10 Openly Gay Celebrities Who Play Straight Characters

A good actor can make a person feel like they are being transported, making the viewer only see the actor’s character, and not the real person behind the role. Many actors play roles that are extremely different from their real lives.

We are lucky to live in a free society where equality for same-sex couples exists. In recent years, a large number of actors have come out as gay, taking real pride in sharing their sexuality with the public and their fans. We’ve selected the most famous gay celebrities who mostly play straight characters in television and films. Being gay doesn’t seem to affect their roles.

In fact, many of the actors on our list have won many acting awards! You will definitely know who these actors are, but may be surprised to find out that they are actually gay! So here are 10

Gay Celebrities who play straight characters

1 Ricky Martin

Ok – so maybe he’s most famous for his singing, but Ricky Martin is actually an actor and an author. Martin starred in the soap opera General Hospital, and in the Mexican soap opera, Alcanzar una estrella.

Although he dated Mexican TV host Rebecca de Alba on and off for 14 years, rumors about Martin’s sexuality began with his large gay following. It wasn’t until 2010 that Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality.

In 2012, Martin gave a powerful speech at the UN homophobia conference. Martin broke up with his boyfriend, the economist Carlos Gonzalez Abella, in 2014. He has twin boys, born by a surrogate mother in 2008.

2 David Hyde Pierce

You may not recognize the name, but you will definitely recognize the face! David Hyde Pierce is most known for his role as Niles Crane in Frasier. He played this role from 1993 until 2004.

He has also appeared in Bright Lights, Big City, A Bug’s Life, Osmosis Jones, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, The Good Wife, and many others. Pierce came out in 2007.

Pierce married the television writer, director and producer Brian Hargrove in 2008. Pierce is an activist for the Alzheimer’s disease, and has publicly campaigned for the National Alzheimer’s Act.

3 Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon is most famous for her role as Miranda Hobbes in the television series Sex and the City. She has also been in Amadeus, The Pelican Brief, Baby’s Day out, Pennsylvania, and many other works.

Her awards include a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, An Inconvenient Truth. Nixon dated schoolteacher Danny Mozes for over 15 years, and had two children.

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In 2004, Nixon began dating education activist Christine Marinoni. They married in 2012. Nixon identifies herself as bisexual. After getting breast cancer in 2006, Nixon has become a breast cancer activist.

4 Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster is one of the top actors in Hollywood – and also happens to be gay. She has appeared in Taxi Driver, The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs, Panic Room, Inside Man, and many other films.

Foster is also a film director, and has directed episodes of the series Orange is the New Black. She has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and many others. Foster has two children with her ex-partner, Cydney Bernard.

In 2013, Foster made her coming out speech after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 70th Golden Globe Awards. In 2014, Foster married actress and photographer Alexandra Hedison.

5 Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons is famous for his role as Sheldon Cooper in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He has also appeared in The Normal Heart, An Act of God, Judging Amy, iCarly, The Muppets, Wish I was Here and many others.

He has also acted in many stage productions. He has won many awards, including an Emmy Award. Parsons has been in a relationship with the art director Todd Spiewak for 10 years.

He remains very private about his love life, mentioning only that his relationship is like any other, including “washing clothes” and “taking the dogs out”.

6 Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto is mostly known for playing Spock in the reboot of Star Trek. He has appeared in many television series and films, including in So NoTORious, 24, American Horror Story: Asylum, Heroes and Star Trek. Quinto is also a film producer.

Quinto came out as gay to the public in 2011, after the gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide. He announced his sexuality to the public because he believes that publicly acknowledging your sexual orientation is important to work towards equality.

Quinto has been involved in many LGBT projects, including his appearance in the video Obama Pride: LGBT Americans For Obama. Quinto is dating model artist Miles McMillan.

7 Ellen Page

Ellen Page is a Canadian actor who gained her fame for her role in the film Juno. She has also starred in Trailer Park Boys, ReGenesis, Hard Candy, X-Men: The Last Stand and Days of Future Past, Whip It, Inception and To Rome With Love.

Page has won many awards, including the MTV Movie Award and Atlantic Film Festival Canadian Award. She came out as gay during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time to Thrive” conference in 2014. Ellen Page has been dating the artist and surfer Samantha Thomas since 2015.

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Note, in 2020, Ellen Page came out as transgender and now identifies as male and goes by the name Elliot Page.

8 Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi is the famous wife of comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres. De Rossi is also an actress, playing in many television series, including Arrested Development, Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck and Scandal.

De Rossi is actually Australian, although her American accent in her various roles sure fooled us! From 1996 to 2001, De Rossi was actually married to a man, filmmaker Mel Metcalfe. It was in 2004 that De Rossi came out as gay, when she started dating Ellen Degeneres, and married her in 2008.

In 2010, De Rossi published an autobiography, Unbearable Lightness, which discusses her struggles with anorexia and bulimia.

9 Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch is a comedic actor who has appeared in many movies and television series, including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models, The Three Stooges, Two and a Half Men, Best in Show, Weeds and, of course, Glee.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has many awards, including an Emmy Award and a People’s Choice Award. In 2005, Lynch was named one of Power Up’s “10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz.” Her ex-wife is Lara Embry, whom she divorced in 2013.

10 Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris is one of those actors that everyone loves – he is charming, he can sing, and he is also a pretty awesome actor. He is probably most known for his role as Barney Stinson on the television series How I Met Your Mother.

Barney Stinson’s character is known for being a womanizer, concocting crazy plans to get women to sleep with him. Other things Patrick Harris has appeared in: Doogie Howser, M.D., The Smurfs, Gone Girl, and the Harold & Kumar films. Patrick Harris came out as gay in 2006.

He is married to David Burtka, and has twins via a surrogate mother. Elton John even attended their wedding.

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10 Maria Bello

Maria Bello, who has played in Coyote Ugly, The Cooler, A History of Violence, Thank you for Smoking, The Jane Austen Book Club, ER, and many others, has dated both men and women. She has not actually come out with a label on her sexuality.

She has a son with ex-boyfriend Dan McDermott, and in 2013 dated Clare Munn. In 2015, Bello published a book, Whatever… Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves.

If we can take anything from the actresses relationships, and her attitude towards sexuality, it’s that at the end of the day, it a person’s sexuality isn’t always easy to define, and really, isn’t all that important.


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