There are a ton of beautiful men in Hollywood, but Tinsel Town’s gay elite are some of the most exceptional because there’s nothing sexier than owning and loving who you are.
The Queer Eye cast, for example, is the perfect example of owning their queerness and spreading their joy and love to others around them. “I’m thankful that we’ve been given opportunities, but I know the five of us are always [trying] to continue to open the door for someone behind us or beside us,” Karamo Brown, the show’s culture expert, told Out Magazine. “There’s still work to be done.”
In the music space, “Years & Years” vocalist Olly Alexander hit the nail on the head in an interview with Paper magazine. “In many ways, this is the very best time to be a gay artist ever,” he said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without all the gay artists that have come before us and broken down so many barriers. But barriers aren’t gone. Particularly for less privileged members of the queer community. There is this very insidious casual homophobia that exists in the fabric of everything, including the music industry.”
So, let’s take a moment to shine a spotlight on the men of Hollywood who are out and proud — and gorgeous.
A version of this article was originally published in April 2015.
Hairstylist to the stars Chris Appleton, who reportedly just got married to You star Lukas Gage, is proud to be gay, but he didn’t come out until later in life. “Some people know straight away, I didn’t and it took me a minute to understand that and accept that and then come out,” he told longtime friend and client Kim Kardashian for Gay Times. “Everybody has got their stories and some people are ready with it straight away, I just wasn’t. I didn’t have that realization.
My So Called Life alum Wilson Cruz was the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay teen on primetime TV, making history in 1994. He spoke of the experience with TODAY in 2021, saying, “I have great pride in being that person, but the freedom and the relief and the strength that people were able to garner, just from seeing him, and the feeling of validation they received by his existence — his very existence of being on a national television show about teenagers, that people like him felt seen, and included and were a part of the story.”
Though David Rose in Schitt’s Creek is pansexual, Dan Levy identifies as gay, and his parents are just as cool with it. Talking to Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2020, Dan said that his parents, fellow actor and costar Eugene Levy and Deborah Divine, knew Dan was gay before he came out. “We knew for the longest time,” Eugene said. “We were waiting and then mom couldn’t wait any longer,” he added, noting that Dan’s mom just asked him one day and Dan nonchalantly said “yes.” We just love a supportive family!
Andrew Scott, known for his role as the “hot priest” in Fleabag, is another smoking hot Hollywood gay celeb. In a conversation with GQ, Scott rejected the label that he’s an “openly gay” celeb. “It implies a defiance I don’t feel,” he said, before noting that playing a straight or queer character is all the same to him. “You believe the relationship. That’s my job,” he explained.
Lil Nas X
As the first gay male rapper to reach astronomical success, Lil Nas X has made history. The rapper officially came out as gay in his song June 2019 “c7osure.”
“Some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care…but before this month ends I want y’all to listen closely to c7osure,” he tweeted.
Carl Nassib, a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is the first-ever openly gay man in the NFL. Talking to People in October, Nassib talked about the impact of him coming out but also reiterated he’s an athlete just like everyone else. “I was born this way. I haven’t worked for it. That’s why it’s easy for me. It’s not even on my mind,” he said. “I don’t choose every day to be gay. I choose to work hard and be a better person than I was yesterday.”
Karamo Brown, the culture expert in Queer Eye, is one good-looking gay man. And if his looks aren’t enough, he’s done an impressive job and breaking barriers too. Back in 2004, Brown made history as the first openly gay Black man in a reality show in The Real World: Philadelphia.
Many years later, he made history yet again as one of the incredible “fab five.” “We have to show up for each other, because there’s still young trans, nonbinary, gay, lesbian, pan, bisexual people who are artists that are not getting their opportunities,” he told Out Magazine. “I’m thankful that we’ve been given opportunities, but I know the five of us are always [trying] to continue to open the door for someone behind us or beside us. To honor those that we’re looking at coming up. There’s still work to be done.”
Alongside Brown, fashion expert Tan France is another Queer Eye star. “The show has given me more than I’ll ever know, and not just financially or in terms of fame,” France told The Guardian. “It put me in a position to represent my community in a way that I had never seen. And, I’m not just talking about the gay community, I’m talking about the Asian community.”
Much like his castmates, Queer Eye food expert Antoni Porowski is one attractive gay man. “For me personally, I’ve never really had a label for myself,” the chef, who recently got engaged to longtime partner Kevin Harrington, told the Gay Times. “Today I’m gay, I’m in a gay relationship, and that’s where I am. That’s good enough for me.”
“We don’t want to be defined by our sexuality,” Queer Eye design expert Bobby Berk told the Gay Times. “We are gay, but that’s not who we are, it’s just part of what we are. I like the fact that people don’t necessarily always focus on, ‘Oh, they’re gay guys.’ I’m a designer or a chef or a hairdresser. Yeah… we just happen to be married to men.”
Kal Penn has always been an actor who’s kept his personal life as private as possible. But after getting engaged to his longtime partner Josh, the former House actor was so excited to share a new side of himself in his upcoming book, You Can’t Be Serious.
“I have one day off from The White House and this dude is unironically watching cars go around and make left turns? Next thing you know, it’s been a couple months and we’re watching NASCAR every Sunday,” Penn, who worked in the Obama White House, shared of how he and his partner bonded, per People. I’m like, ‘What is happening?’ I wanted the reader to enjoy the love and the humor through all of those stories.”
Former The Bachelor lead Colton Underwood came out as gay on Good Morning America in April 2021, a year after his 2020 breakup with Cassie Randolph, whom he met on the show, and to whom he apologized in this new interview for the frightening behavior that led her to file a restraining order against him after their split.
“I’ve ran from myself for a long time and I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay,” Underwood told GMA‘s Robin Roberts. “I came to terms with that that earlier this year and have been processing it.”
“I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did,” he added, both of his own coming out and his relationship with Randolph. “I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”
Former Arrow star Colton Haynes addressed his sexuality in 2016 after his response to a Tumblr post hinting at a “gay past” went viral. “I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready,” Haynes told Entertainment Weekly of the headlines that followed. “I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.”
“It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” he added. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.”
Australian singer and actor Troye Sivan came out as gay to his fans in 2013 via YouTube video, and he’s been open about what it’s like navigating fame as a young gay man ever since. When an Express reporter asked him the invasive question “top or bottom” in 2019, Sivan took to Twitter to explain why the moment felt so jarring to him as an artist.
“I thought about asking the interviewer about his absolute fave sex position after that last question, but then I remembered how wildly invasive, strange and inappropriate that would be,” he wrote, later adding: “I highly doubt anyone would ask any of my straight peers explicit questions about who does what to who in their relationship, no matter the content of their music.”
Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander has never been shy about his sexuality. “In many ways, this is the very best time to be a gay artist ever,” he told the magazine. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without all the gay artists that have come before us and broken down so many barriers. But barriers aren’t gone. Particularly for less privileged members of the queer community. There is this very insidious casual homophobia that exists in the fabric of everything, including the music industry.”
Best known for his role in Kyle XY, Matt Dallas has also appeared in Along Came the Devil.
Neil Patrick Harris
NPH is pretty much perfection. He has hosted the Emmys, the Tonys and the Oscars with style and charisma, and no one looks better when they suit up.
He’s happily married to David Burtka, and they have two children together. You can catch him as Count Olaf in the Netflix family-friendly series A Series of Unfortunate Events. Or you can bring him home with you — kind of — in the form of playing cards he created, sold in Target stores everywhere.
Anderson Cooper is arguably the classiest man in Hollywood.
Whether he’s chatting it up on his talk show or reporting live from overseas, he always reminds us how intelligent and down-to-earth he is. Not to mention that his personality is just so darn lovable.
Best known for his roles as Aaron Samuels in the 2004 comedy film Mean Girls — Jonathan Bennett publicly came out in 2017 and is currently dating former Amazing Race host Jaymes Vaughan.
Chris Colfer is a best-selling author and Golden Globe winner, and has starred in a movie he wrote himself. He also has a children’s book, called The Land of Stories, which featured original fan art.
David Burtka’s smile instantly wins everyone over.
He can also sing, dance, act and cook, and he and husband Neil Patrick Harris have two children. Speaking of cooking, Burtka’s first cookbook, Life Is a Party, is came out in spring 2019.
The 50-year-old musical theater superstar first graced Broadway in the early 90s and has since taken home many accolades including an Emmy Award for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in Pose in 2019.
Porter is married to Adam Smith who he first met in 2009 — the two were hitched in 2017.
He broke Rachel Berry’s heart on Glee, but we just couldn’t help our attraction to his bad-boy nature.
Aside from his Glee character, real-life Jonathan Groff is a sweetheart and is making his way through Hollywood. He’s the star of Netflix drama Mindhunter.
We loved him as Dr. George O’ Malley on Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), and he played Jordan on The Good Wife (CBS).
In October 2013, he married ballet dancer and writer Patrick Leahy, and he was the Fox drama series Genius: Picasso opposite Antonio Banderas.
Who knew Chris Evans had a hot brother?
This delicious man is on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s hottest actors. In fact, you may have seen him in Netflix hit Grace and Frankie as Oliver, or alongside his brother in the rom-com film Before We Go as the concierge.
Ricky Martin has become a musical legend and has reached success on Broadway with his role in Evita.
This Broadway star makes us melt with his golden voice.
Not only is Cheyenne Jackson a hot singer/performer, but he also has great comedic timing, as proven with his role as Danny in NBC’s 30 Rock. And let’s not forget, he was oh-so-debonair on AHS: Hotel.
Mr. Zachary Quinto creeped us out in American Horror Story and made us laugh and cry as Spock in the Star Trek revival films, but his hotness still remains.
You can also catch him as Crosby Franklin in Hotel Artemis.
This Canadian actor first charmed his way into American hearts when he was Scotty on Brothers & Sisters. You can also watch MacFarlane in horror flick Rock Paper Dead.
Wentworth Miller is known for breaking out of prison in Prison Break. But the English actor moved on from that role and into the superhero TV hits Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.
Adorable and funny, Andrew Rannells broke out from Broadway stardom and into the Hollywood spotlight as Bryan in NBC’s The New Normal, but he’s unforgettable on Girls as Elijah.
He also starred in the TV series Black Monday, and alongside Linda Cardellini, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in A Simple Favor, a mystery-crime thriller set to release in September 2018. But you might recognize him more for his role in the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band.
Hello! Ross Matthews was a man on fire when he was a regular guest host of Chelsea Lately and hosted his own show, Hollywood Today Live. After he gave Celebrity Big Brother a shot in 2017, he moved on to host Big Brother talk show Off the Block.
He makes us laugh with his honest yet endearing humor and is also quite the pun-master.
This ex-NSYNC star has blue eyes you can get lost in.
Lance Bass is quite outspoken and active. Not only is he an ambassador for Vanderpump Dogs and an EMA member, but he has also spoken out in support of National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month.
Adam Lambert says he’s not here for our entertainment, but with those pipes and a face like that, we wish he were.
The musician once went on a worldwide tour with Queen, which ended with an epic show in Las Vegas.
Not only is this author and producer the host of popular late-night Bravo talk show Watch What Happens Live, he is also the host of the Love Connection reboot.
We came to know and love Gilman as the 11-year-old country singing phenom, but he’s officially grown into hottie status.
Not only did he audition for — and become runner-up on — The Voice, but he also embarked on a mini-tour throughout New York, New Jersey and the surrounding areas.
Pancholy has some serious comedic chops. He kept us rolling as Sanjay on Weeds and Jonathan on 30 Rock. And he authored his very first book, titled The. Best. At. It., about a gay Indian-American boy growing up in a small town in Indiana.
Ty Herndon has been hot on the country scene for over two decades and inspired other musicians when he came out in 2014.
“I was 10, sitting in church and horrified that I might be a homosexual. Whatever that word meant, I knew that I probably was one,” the singer told People at the time. “And I know there’s a lot of those kids still out there. Telling my story is an opportunity to help just one of them.”
We dare you to listen to Tyler Glenn singing for the Neon Trees and not love him. Go ahead, try it.
He also made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning Kinky Boots, when he took over the role of Charlie Price.
Only Billy on the Street can make screaming so sexy… and hilarious.
Billy Eichner is all over TV, too — whether you catch him in Difficult People as Billy Epstein or as the voice of Mr. Ambrose in Bob’s Burgers. But the role we love the most? He was the voice of Timon in the remake of The Lion King!
“I want my pink shirt back!” is probably the bane of Daniel Franzese’s existence at this point, but we still adore him for it.
Aside from his iconic role in Mean Girls, Franzese has had a few TV appearances here and there, including GLOW on Netflix, S.W.A.T., Besties and Falling for Angels.
We may never get to compete on The Biggest Loser, but Bob Harper is welcome to try to whip our butts into shape any day of the week.
In February 2017, he suffered a heart attack that shocked that nation and posted a personal Instagram post about his recovery, one year later.
We seriously don’t know what our lives would be like without Jim Parsons and The Big Bang Theory. He also starred alongside Andrew Rannells in the hit Broadway play The Boys in the Band.
After pop icon Tiffany accidentally “outed” New Kids on the Block band member Jonathan Knight on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live in 2011, he published a blog post on a members-only NKOTB blog, writing, “I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost 20 years ago. I never knew that I would have to do it all over again publicly just because I reunited with NKOTB! I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay!”
We may know him from the OG 2003 Queer Eye, but Jai Rodriguez is also a seriously talented actor and performed in the Broadway musical Rent.
In 2017, he teamed up with Positively Fearless to educate the Lantino community about HIV. “I could’ve been a statistic and granted that when I was coming up, I sadly got the firsthand experience of people passing, so it was a different experience for me,” he told People at the time.
Will & Grace‘s “Just Jack” will live on in our hearts forever.
After the show was given a massive revival in 2017 with the original cast, Sean Hayes has kept pretty busy, especially after Will & Grace was renewed.
Michael J. Willett
If Michael J. Willett would be our G.B.F., life would be perfect.
After playing Tanner Daniels in G.B.F., Willett went on to star in MTV’s Faking It as Shane Harvey. He also plays the role of Zack in TV series Love Daily. But the most exciting project to date? His Pink Sunglasses West Coast tour, where he played for fans for free, anywhere, as long as they can guarantee an audience of at least 15 people. How cool is that?
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jesse Tyler Ferguson brings the laughs in Modern Family as the better half of Mitch and Cam.
In addition to Modern Family, Ferguson’s spent a lot of time on Broadway. In 2016, he starred in Fully Committed, and he was also in Log Cabin, a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison. According to Playbill, in Log Cabin, “a tight-knit group of gays and lesbians considers the new mainstream through the eyes of their transgender friend.”
Emmy Award nominee B.D. Wong perfectly portrays forensic psychiatrist George Huang on Law & Order: SVU, but did you know he has performed on Broadway?
It’s true. The Tony winner was in the cast of The Great Leap. According to Playbill, “The Great Leap weaves a tale of history and personal identity. Set in San Francisco in 1989, the play follows Manford Lum, a basketball player who talks his way onto a college team just before they travel to Beijing for a ‘friendship’ game.”
We’re still upset about Bryan Batt’s premature exit from Mad Men.
But he’s done plenty of things since, including short drama film Raceland and crime comedy Easy Does It.
We swooned at the Hobbit star’s portrayal of the muscly Gaston in the live-action Beauty and the Beast. But it was his role in The Alienist that truly garnered attention and acclaim.
Brad Goreski may have started out as Rachel Zoe’s sidekick, but he’s become a star in his own right — and he’s so cute we die. He moved on to be cohost of the now-canceled Fashion Police on E!, but he still spends plenty of his time as a celebrity stylist.
Entourage just wouldn’t be Entourage without Rex Lee as Lloyd.
Lee has kept himself busy since his Entourage days, though. You can spot him in ABC series Fresh Off the Boat as Oscar Chow or as Elliot Park in both Young & Hungry reruns and Young & Hungry: The Movie.
Frank Ocean is super gifted. He’s recognized for his own songs now, but he’s also written for John Legend, Justin Bieber and Brandy — not to mention he’s super-cute.
The Grammy-winning artist made waves when he posted a statement to his Tumblr in 2012, opening up about his sexuality. “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely… I can hear the sky falling too,” he wrote.
This interior designer can come hang curtains in our house anytime he wants. Nate Berkus does more than spend time sprucing up spaces; he has a book club, too, called Nate Reads.
The Scandal star is also a hilarious comedian. Guillermo Diaz cracked us up in Half Baked and Weeds, and we love him for it.
OK, so maybe Jeff Lewis has a bit of a temper, as evidenced on Flipping Out. He's still pretty cute, though. Plus, he has his own podcast, Jeff Lewis Live, where he interviews plenty of reality TV stars.
After making a revealing comment on Twitter, Haley’s adorable boyfriend on Modern Family said about coming out that he “was never in.”
And in 2015, Reid Ewing opened up via an essay on HuffPost about his body dysmorphia and how much he regretted getting cosmetic surgery because of it. “Plastic surgery is not always a bad thing,” he wrote. “It often helps people who actually need it for serious cases, but it’s a horrible hobby, and it will eat away at you until you have lost all self-esteem and joy. I wish I could go back and undo all the surgeries. Now I can see that I was fine to begin with and didn’t need the surgeries after all.”
Former Alias star (and silver fox) Victor Garber said in 2013 that he didn't need to address his sexuality because "everybody knows."
"Wikipedia lists Rainer Andreesen as your partner. I wondered if that's something that's public, that you've confirmed," blogger Greg Hernandez said in 2013 during a press tour. Garber responded, "I don't really talk about it, but everybody knows. He's going to be out here with me for the SAG Awards."
Deaf activist and winner of America's Next Top Model Nyle DiMarco came out as sexually fluid in 2015.
Following his appearance on ANTM, he started the Nyle DiMarco Fund, which aims to improve deaf people's lives.
We don’t know if it’s his dashing good looks or dreamy British accent, but Rupert Everett is just so darn sexy.
He played Oscar Wilde in the film The Happy Prince. He was also in the TV series The Name of the Rose, playing Bernardo Gui.
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen has been openly gay and an activist since the '80s, and he says coming out made him both a better person and a better actor.
"I regret and always shall that I didn't see the significance of coming out at a much earlier date because I think I would have been a different person and a happier one," McKellen said in 2015, according to the Daily Mail.
The be-all, end-all of hot guys in Hollywood right now. Enough said.
You can catch American Horror Story‘s Matt Bomer in Vulture Club, Jonathan and Papa Chulo.
“It is hard, I applaud anyone who does it,” the actor, who played Q in the James Bond film Skyfall, told the Sunday Times Magazine of coming out to one’s mother. “There is so much tension around doing something like that, that maybe you’re not quite thinking rationally. You can say absurd things because you are in a panic.”
Music and style icon Elton John has been vocal in the past about how proud he is of being gay. “It’s wonderful to be gay, I love being gay I really do,” the “Rocketman” singer told Variety. “I think I wouldn’t have had the life I’ve had if I hadn’t been gay. And I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud that I can appreciate that.”
In the interview, John also shared some advice to LGBTQ+ youth who struggle at home with their identity. “Don’t let anybody torture you for being gay or for your sexuality,” he said, “If you’re unhappy at home, leave.” Sure did work out for him! John is happily married to filmmaker David Furnish since 2005, they share two kids together.
Though the 2019 music video for his song “Ease My Mind” was the first time Ben Platt went public about being gay, he said he wasn’t hiding it before. “I’ve always been out,” Platt told Out Magazine. “Anyone that I’ve ever worked with or been directed by or written with or acted with who’s known me for longer than five minutes knows full well who I am.”
George Takei historically came out in 2005 after same-sex marriage was granted by law. At the time, Takei had been with his partner, Brad Altman, for over 18 years. “I think it was more the political climate [that convinced me to speak to be out in the press at this time],” the Star Trek star told Advocate Magazine of his decision to finally come out. “Society has been changing.”
Barry Manilow, the music icon behind “Mandy” and “Copacabana,” is out and proud to be gay, but it wasn’t always like this. Though him and his partner/manager have been together since 1978, the couple only went public with their relationship in 2015, a year after tying the knot.
“I thought I would be disappointing them if they knew I was gay. So I never did anything,” Manilow told People. That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. “When they found out that Garry and I were together, they were so happy,” he recalled. “The reaction was so beautiful — strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it.”
Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang is out and proud. Talking to Variety in 2020, he talked about being gay and how he realized his sexuality growing up. “The way I see queerness now is that, best case scenario, another queer person reflects it back at you,” he explained. “Worst case scenario, which is what happened to me, is having people say, ‘Well, you like Michelle Branch, so you must be gay.’ Someone points out how there’s something about you that’s unusual, and you go through some Kübler-Ross grief stages with it.”
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