Every child has difficulties growing up, but it can be especially difficult for some kids if they have a gay parent. In recent years, being openly gay has been accepted and celebrated, but this wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, there was a huge stigma that surrounded gay people, and sadly, they were looked down upon because of who they choose to love. Many people felt that they needed to hide and went their whole life scared to come out of the closet.
They felt embarrassed and judged, especially during the AIDS epidemic. Many people called it “the gay disease” and failed to take it seriously. Today, the disease is understood more and has gained worldwide support. Here are some celebrities whose parents are part of the LGBTQ community. They had to accept their sexuality way before the rest of the world did. We also included some modern-day celebs with their gay or lesbian siblings, and boy have times changed!
Jay Z is one of the most popular rappers on the planet. He is also married to the stunning Beyoncé, so he seems to have it all. He expressed how when his mom, Gloria, came out to him, he started to cry. In the song Smile, Jay Z raps about that emotional moment. Jay Z has been very outspoken about his support for the LGBTQ community.
The lyrics of the song are “Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian/ had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian… Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/Society shame, and the pain was too much to take.” The song is featured on his 2017 album. Aww, it’s always nice watching celebs show love to their mama!
Amy Adams is both famous and beautiful. What you may not know about the actress is that she grew up Morman. In 1985, when Adams was just 11 years old, her parents got divorced, and the family left the church. To cope with the heartache of the divorce, her mom started working out and then became a professional bodybuilder.
During that time, her mother started a relationship with another woman. Amy and her six siblings all lived with her father after he was granted full custody. Although it was a bit tough for the children growing up, they all seem happy now. Amy is particularly doing really well with a successful and skyrocketing career. Everything works out at the end.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is a popular and extremely talented actor. He won multiple awards and definitely made a name for himself in Hollywood. However, things weren’t as glamorous for the actor growing up. In 1946, his parents separated. His father, Robert De Niro Sr., apparently fought depression as he was struggling with his sexuality.
During that time, being gay wasn’t as accepted as it is today. Gay men and women were encouraged to stay in the closet. Just one year after his son was born, De Niro Sr. finally came out as gay. He entered a relationship with another man, Robert Duncan, who was a writer. They both attended Black Mountain College, which was founded back in 1933.
If you say that you never heard of Jodie Foster, I don’t believe you. She is an exceptionally talented actress who has had a highly successful career in Hollywood. What you may not know about this beautiful actress is that she was raised by a gay parent. Unfortunately, her parents got divorced before Foster was even born.
Jodie never really had a relationship with her father. Jodie’s mother, Evelyn Foster, raised the kids with her partner after the divorce. Jodie often referred to her mother’s partner as her aunt. After years of speculation and curiosity, Jodie Foster bravely came out as gay at the Golden Globe Awards in 2013. Luckily, she lives in an era where you can be proud of who you are.
Although he was found not guilty by a jury, OJ Simpson has been overshadowed by his very public murder trial. What you probably didn’t know about the former football player is that his father, Jimmy Lee Simpson, was a drag queen living in San Francisco. In 1986, he sadly died of AIDS-related complications.
Yes, Jimmy Simpson was a pretty well-known drag queen, but it took him a while to come out of the closet. OJ wasn’t known for being a big supporter of the LGBTQ community. Granted, it wasn’t as accepted back then, but it’s been reported that O.J. “freaked out” at his deceased wife, Nicole Simpson, when she once allowed their son to sit next to a gay man at a restaurant.
Liza Minnelli is mostly remembered for her Academy-Award performance in Cabaret. Her mother is Judy Garland (star of The Wizard Of Oz). She is famous in her own right and is loved for her optimism, energy, and talent. Her dad, Vincente Minnelli, was supposedly gay. It has been reported that in New York he was openly gay but stayed in the closet in Hollywood.
Emanuel Levy is a biographer, and according to him, “he was openly gay in New York – we were able to document names of companions and stories from Dorothy Parker. But when he came to Hollywood, I think he made the decision to repress that part of himself or to become bisexual.” It’s unfortunate how scared people were to come out of the closet back then.
50 Cent is an outstanding musician with an impressive career. The rapper grew up with his mother and admitted that she was both a lesbian and cocaine addict. Sadly, when 50 Cent was just eight years old, his mother passed away. That’s when he got sent to live with his grandparents.
50 Cent doesn’t hide his past or his family’s. He explained to Perez Hilton, “My mom was a lesbian. Yeah, she liked women. My whole childhood was like that.” He went on to say, “Its two different things too – from a female perspective when you see two females together, you think, oh, they’re just girlfriends, they’re close. But, with my mom, the male was missing.” I guess it could be difficult for a child to understand.
Judy Garland will live on forever through the beloved Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Her father, Frank Gumm, was a different story. He was known for seducing young men. Later, Judy Garland married Vincente Minnelli (Liza Minnelli’s dad, who was also supposedly gay).
Judy Garland is pretty popular in the gay community. She has become somewhat of a gay icon and was very supportive. As we know, back in the day, people weren’t as accepting and she was frequently asked how she felt about having such a major gay following. Her response was, “I couldn’t care less. I sing to people.” Garland loved in an accepting way before the rest of the world could.
Natasha Richardson grew up in the entertainment industry. Her mother is an actress, Vanessa Redgrave, and her father is director Tony Richardson. Her father was bisexual. He sadly passed away due to AIDS in 1991. He was famous for directing movies such as Blue Sky, The Hotel New Hampshire, and Tom Jones.
Due to the time and stigma surrounding sexuality, Tony didn’t feel comfortable speaking about his sexuality publicly until he was ultimately diagnosed with AIDS. He wanted to cause awareness of the disease at a time when everyone was trying to avoid talking about it. Tony was married only once, to Natasha’s mom. He also had notable relationships with other women after he got divorced.
Jennifer Grey is a gorgeous actress and also the daughter of Joel Grey, who starred in the movie Cabaret in 1972. Jennifer is successful in her own right and starred in movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. However, her most famous role to date is when she starred as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in Dirty Dancing.
In a 2015 interview for People magazine, her father Joel stated that “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.” In his 2016 memoir, Master of Ceremonies, the actor expressed how difficult it was for him to raise a family as a gay man. Thankfully 2016 was a much more accepting time to express sexuality.
Anne Heche has been working as an actress, producer, director, and screenwriter who became well-known in the later 90s. You may recognize her from her most popular role in Another World, a daytime soap opera. She is the daughter of Donald Joseph Heche, who was gay but never spoke about his sexuality publicly.
Unfortunately, he abused his daughter when she was a young girl. When Anne was just 13 years old, her father finally passed away due to AIDS-related complications. From 1997-2000, Heche was famously dating Ellen DeGeneres. She was in a dark place for a while, but in 2008, she began a relationship with James Tupper, her Men in Trees costar. They have one son together.
Rene Russo is a famous model turned actress. She began her career as a model back in the 1970s and became well known after landing popular magazine covers, including Vogue and Cosmopolitan. However, everything wasn’t always easy for the star. When she was just two years old, Rene’s father, Nino, left his daughter and the rest of the family.
Rene grew up with her mother, Shirley, and her lesbian friend. Russo is famous for her role in the Thor movie franchise, where she played Frigga, Thor’s mother. The actress also won a BAFTA for her incredible role in Nightcrawler. Russo has an impressive career and a happy family life. Russo married Dan Gilroy, and in 1993, they had a beautiful baby girl together.
Jena Malone is a well-known actress, singer, and photographer. She grew up acting as a child and has had notable roles in both independent films and Blockbuster movies. With over 40 movie roles under her belt, you can say Malone has had a pretty successful career. You most likely recognize her from the Hunger Games series, where she portrayed Johanna Mason.
Growing up, Malone was raised by her mom Debora and her mom’s girlfriend. The actress also landed roles in movies, such as Pride and Prejudice, Sucker Punch, and Donnie Darko. After watching her mother acting in Community Theater productions, Jena knew she wanted to be an actress. Currently, the actress is in a relationship with Ethan DeLorenzo; he is a photographer.
Ally Sheedy made a name for herself in 1983, after her movie debut in Bad Boys. She is widely known as a member of the Brat Pack in the movies The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. As her career was growing, she made appearances in Wargames and Short Circuit. The successful star earned an Independent Spirit Award thanks to her work on Film High Art.
Unfortunately, when the actress was just nine years old, her parents Charlotte and John got divorced. Today Sheedy’s daughter, Rebecca, is openly gay, and so is her mother, Charlotte Baum. In addition to being a writer, Charlotte was highly involved in civil rights and women’s rights movements. Good for her, standing up for what she believes in.
Joely Richardson is an English actress. You may remember her from the FX drama series Nip/Tuck, where she played Julia McNamara. She also had a notable role when she portrayed Queen Catherine Parr in the TV show The Tudors. Joely is actually sisters with another famous actress, Natasha Richardson. They have the same dad, Tony Richardson. Natasha is easily recognized from The Parent Trap.
Their father was bisexual, and unfortunately, he passed away in 1991 due to AIDS-related complications. Sadly, she also lost her sister Natasha in 2009 after a fatal head injury while skiing in Quebec. She left behind two children and her husband, Liam Neeson. Natasha and Joely were both extremely involved in AIDS organizations and charities.
Andy Richter is a media personality. In addition to being an actor, he is a writer comedian voice actor, and late-night talk show announces. I guess some people can do it all. Unfortunately, things weren’t also so easy for this multi-talented actor. When he was just four years old, his parents got divorced, and later, his dad came out as a gay man.
In a 2010 episode of his podcast with Greg Fitzsimmons, Richter spoke about how he felt when his father came out as gay. Kids would make fun of him at school about his family situation, but the comedian found humor and used it as a coping mechanism. He is now a huge star, so who’s laughing now?
Alison Bechdel is an extremely talented cartoon artist. She initially made a name for herself as the artist of the long-running comics, Dykes to Watch Out For. In 2006, she gained popularity with her graphic memoir, Fun Home. In it, the openly gay cartoonist spoke about her childhood and discovering her sexuality. She also expressed how she felt when she found out her dad was gay.
When the memoir was turned into a musical, it won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015.
The book was written beautifully and is highly recommended if you have an interest in these sorts of topics. At age 19, she came out as a lesbian. “The secret subversive goal of my work is to show that women, not just lesbians, and regular human beings.”
Dorothy Dandridge is a beautiful actress with an impressive career. She was one of the first black actresses to have a successful career in Hollywood, and in 1954 she was the first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress thanks to her role in the movie, Cameron Jones. She was also nominated for the Globe award in 1959 for Porgy and Bess.
Ruby, Dorothy’s mother, was a lesbian. For a long time, her mother was seriously dating a woman named Geneva Williams. Ruby started a song-and-dance act for Dorothy and her sister, Vivian, under the name The Wonder Children. They were managed by Geneva Williams. It seems to have positively impacted Dorothy’s career in Hollywood.
Ana Lynch is known for her stage name Ana Matronic. The singer is famous for being a vocalist for the Scissor Sisters. After her parents got divorced, Ana’s father came out as a gay man. Sadly, when Ana was just a teenager, she lost her father due to AIDS-related complications.
“My mother told us she’s separated from my father because he was gay. When I was 15, he became very ill, due to having HIV, and passed away.” Ana expressed it to Metro in 2013. In 2010, the singer finally married Seth Kirby after a seven-year relationship. She is now highly involved in a UK Charity, Chrysalis, which is focused on supporting transgender people. When she appeared on the TV show Mastermind in 2019, Chrysalis was her chosen charity.
Kendal and Kylie Jenner
Here are a couple of reality stars that need no introduction. Their father, Caitlyn, made headlines when she announced that she is transgender. And she is arguably one of the most famous faces of the LGBTQ community. Before her transition, Caitlyn lived as Bruce Jenner. Bruce was known as an Olympic gold medalist and was married to Kris Jenner.
Although Caitlyn is living as a woman, she is the biological father of Kendal and Kylie Jenner. The star opened up about how she has been dealing with gender dysphoria for as long as she can remember. Caitlyn was a cross-dresser and took hormone replacement therapy for years before her transition. However, she admitted to stopping when things were becoming serious with Kris.
Although she has had a pretty successful acting career, Mandy Moore will always be remembered from her breakout role when she starred in the romantic movie, A Walk to Remember alongside Shane West. She is now recognized for starring in the hit show, This Is Us. The actress admitted that her mom left her dad for another woman. Moore also revealed that she has two gay brothers.
Mandy Moore has been a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community. Everyone’s so much happier, richer, and more fulfilled being their authentic selves”, Moore told Byrdie. Recently the actress married her boyfriend, Taylor Goldsmith. She loves love in whatever forms it comes in. We can’t wait to see what’s next for this delightful actress.
Cardi B is a talented musician who has exploded in the media in recent years. Neither one of Cardi B’s parents are gay, but she does have a gay sibling. In 2017, Cardi B famously came to the defense of her sister, Hennessy Carolina, after some haters on Twitter started shading her. The rapper tweeted out, “Some B**** talking about my sister looking for attention from men from the video I posted of her. Sis, my sister, is gay and could care less.”
Damn, what a perfect response. What a way to shut those haters up. Hennessy is openly gay and later shared photos on Instagram of her and her girlfriend, Michelle. In addition to supporting the LGBTQ community, Cardi B is a supporter of the #MeToo movement and opened up about being sexually assaulted.
We all watched Ariana Grande start off on Nickelodeon before becoming a huge pop star with one of the most iconic voices in music history. Although she doesn’t have a parent in the LGBTQ community, her brother, Frankie Grande, is openly gay. Since she was a young girl, Ariana has always supported her brother, no matter who he loves.
In a 2016 issue of Attitude Magazine, Frankie admitted that he was 11 years old when he came out to his sister. Ari’s response was, “Great, when do I get to meet your boyfriend?” She always made sure he felt comfortable with himself. Even though they are ten years apart, the siblings have always considered each other best friends.
Cyndi Lauper has done a lot in her career that started more than four decades ago. She is a popular singer and actress who is well-known for her iconic anthem for women everywhere; Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Lauper has spoken openly about her sister Elen who is gay.
“My sister is a lesbian, and she is one of the most fantastic people I know. When she came out as a lesbian, I just gave her the biggest hug and told her that I love her”, Lauper told Metro Weekly. She went on to express, “In the 70s and 80s, I was incredible discrimination and had to speak out. You can’t sit by while your friends and family are being treated like second-class citizens.” Lauper has no problem standing up for what she believes in.
Chance The Rapper
Chance The Rapper was born Chancelor Jonathan Bennet but is widely known by his stage name, Chance The Rapper. He gained attention in 2012 after releasing his mixtape, 10 days. However, it wasn’t until his second mixtape, Acid Rap, was released when he received mainstream recognition and became a famous rapper. Chance opened up about his younger brother, Taylor Bennet, in 2017. Taylor is also a known performer.
Taylor admitted to being bisexual in his Twitter bio and revealed that “Growing up, I’ve always felt indifferent about my sexuality and being attracted to one sex, and today I would like to openly come out to my fans. I do recognize myself as a bisexual male and do and have always openly supported the lgbtq community and will continue to do so in 2017 #Thank You.”
Anne Hathaway is an award-winning actress who played many remarkable roles throughout her impressive career. I will always remember her as the frizzy-haired teenager in The Princess Diaries, but she had many other notable roles since then. Hathaway cut herself off from the Catholic Church to support her brother who is gay.
He came out to the actress when she was just a teenager. She told British GQ, “The whole family converted to Episcopalianism after my elder brother came out. Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother?” Family comes first for this starlet. She is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community and won’t put up with any kind of hate.
We have been listening to Adam Levine’s mesmerizing voice on our radio years. What you may not know about the attractive and talented Maroon 5 vocalist is that his brother is gay. In an interview in 2011, Levine revealed that he has a younger brother named Michael, who is gay. The Voice Coach has been open about his opinion about being gay and how it is something you are born with.
“I can single-handedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired. Trust me; you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was two. We all knew.” Adam has always been in support of his little brother and the LGBTQ community and doesn’t care what other people think.
Carrie Fisher is an actress and comedian. She as an extremely impressive career, but her most famous role is definitely playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. Her parents are Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Although neither one of them came out as gay, Fisher’s second husband did. During her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, Carrie spoke about her complicated marriage.
Bryan Lourd was with the actress for years, and they even have a daughter together, Billie Lourd. Bryan came out of the closet when he left his wife so that he can be in a homosexual relationship. Although they were never legally married, the actress usually referred to Byron as her husband and considered herself his wife.
Like many other stars, Demi Lovato started off on Disney Channel. She spends her childhood singing, and dancing then broke out as a mainstream entertainer as an adult. Demi Lovato has not kept quiet about her support of the LGBTQ community. In 2014, Lovato thanked her grandfather for being such an inspiration to her, as an openly gay man, in an inaugural Trailblazers special.
“I never spoke about this before, but my grandfather was a trailblazer himself. He was brave enough to come out in the 1960s, and I feel that a lot of my spirit has come from him. He passed away a few years later, and I only wish that he could have been able to see all the process that has been made.”
Marvin Gaye is a significant musician who helped shape the sound of Motown back in the 1960s. Although he had a memorable career, his childhood was a little rocky. By rocky, I mean his dad, Marvin Gaye Sr., was a Church Pastor who was overbearing and abusive towards his children. He was an alcoholic and crossdresser (and involved in other things forbidden by the church).
In an extremely unfortunate situation, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son during a drunken fight. When the police first interviewed him, Gaye explained that he didn’t mean to kill his son and that it was self-defense. The police then asked him if he loved his son, and his chilling response was, “let’s just say I didn’t dislike him.”
Daniela Sea made a name for herself when she portrayed Max Sweeney on the TV show, The L Word. When she was just three years old, her father came out as gay. She grew up surfing with her stepfather, who even moved the family to Hawaii so that she could have more fun surfing.
In 2015, Sea spoke out about her dad during San Francisco pride. She took the historic day celebrating the marriage equality ruling to say, “I’ve been thinking about the people who went before us and the people who didn’t get to be here today and the struggles my father and other gay men of his generation went through. It’s a great day.” She has been open about her support for the LGBTQ community.
Nicole Bobek is a figure skater remembered for her 1995 national champion and bronze medalist. She was also the winner of the Winter Olympics in 1998. Although Nicole never met her father, she was raised by her mom Jana, and her close friend Joyce. Evy Scotvald, one of the skater’s trainers, spoke about Nicole’s family situation in an interview.
He expressed that “They were looking for a fatherly relationship for Nicole, but I have no interest in being the father figure for any of my skaters.” It was important for him to train the girls instead of acting as the father, which made sense at the time. These days, it’s more common for coaches or mentors to become a father figure, especially to a child who doesn’t have one.
Vanessa Redgrave is a screen actress. Her father, Sir Michael Scudmore Redgrave, was a director, author, and award-winning actor. In 1952, he was named Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the queen. He was finally knighted in 1959. What you may not have known as that he came out of the closet towards the end of his life.
In 1985, Sir Michael Scudmore Redgrave came out as bisexual to his son, Corin (Vanessa’s brother), before his death. He said to him, “There is something I ought to tell you” after pausing for a second, he continued on saying, “I am, to say the least of it, bisexual.” It was hard for him to reveal his sexuality, but he just wanted his family to know.
Kaitlin Colombo started off her comedy career at the tender age of 13. She quickly earned the name “The Lolita of Comedy” by comedian Jay Mohr, thanks to her blonde hair and livable personality. She is remembered for her time on reality TV when she was on the series, Comic Standing. Colombo became a “fan favorite” during the first week of the show.
Colombo has been an expressive advocate for gay rights. Both of her parents are a lesbian and a gay man. She publicly considers herself bisexual and talks about it openly in her a number of her comedy routines. She did a tour in 2015 and donated proceeds to LGBTQ charities and is a proud supporter of the community.
Mary Shelley is an English writer who is the author behind the famous Gothic novel, Frankenstein. She also wrote many other stories, including The Modern Prometheus. The novelist’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was also a writer as well as a philosopher and one of the early advocates for women’s rights. By early, I mean she was fighting for woman’s rights back in the late 1700s.
At the time, there was speculation surrounding Mary Wollstonecraft’s sexuality. She was rumored to be bisexual. Her personal relationships would receive a lot of attention and curiosity. Nothing has officially been confirmed since Wollstonecraft didn’t get a chance to come out during her lifetime. She passed away after giving birth to Mary Shelley, and she was just 38 years old at the time of her early death.
You may not immediately recognize Rebecca Walker by her name, but she is an author with a very famous mother. Her mom, Alice Walker, was the brain behind the classic book, The Color Purple. Alice one had a relationship with Tracey Chapman, a music artist. Rebecca is a feminist and known as one of the prominent voices in Third Wave Feminism.
Rebecca spoke out about the criticism she received for being a bisexual writer. “Sometimes, gay people got mad at me because they wanted me to have a whole coming out moment, and even though I talk about my woman partner at the time and her son, they didn’t feel I was out enough.” She is supportive of the community but is focused on her activism for Third Wave feminism.
Joseph “Joe” Valentine is remembered for being a Major League Baseball Pitcher (he is now retired). He was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was raised by his mother, Deb Valentine, and her partner, Doreen Price. The athlete attended Deer Park High School in New York, where he led his team to the State Championship. Sadly, Joe Valentine has no relationship with her father at all when he was growing up.
However, it seemed to not have affected him as much as you would think. He once spoke about his parents in an interview and said, “It’s no different than having a mother and father. These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It’s just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?”
Kenneth Faried is another athlete to make in on this list. Faried is a professional basketball player for the Chinese Basketball Association. While attending Morehead State University, he played center and earned the title of Ohio Valley Conference Player of the year two times. He was also raised by two mothers and has openly supported them throughout his career.
The athlete stated that “I really do support civil unions because it gives people, gays, and lesbians, the right to make decisions on their own if they want to get married and let them choose who they want to be with… nobody can ever tell me I can’t have two mothers because I really do!” The only thing more attractive than a man supporting his mother is a man supporting both of his mothers.
King Charles I of England
Gay relationships aren’t a new thing. They have existed for years in history. Charles I is the son of King James I. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots. Although this was all the way back in the 1600s, King James I was rumored to be in several gay relationships. There has been some historical evidence and some surviving correspondence between James and the males he would call during this time.
One of King James’ royal informants wrote about the king and his supposed lover Esmé Stewart stating that he “is in such love with him as in the open sight of the people often he will clasp him about the neck with his arms and kiss him.”
Ada Byron Lovelace
Ada Byron Lovelace was a prominent writer and mathematician back in the early 1800s. Before she passed away in 1852, she was one of the genius minds that helped develop one of the very first computer prototypes. Her father was Lord Byron, a bisexual poet, and Ada was his only biological child.
Considering they lived over 200 years ago, Lord Byron and his unconventional personal life were often talked about. There were many rumors of affairs with married women, promiscuity, and homosexuality. Before his death, Byron began writing an autobiography. Sadly, after he passed away, some of his friends burned it. They didn’t want his reputation to be tarnished once his ‘scandalous’ behavior was published.