LGBT celebrities, just like everyone else, can come out any way and in any manner which they please. It’s their business and their announcement, so it’s really up to them.
Actress Ellen Page, best known for starring in “Juno,” “Inception” and the sadly under-appreciated “Whip It,” revealed that she’s gay over the weekend in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s first-ever Time to Thrive conference, during which she spoke eloquently about her life experience, and how she was both inspired by others and sought to do some inspiring herself. The YouTube video of the speech went instantly viral, drawing 3.6 million views of the official video (and thousands more of other versions):
What I found fascinating about what Page did is that it goes against the grain of the last few major comings-out of gay celebrities. The prototypical recent example was Jim Parsons, who revealed that he was gay and in a long-term relationship in the 33rd paragraph of a New York Times interview that was about something else. Others, like Anderson Cooper, Frank Ocean and Brian Boitano have broken the news in statements and/or open letters. Professional athletes like Jason Collins and Michael Sam have come out through interviews as the culmination of months of complex media planning, but that speaks more to the backwardness of the sports world than anything else.
Once again, there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way. But it was still wonderful to see a talented actress make the dramatic announcement in a speech- I can’t even remember the last well-known person to do so, especially not in the YouTube era- and no, that strange Jodie Foster sort-of-coming out doesn’t exactly count. In fact, a Google search for “coming out speech” delivered nothing but references to Page on the first two pages.
Of course, as many pointed out, Page sort of made that speech already, six years ago on Saturday Night Live.