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List of famous gay, lesbian or bisexual people

__NOTOC__ This is a partial list of confirmed and debated famous lesbian, bisexual, or gay people. The historical concept and definition of sexual orientation has changed greatly over time— the word "gay" wasn't used to describe sexual orientation until the mid 20th century. See homosexuality and bisexuality for more about the primary (and by far the most controversial) distinguishing criterion of "lesbigay" people.

Some historical figures on this list wouldn't be considered "lesbigay" by today's standards, but they are included here because they were known to have had same-sex relationships. But even by today's standards, a relationship or two doesn't necessarily mean one is bisexual. Many people who identify as gay or lesbian have had different-gender relationships in their youth, and many who identify as heterosexual have experimented with same-sex relationships. Due to social norms that have remained consistent throughout history, little information about such matters when discussing historical figures is available; therefore, only educated guesses can be made, based on limited evidence.

Controversy

It is important to note that the sexual orientation of famous individuals is often fodder for tabloid press. As such, it is often subject to rumor simply because of a tabloid article. Some stars, especially those about whom rumors most often circulate, wish to maintain a public image of heterosexuality—perhaps believing that assertions to the contrary would negatively affect their profitability—and are vigorous in their legal pursuit of those who would question their heterosexuality. An excellent example of this is actor Tom Cruise, who has been involved in at least three such lawsuits. In 1998, he successfully sued a British tabloid that alleged that his marriage to Nicole Kidman was a sham designed to cover up his homosexuality. He obtained a default judgment against a gay porn actor (Chad Slater, aka "Kyle Bradford") who had given an interview to a tabloid newspaper in which he claimed he had a sexual relationship with Tom Cruise, and he sued Michael Davis, a magazine publisher, who alleged that he had photographs that would prove Tom Cruise was homosexual: this suit was dropped in exchange for a public statement by Davis that Tom Cruise was heterosexual. Because of the threat of litigation, it is considered prudent not to assert the homosexuality or bisexuality of a celebrity unless the celebrity has personally publicly asserted it. Some homosexual groups (e.g., Outrage!), have followed a policy of outing public figures regularly for political purposes, usually only if that person is publicly anti-gay. However, such a policy is generally condemned within the lesbian and gay community as an infringement on a person's right to privacy, because of concerns about their family, their right to cope with their own sexuality on their own terms, or the risk of discrimination or loss of reputation.

Note that several of the people on this list were prosecuted for their behaviour under existing "sodomy laws".

Wikipedians: Edit this list with caution, because misidentifying the sexual identity of living individuals can lead to a charge of libel. It has not been tested whether Wikipedia's sponsor, Bomis, is liable for libel in the Wikipedia. Furthermore, categorization of historical figures no longer alive to define their own sexual orientation often leads to pointless debate. Recognize that just as adding non-gay people to this list would be wrong, removing gay people from this list is also wrong. You should justify additions or removals on the list's talk page: providing written sources would be best. The most convincing evidence about living persons would be a self-description by that individual.

 Persons of debated lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation

Persons of confirmed homosexual or bisexual orientation

The following list includes those people who have confirmed their homosexual or bisexual orientation or whose homosexual or bisexual orientation is not debated.

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Persons of debated lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation

The following list includes those who some people believe there is evidence the person was gay, lesbian or bisexual. More information about what is known about each individual's sexuality should be available in the individual's biography.

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  • Sun Ra, musician
  • Tony Randall, actor. The effeminacy of his stage persona, and the openly gay characters he played, led many to assume the actor was himself gay; Randall dismissed such speculation and fathered two children after he remarried at the age of 75.
  • Johnny Ray Puerto Rican actor
  • Luis Raul Puerto Rican actor and show host

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Persons no longer identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual

The following list includes people who at one point identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual but no longer do.

See also

External links

Sources

  • Aldrich, Robert and Wotherspoon, Gary (Eds.) (2001). Who's Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. New York: Routledge. ISBN 041522974X.

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