Daniel Franzese came out as gay this week, a decade after playing the endlessly quotable Damian in “Mean Girls.” In honor of the touching letter he wrote, we’re taking a minute to recognize some of the biggest celebrity coming out moments of the past year:
1. Daniel Franzese: The actor explained his journey in a beautifully-written post for Indiewire thanking the character of Damian gave him the courage to come out: “It wasn’t until years later that grown men started to coming up to me on the street - some of them in tears - and thanking me for being a role model to them. Telling me I gave them comfort not only being young and gay but also being a big dude. It was then that I realized how much of an impact YOU had made on them. “
2. Ellen Page: The “Juno” actress was incredibly brave in her coming out speech, which she made on the stage of a Human Rights Campaign event in February. “I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility,” she said. “I also do it selfishly, because I’m tired of hiding. And I’m tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain.”
3. Robin Roberts: The “Good Morning America” co-anchor touchingly opened up about her relationship with her girlfriend when thanking her support system after reaching the critical 100 day-marker after her life-saving bone marrow transplant. “I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.” Since then, Roberts has continued to enjoy success on “GMA” and recently told David Letterman she’s “healthier and happier” than ever.”
4. Tom Daley: The British Olympic diver first came out as bisexual in December after meeting someone. “In spring this year my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great,” he explained. “That someone is a guy… I wanted to put an end to all the rumors and speculation, and just say it and tell you guys. It’s what I want to do” After going public with his relationship with Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, he later clarified this year that he is a gay man.
5. Wentworth Miller: As the world prepared for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi last year, the “Prison Break” actor took a stand in a letter on GLAAD’s website, explaining why he refused to attend a film festival in St. Petersburg. “I am deeply trouble by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government,” he wrote. “… I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”