Four BIPOC Stars Who Came Out This Year

Janelle Monae smiles for cameras during a photocall. She is wearing a light blue hat and light blue jacket.
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Sep 8, 2022 8:49 PM ET

2022 has been a terrific year for LGBTQ+ visibility. More celebrities have made the decision to come out this year, and we are rounding them up in another list. Coming out still carries with it controversy and sometimes dangerous, but this hasn't stopped entertainers from speaking out about their gender identity and sexual preferences.

This time, we're looking at popular BIPOC stars who came out of the closet. Scroll down for more on Janelle Monae and three others who made headlines recently.

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae poses for cameras during a photocall.
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Janelle Monae is best known as a singer who has bagged eight Grammy nominations in the course of her career. But in 2016, she branched out into acting with two stellar performances. Her first film, Hidden Figures, was a box office smash; her second film, Moonlight, picked up an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2017.

Monae first came out as pansexual in 2018. But in April of 2022, she sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith for an episode of Red Table Talk, opening up again about her identity and preferences. During her talk with Smith, she came out as non-binary and said she employs both she/her and they/them pronouns. She went on to say, "I just don’t see myself as a woman solely. I feel all of my energy. I feel like God is so much bigger than the ‘he’ or the ‘she.’ And if I am from God, I am everything." She clarified that she still stands with Black women but also sees beyond gender binary.

Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis smiles for cameras during a photocall for Help. She is wearing a yellow floral halter dress.
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Aunjanue Ellis had made a name for herself long before her critically acclaimed performance in King Richard. But this was the role that would catapult her into Hollywood stardom and land her nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film Award, and Critics' Choice Movie Award.

Ellis has never hidden her sexual preferences - in fact, she has been bisexual for years. She never officially came out, but in 2022, she was seen sporting a blazer with "queer" stitched on the sleeve. The media and fans did not make a splash of it, perhaps because it was overlooked or not seen as an official coming out. But, according to Ellis, it was indeed a moment of coming out for her.

Jerrod Carmichael

Jerrod Carmichael smiles for cameras during a photocall for an NBC production. He is wearing a black shirt and a black jacket.
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Jerrod Carmichael is best known for his HBO stand-up comedy specials, Love at the Store, 8, and Rothaniel. He also snagged two Emmy nominations for hosting Saturday Night Live and had a short-lived sitcom on NBC.

The comedian came out during his most recent HBO special, Rothaniel. He spoke directly to his audience, saying “I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret. One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay." He also spoke about his struggle to accept himself as gay, and what lead him to be able to come out at that moment.

Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé poses in front of a Union Jack Flag.
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This British-born beauty Emeli Sandé became a household name after performing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. By that time, she had already been in the music business for at least six years, having racked up collaborations with Chipmunk and Professor Green.

In April of 2022, Sande announced her bisexuality and her relationship with a woman. Her partner is a classical pianist, and the couple met due to their mutual love of music. She called their relationship "true love" and said that she is "happier than ever".

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