This year has seen major strides for gay rights, including the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in the US and the dismissal of California's Proposition 8. In just the last few years, there has been a cultural shift in how we view same-sex unions, and there have been major developments in Australia too, such as current Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce throwing their support behind same-sex marriage.
One cause for this increased tolerance could be how outspoken public figures have become about their own sexuality. This week, actress Maria Bello came out with an essay in The New York Times, sharing her story of falling in love with a friend, and today British Olympic diver Tom Daley also opened up about his sexuality, posting a video message to say that he's currently dating a guy and couldn't be happier. Both announcements came on the heels of another statement from The Biggest Loser US trainer Bob Harper, who came out as gay to help a contestant who was struggling with how to tell his father he was gay. Bob said, "I haven't talked about my sexuality on this show, ever," but that now was the right time to do so. Maria, Tom and Bob join a growing number of stars who have paved the way for gay people everywhere by coming out, including Frank Ocean, Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster, who came out at the Golden Globes in January. Be inspired by these celebrities who've used magazines, talk shows, and their blogs to come out!
— Additional reporting by Britt Stephens and Jess Chandra