OUT & PROUD: GAY/BI/LESBIAN AFRICAN AMERICAN CELEBRITIES

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WANDA SYKES

This comedian has been making people laugh since she began her  stand-up career in 1987 at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington DC. She got her first big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club, and since then she’s made a career of being an award-winning television and movie actress, stand-up comedian, and writer. Sykes publicly came out on as a lesbian in November 2008 after the passing of Proposition 8 in California.


Frank Ocean
Photo Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

FRANK OCEAN

The talented up-and-coming musician Frank Ocean, best known for his association with hip hop collective OFWGKTA and his Grammy Award-winning album and collaboration, first addressed his sexuality in an open letter on his Tumblr in early 2012. He mentioned unrequited feeling that he’d had for another young man when he was 19 years old and has received a great deal of support from other musicians for his courage.



Source: WENN
Source: WENN

AZEALIA BANKS

The 21-year old Harlem rapper and songstress earned her fame with her hit single “212” and her somewhat controversial online activity. She came out as bi-sexual in a New York Times article at the beginning of 2012.


Source: WENN
Source: WENN

LEE DANIELS

Daniels is a highly decorated filmmaker who directed box offices hits like Monster’s Ball and Precious. Daniels has been aware of his sexuality since the very young age of five, and suffered at the hands of his father because of that fact.  He began to feel less burdened by his attractions as he matured and went to college.


Paris Barclay
 

PARIS BARCLAY

This Emmy-award winning director and producer has directed more than 125 episodes of television shows and had his name attached to at least a dozen high-ranking shows including House, CSI and Sons of Anarchy. He’s also directed music videos for everyone from Bob Dylan to LL Cool JJ. Barclay has been openly gay since his college years, and was a contributor for the LGBT magazine, The Advocate.


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MESHELL NDEGEOLLO

The artist who has been credited with “sparking the neo-soul movement” has an impressive resume, having recorded songs for over a dozen well-known movies (ex. Love & Basketball, Love Jones, Jumping the Broom). Also, she’s worked alongside Madonna, Bassment Jaxx and Indigo Girls. Ndegeocello came out as bi-sexual when she was in high school. And, she was once in a relationship with Alice Walker’s daughter, Rebecca Walker.


Sheryl Swoopes
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SHERYL SHOOPES

The highly successful WNBA player has been recognized as a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, four-time WNBA champion, and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Swoopes came out as homosexual  in October 2005, publicly announcing her relationship with Houston Comets’ assistant coach, Alicia Scott.


Source: WENN
Source: WENN

RUPAUL

Notorious drag queen and performing artist, RuPaul began his career as a club kid in Atlanta and NYC. And, he’s garnered a long list of album releases, television appearances, movie appearances, and short film appearances.  To the most successful drag queen to date, especially with the continual success of RuPaul’s Drag Race. RePaul realized his attraction to the same sex at the young age of 12.


AngelaDavis1

ANGELA DAVIS

An accomplished writer and political activist, Davis was often admonished for her thoughts and actions, and imprisoned for her associations. She has a laundry list of publications, interviews, and audiovisual appearances on the subject of women, race, black feminism and politics. Davis confirmed that she was a lesbian in Out magazine in February 2005. Also, during the National Black Gay Lesbian Leadership Forum conference in 1993, she used the first-person when addressing and discussing the lesbian/gay community.


Johnny Mathis
 

JOHNNY MATHIS

The three-time Grammy award winning artist produced an almost impossible amount of albums; 73 making the Billboard charts and several dozen of them achieving platinum or gold. In 1982, Us Magazine quoted Mathis as having said, “Homosexuality is a way of life that I’ve become accustomed to.” He was silent for years due to death threats he received due to his honesty in the article.




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