Though LGBTQ+ people have always been involved in the entertainment industry, they have long had to hide themselves and their identities. As acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community has grown, there have been more queer characters across both film and television. More accepting reactions have also encouraged more and more celebrities to come out and share their identities. Though the public response may not always be ideal, and there is still progress to be made, many queer actors have gotten support and praise for sharing their authentic selves and working to help others. Here are 12 actors you may not know are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
12 Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza is best known for her roles as April the intern on Parks and Recreation and as Harper on The White Lotus, which she received a 2023 Golden Globe nomination for. She has also appeared in movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Child’s Play, and Emily the Criminal. Though mostly private about her personal life, in a 2016 interview, she said that she falls in love with both men and women.
11 Stephanie Beatriz
Stephanie Beatriz played the tough detective Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine for eight seasons. In addition, she showed off her singing talents with In the Heights in 2020 and the lead role of Mirabel in Encanto in 2021. Beatriz publicly came out as bisexual in 2016, and has spoken about the importance of bisexual representation, per Variety. This became a major storyline for Rosa on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as she came out to the squad and her parents in an emotional arc.
10 Rebel Wilson
Rebel Wilson is an Australian actress who appeared in various Australian shows in her early career. She had her breakout as Amy in the Pitch Perfect trilogy, which began in 2012. Since then, she has continued with movies like Isn’t It Romantic?, The Hustle, and Senior Year, proving her comedic and dramatic skills. In June 2022, she publicly announced her relationship with a woman; she did so to do it on her terms, before a newspaper article could out her. She announced their engagement in February 2023, per USA Today.
9 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has had a lengthy career in acting, making her debut as a kid alongside her father, Jon Voight. As she grew up, she continued acting in major films, with a breakthrough being her Oscar-winning performance in Girl, Interrupted. Over the years, she has delved into directing, and is notable for her humanitarian work. In 1997, she told Girlfriends magazine that she loves both men and women; in 2003, when asked if she was bisexual, she said yes.
8 Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer is an actor who has starred in movies, shows, and stage productions. His best known role is con artist Neal on the show White Collar, which ran from 2009 to 2014. He has also appeared on American Horror Story and Doom Patrol, and won a 2015 Golden Globe for the TV movie The Normal Heart. On film, he has appeared in Magic Mike and The Boys in the Band. Bomer publicly came out as gay in 2012, and would later reveal his marriage, which took place in 2011.
7 Noah Schnapp
Noah Schnapp has been acting since childhood, and is best known for his role as Will on Stranger Things, which began in 2016. Along with his co-stars, he received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in 2017. In addition to the show, he has appeared in The Peanuts Movie and Bridge of Spies, and is set to star in the thriller The Tutor. Early in 2023, he came out as gay on TikTok, and has met tons of support.
6 Jim Parsons
Jim Parsons achieved wide recognition for his role as the genius Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. The show ran from 2007 to 2019, and he won many awards for it, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe. He recently appeared in the movies The Boys in the Band and Spoiler Alert; he also has a lot of theater experience, with productions of Harvey and The Normal Heart. In 2012, a New York Times article reported that he was gay, and had been in a relationship with a man for 10 years. The couple wed in 2017.
5 Zachary Quinto
Zachary Quinto is another actor with TV, film, and theater credits. After small appearances in various shows, his breakthrough came in 2006, when he portrayed the villainous Sylar on Heroes. In 2009, he took on the role of Spock in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movie. He has also delved into horror with shows like American Horror Story and NOS4A2. He came out as gay in 2011, shortly after the off-Broadway production of Angels in America.
4 Elliot Page
Elliot Page has had a lengthy acting career that took off with the lead role in Juno in 2007. Since then, he has starred in movies like Whip It and Freeheld. In 2019, he took on one of the lead roles in The Umbrella Academy. In December 2020, he came out as transgender on social media, and in 2021, became the first openly trans man to be on the cover of Time. This transition became part of The Umbrella Academy’s latest season, as Viktor came out to his siblings.
3 Hunter Schafer
Hunter Schafer is a model and actress who is also a major LGBTQ+ rights activist. In 2019, she made her acting debut in the teen drama Euphoria as Jules, a transgender student. Schafer herself is transgender, and worked with the show’s creative team to develop Jules authentically. She is also set to appear in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
2 Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe’s career began in music, which earned her numerous awards. In 2016, she ventured into acting, and appeared in two well-received movies: Moonlight and Hidden Figures. This career has continued, and she recently starred as twins Cassandra and Helen in Glass Onion in 2022. In terms of sexuality, Monáe said she identifies with bisexuality or pansexuality in 2018. In 2022, she also came out as non-binary, and said that her pronouns are both she and they.
1 Tessa Thompson
Tessa Thompson has starred in both independent movies and major blockbusters over her career. One of her earliest roles was the movie For Colored Girls; from there, she appeared in movies like Selma and Creed, which brought her more widespread recognition. She also made her MCU debut as Valkyrie — the MCU’s first LGBTQ+ hero — in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. In 2018, she announced that she is attracted to men and women, though she hasn’t labeled her sexuality.