150 Reasons to Have Pride in 2010
BY Advocate Contributors
May 10 2010 4:00 AM ET
BECAUSE WE’RE HAPPY WHENEVER AND AT WHATEVER AGE YOU COME OUT
James Randi, famed debunker of paranormal phenomena, faith healing, and pseudoscientific claims, has also exploded the myth that it’s ever too late to come out of the closet. “I thought it’s about time,” says Randi, 81, adding he has always been out to close friends and colleagues but was inspired to make a public announcement—on his website in March—after viewing the film Milk and in anticipation of publishing his autobiography. Randi says he’s received overwhelmingly positive feedback, including some from young gays who say his coming out has helped them do the same. Randi, who says he would marry his partner of 25 years if their union would be recognized in their home state of Florida, says he plans to work for marriage equality and other gay and lesbian causes.
It’s been a decade since Barbara Walters asked Ricky Martin on national TV if he was gay. He didn’t deny it; he just didn’t want to talk about it, an approach he used many times in years to follow. Which is why the pop star stunned his fans in March when he posted these words on his website: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” The 38-year-old singer said working on his memoir and raising his two toddlers helped lead him to the decision to come out—a move Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president Jarrett Barrios says has the potential to “spark the types of conversations that build common ground” among Latinos. Pop star Christian Chávez, who came out in 2007 with Martin’s support, says he’s thrilled his friend can finally be open and honest about who he is: “Ricky Martin has always been a figure to look up to, and right now I’m so proud to be his fan.”
Meredith Baxter gave a voice to women “of a certain age” when she came out in December at 62, followed quickly by a book deal, an impressive speech at a Human Rights Campaign dinner, and a headlining appearance at the Dinah Shore Weekend.
Until blond cutie Duncan James of the U.K. boy band Blue came out as bi last year, he’d kept it even from his bandmates. (He’d been publicly linked romantically with Geri Halliwell, but we’re guessing she knew the score.)
Chastity Bono (pictured) came out as a lesbian in 1995 on the cover of The Advocate. Fourteen years later he came out as Chaz Bono, confirming through his publicist that he is transgender and would be transitioning from female to male.