Coming Out in Print

Award-winning actors, iconic rock stars, champion athletes, and controversial political figures — all have shared their coming-out stories with The Advocate.



Pete Williams
Issue 584, August 27, 1991
Not everyone comes out voluntarily. In one of the most controversial cover stories in The Advocate’s history, Michelangelo Signorile outed Bush Sr.’s closeted assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs. Pentagon spokesman Pete Williams took self-loathing to new heights by insisting he supported the military’s total ban on gays and lesbians in the very same article in which The Advocate outed him. Within a year, Bill Clinton, then a candidate for president, cited a gay “Pentagon official” while promising to overturn the ban. Williams went on to become a correspondent for NBC News who viewers now regularly see speed-reading Supreme Court rulings as we await breaking news.

“So many gay men seem to know Williams and know of his homosexuality that it becomes questionable as to whether he was ever in the closet. While several men tell of friendships and sexual encounters with him, one man says they had a two-month intimate ‘boyfriends’ relationship.”