You may know Cumming as Eli Gold on The Good Wife or the actor playing TV's first gay leading character on Instinct, but he's also one of bisexuality's biggest advocates. Romantically, he had an eight-year marriage to actress Hilary Lyon and a two-year relationship with actress Saffron Burrows. Now he's married to graphic artist Grant Shaffer.
"I see a worrying trend among LGBT people, that if you identify yourself in just one way, you close yourself off to other experiences. My sexuality has never been black and white; it’s always been gray. I’m with a man, but I haven’t closed myself off to the fact that I’m still sexually attracted to women," he told The Advocate in 2015.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not, or having sex with anyone or not,” he said. “There are straight couples who don’t have sex. There are gay people who don’t have sex. But if you’re sexually attracted to both sexes, you’re bisexual.”
In 2015, YouTuber Shane Dawson announced his bisexuality to his 6.7 million subscribers. Now he has nearly 17 million.
Dawson has been open about how difficult it is to be in the bi community.
“This last year is when it really hit me,” he said in his coming-out video. “I always wished that I was gay, that I was 100 percent gay.”
thank u guys for the support. i know "bisexual" is something that gets made fun of & its scary to talk about it but just know u arent alone.
— Shane Dawson (@shanedawson) July 7, 2015
At the time, he also thanked lesbian YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen for opening up about her sexuality, tweeting, "Your video changed my life. Thank you Ingrid."
After a high-profile breakup with Lisa Schwartz, he now has settled down with boyfriend Ryland Adams. In the face of fear, he's grown as a creator and documentarian, making the bisexual community extremely proud.
If this one comes as a surprise, it shouldn't.
"Malcolm X's bisexuality is more than just a question of truth and historical fact," activist Peter Tatchell wrote in The Guardian in 2009. "There has never been any black person of similar global prominence and recognition who has been publicly known to be gay or bisexual."
The fierce black activist is not the straight man his Nation of Islam colleagues have claimed. Bruce Perry's biography Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America details Malcolm's many same-sex relationships. He even was a sex worker for at least a decade.
Although he married a woman and apparently ended his affairs with men, that does not erase his bisexual identity, and neither will we.
Or should we call him Alexander the Great Bisexual?
Alexander was married three times to women. His first wife was Roxana, daughter of the Sogdian nobleman Oxyartes of Bactria, and he loved her. Then the Persian princesses Stateira II and Parysatis II both became his brides for political reasons.
However, his most meaningful relationship was likely with cavalry commander Hephaestion. A childhood friend who studied with the conquerer under Aristotle, he is believed to have been Alexander's lover. They were both of noble birth and had received an elite education; Aristotle described the two as “one soul abiding in two bodies."
When Hephaestion died in 324 B.C., Alexander was in a catatonic state and unable to eat for days. He held an elaborate funeral in Babylon and sent a note to the shrine of Ammon pleading for Hephaestion to receive divine honors. Soon after receiving the news that his request was denied, Alexander died, apparently no longer taking care of his own health.
The rocker is known best for being the front man of Green Day, but he's also been outspoken about his bisexuality.
In 1995, he told The Advocate, "I think I've always been bisexual. I mean, it's something that I've always been interested in. I think people are born bisexual, and it's just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of 'Oh, I can't.' They say it's taboo. It's ingrained in our heads that it's bad, when it's not bad at all. It's a very beautiful thing."
He only became a better advocate for the bi community since. In 2010, he told Out, "There were a lot of people who didn't accept it, who were homophobic." He even went on to identify biphobia long before it was in most people's lexicon. "The fact that it's an issue is kind of phobic within itself. At some point, you gotta think, this should be something that's just accepted."
Armstrong has also worked to end the stereotypes of a "promiscous bisexual," noting that "when it comes to sex, there are parts of me that are very shy and conservative."
His relationship with bisexuality is best explored in his 1994 song Coming Clean, which explores his journey with his sexuality.
The world knows Mraz for his love songs, but he wants the world to know his love is bisexual.
"I’ve had experiences with men, even while I was dating the woman who became my wife. It was like, ‘Wow, does that mean I am gay?’” the singer-songwriter told Billboard this year, at age 41. "And my wife laid it out for me. She calls it ‘two spirit,’ which is what the Native Americans call someone who can love both man and woman. I really like that.”
Two spirit is a term that Native Americans consider their own, meaning one who embodies both masculine and feminine identities, and some objected to Mraz using it. He later apologized for doing so and thanked commenters for the clarification. But Mraz continues to identify as bi and penned an open letter to the LGBTQ community that read:
We still have a long way to go
I am bi your side.
Although we cannot forget that Marlon Brando sexually assaulted Maria Schneider on camera in Last Tango in Paris, it is important to acknowledge that the Hollywood icon was bisexual.
The Godfather actor was married three times to women but frequently had relationships with men.
"Homosexuality is so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I too have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me," he told the press in 1976.
The composer behind West Side Story, Peter Pan, and On the Waterfront was open about his bisexuality in his later years, according to The New York Times. He was married to Felicia Montealegre, who wrote him in the 1950s, “You are a homosexual and may never change. ... Let’s try and see what happens if you are free to do as you like, but without guilt and confession."
After she had a mastectomy in the 1970s, they separated and he stopped being discreet about his relationships with men. However, as lung cancer was taking her life, Bernstein returned to his wife's side.
As one of Hollywood's top leading men, Cary Grant was the guy every woman wanted. But some men had him too.
In his youth, Grant became involved with Orry-Kelly, who would go on to be one of the movies' top costume designers. The fashionista, who created the clothes Ingrid Bergman wore in Casablanca and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, among many others, wrote of his relationship with Grant in his memoir Women I've Undressed. It was published after both men had died and was the basis for the 2016 documentary film Women's He's Undressed.
Kelly wrote that he met Archibald Leach in 1925, when the latter was a struggling performer, before he changed his name to Cary Grant. Destitute, the actor moved in with Kelly in New York City, and according to Kelly, they became a couple. They lived together off and on for nine years. Grant also reportedly had a romance with actor Randolph Scott, with whom he shared a house in Los Angeles after both became stars. Grant was married five times to women; his fourth marriage, to actress Dyan Cannon, produced his only child, daughter Jennifer.
The lead guitarist and chief songwriter of the Who has had a complicated relationship with bisexuality.
In a 1989 radio interview with Timothy White, Townshend made a statement that was taken as coming out as bi, referencing his 1980 album Empty Glass. On it, the song "Rough Boys" was a "coming out, an acknowledgment of the fact that I'd had a gay life, and that I understood what gay sex was about," he said. Meanwhile, he was married to Karen Astley (whom he divorced in 2009) and later was married to musician Rachel Fuller. He later told Rolling Stone the comment was misunderstood and he did not considere himself fundamentally bisexual, but he had had "fleeting" sexual experiences with men.
But in his 2012 autobiography, Who I Am, he said he felt he was "probably bisexual," but not totally comfortable with his homoerotic feelings. He joked he was once sexually attracted to Mick Jagger.
Rocker David Bowie identified himself as bisexual in 1976 but later said doing so was a mistake.
"It's true —I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me," he told Playboy. His first wife, Angela Bowie, has claimed that during their marriage, Bowie even had a relationship wiht Mick Jagger.
In the face of biphobia, Bowie went back and forth on his sexual identity. He told Rolling Stone in 1983 that coming out a bi was "the biggest mistake I ever made."
In 2002, when Blender pressed the artist on the issue, he said, "I don't think it was a mistake in Europe, but it was a lot tougher in America. I had no problem with people knowing I was bisexual. But I had no inclination to hold any banners nor be a representative of any group of people." He went on to explain that in being a performer in America, "I think it stood in the way of so much I wanted to do."
The 25-year-old actor is one of the most prominent bisexual faces in young Hollywood.
"The way I would choose to identify myself wouldn't be gay. I've been attracted mostly to 'shes' but I've been with many people and I'm open to love wherever it can be," Miller told The Daily Beast in 2012 when promoting The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in which he played a teen bullied for being gay. "I think a lot of people are projecting their own troubles and fears concerning sexuality onto those around them, and it does result in the perpetuation of a lot of hateful notions."
A victim of homophobic bullying himself, Miller was physically attacked when he was seen wearing a green velvet jacket at a concert when he was in middle school.
"I was walking away from the mosh pit after having a wonderful time and the word ‘faggot’ resounded in my ear. I turned around just in time to see someone snapping their fist down on my left eyeball," he told The Daily Beast. "I have a scar on my eyebrow from the incident.”
Known for playing sensitive young men in their moodiest modes, Montgomery Clift was a great actor and bisexual man. However, according to some, his enthusiasm for romance died out after a 1956 car accident, in which he fell asleep at the wheel and smashed into a telephone pole while driving home from Elizabeth Taylor's house. With a broken jaw and nose, fractured sinus, and several facial lacerations, his face was never the same, and he became reliant on alcohol and pain pills.
"Before the accident, Monty had drifted into countless affairs with men and women," explained biographer Patricia Bosworth, who had access to Clift's family and collaborators. "After his car accident, and as his drug addiction became more serious, he was often impotent, and sex became less important to him. His deepest commitments were emotional, rather than sexual, anyway, and reserved for old friends; he was unflinchingly loyal to men like William LeMassena and women like Elizabeth Taylor, Libby Holman, and Ann Lincoln."
A new documentary, Making Montgomery Clift, takes issue with some of the conclusions of biographers such as Bosworth; the film portrays Clift as a man who had his share of unhappiness but also had a great enthusiasm for life and love. One of his lovers was actor Jack Larson, best known as Jimmy Olsen on the Adventures of Superman TV show in the 1950s. and he recalls Clift as a fun-loving and affectionate man. But the filmmakers, Robert Clift (Monty's nephew) and Hillary Demmon, agree that Monty was indeed a lover of both men and women.
As one of the biggest cabaret stars of the 1920s, "Hutch" fled to Paris in 1924 after witnessing the Ku Klux Klan's violence in Miami. There he met the great composer Cole Porter and the two became lovers. But Hutch was married to a woman, Ella Bird and carried on an affair with British debutante Elizabeth Corbett, whom he impregnated. Hutch got his mistress married off to an army officer in hopes they could pass his child off as her husband's daughter. But when the child was born visibly biracial, she was put up for adoption and Hutch was sued.
In his scandal-heavy life, it's believed that Hutch had affairs with countess Edwina Mountbatten, Welsh composer Ivor Novello, actress Merle Oberon, and Tallulah Bankhead, the famed bisexual Hollywood and Broadway star.
Though you might remember him for playing Ned Schneebly in School of Rock, you might not know that he wrote that movie as well as Nacho Libre and the series Enlightened.
White is an accomplished actor, writer, and producer, but also an out bisexual.
While White tends to be quiet off screen, his father, Mel White, is an outspoken gay activist. When Mel came out as gay in 1994, he jumped from ghostwriting for televangelists like Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell to devoting his life to supporting LGBTQ Christians.