's interested in women, but the following day she debunked those rumors on Tumblr. Dianna Agron
Dianna wrote, "Yesterday, during our second show, Instead of wearing my usual shirt during "Born This Way" I decided to wear one that said "Likes Girls." It should actually have read, "Loves Girls," because I do... No, I am not a lesbian, yet if I were, I hope that the people in my life could embrace it whole-heartedly." Well, there ya have it, folks!
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has been living out and proud since 2009, which was the same year Chris Colfer Glee premiered. That being said, he was one of the youngest openly gay actors at the time and he quickly became an inspiration to viewers who watched the show and fell in love with his character.
We still look to Chris as an example of owning who you are. When it comes to his sexuality, he told
Wetpaint, "I've never made it a big deal. It's everyone else that's always made it a big deal. I don't think I've ever tried to be something that I'm not. I think people do that for you... people tried typecasting me before they saw me in anything else... I never let it set me back because I knew the world would try to do that for me." What an inspiration!
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Accepting herself for being gay didn't always come easy to
, who played the role of Sue Sylvester on the series. When she was a kid, all the way through to her teenage years, her sexuality was something she always felt she needed to hide. In an interview with Jane Lynch People, she even rehashed a time in her life where she wrote the words, "I am gay. No one can ever know this," in her journal and threw it away in someone else's garbage. She even has memories of it feeling like a "disease."
Now, at 57 years old, Jane feels differently about her sexuality and is more comfortable in her own skin. She told the mag, "You are going to find something in you that is going to help you move on and make you a more extraordinary person. And you'll use that all through your life."
We're so glad to see how far she's come on her journey of self-acceptance.
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Glee was on the air, there was a lot of speculation in the media regarding 's sexuality. Many people assumed he was gay because of his performance background, but he set the records straight (no pun intended). Matthew Morrison
In an interview with the
Huffington Post from 2013, Matt said, "I know my own truth. I'm in a great relationship with a woman. Maybe before it used to bother me. Then I was like, 'This is so stupid that this bothers me.' [...] Once I figured that out for myself, I thought, 'I don't care what anyone thinks about me.' That's why I think I've become an ally for the gay and lesbian community. I just got [an Ally for Equality Award] the other day in Atlanta. I'm very proud of my role in the community. So say what you will."
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Throughout his childhood,
felt he had to hide the fact that he was gay because he feared people simply wouldn't understand. However, now that he's older and has come to accept himself and his sexuality, he's been able to speak about it openly and honestly, even discussing his use of drag on the show. Alex Newell
Alex said, "Drag is a way of expressing myself. My gender and sexuality don't define who I am and neither does what I wear. When I became a series regular on
Glee, that was a pivotal moment for me. I finally felt like I was truly enough. Being on the show revealed to me what my own identity is in my sexuality. It's hard to be black and gay and effeminate. I have to fight for a lot in my life." Wow... so inspiring!
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wasn't a Jonathan Groff Glee series regular, his character was still a fan-fave. He played Rachel's love interest on the small screen, but has been openly gay since he was 20 years old IRL.
In an interview with
GQ, the 33-year-old got real about how coming out has actually helped him to succeed. He said, "It's forced me to be more expressive than I would be naturally. All the projects that I've done since that moment have so much more meaning. And I realized whether you're playing a gay or straight person, it's all the same. We all have heartbreak and love." Aww!