5 Famous Young People Who Came out on Social Media

January 20th 2016

Laura Donovan

Social media presents a tremendous opportunity for connecting with others and self-expression. Research shows that many people are also using social media to come out. A Facebook research report from 2015 found that roughly 800,000 users came out "to express a same-gender attraction or custom gender," a major increase in the number of people coming out on that particular platform.

RELATED: An Incredible Number of People Came out on Facebook This Year

Famous folks are also taking advantage of social media to share important aspect of their identities with fans. From YouTube to SnapChat, several public figures have used social media to come out over the past year. Here are some important examples.

1. Rowan Blanchard


"Girl Meets World" star and staunch feminist Rowan Blanchard received ample praise after coming out as "queer" in mid-January. The 14-year-old who plays Riley Matthews on the show wrote in a tweet that it's important to her that the series has queer representation:

RELATED: Rowan Blanchard Wrote a Powerful Essay About Feminism

2. Amandla Stenberg


A photo posted by amandla (@amandlastenberg) on

"Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg, whom Blanchard has praised in the past, came out as bisexual on Teen Vogue's Snapchat account earlier this month. Many lauded her for coming out, as the stigma surrounding bisexuality often discourages bisexuals from coming forward about their sexuality.

After the Snapchat event, Stenberg went on to tweet a link to the footage:

"It's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn't be in," Stenberg said. "As someone who identifies as a Black bisexual woman, I've been through it, and it hurts, and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable. But then I realized because of Solange [Knowles] and Ava DuVernay and Willow [Smith] and all the black girls watching this right now, that there's absolutely nothing to change."

RELATED: Why Bisexuals Rarely Come Out

3. Lily-Rose Depp

Last year, model Lily-Rose Depp came out as sexually fluid in an Instagram photo for LGBT rights activist iO Tillet Wright's Self Evident Truths project, a photo series of people who don't identify as 100 percent straight.

"I'm so proud of my baby girl @lilyrose_depp," Wright wrote. "She decided she wanted to be in @selfevidentproject because she falls somewhere on the vast spectrum, and I couldn't be happier to welcome her to the family. She's a tiny gem of a good human. #prouduncle #weareyou"

Lily-Rose went on to share this on Instagram:


A photo posted by Lily-Rose Depp (@lilyrose_depp) on

Actor Johnny Depp, who is Lily-Rose's dad, told the Daily Mail last fall that he has been aware of her sexuality for a long time because they're very close.

"She's got thousands of followers of social media, and they were all taken completely by surprise," he told the Daily Mail."But not me, I already knew because she tells me everything--she's not afraid to say anything to me. We're super tight and I'm very proud of our relationship."

4. Shane Dawson

Last summer, popular YouTube user Shane Dawson came out as bisexual in a 14-minute video that has racked up more than seven million views.

Dawson revealed that he told his family about his feelings for boys at a young age, but because they weren't very accepting of him, he shut down emotionally and gained a lot of weight. By age 18, he was 400 pounds. After getting back into shape, he began making YouTube videos, ultimately gaining a following of more than seven million.

"Then I became Shane Dawson, and I became the guy that everybody called gay, and I was so defensive of it ... so I just kept repressing the feelings," he said. "And then around [age] 21, I had my first kiss, and it was with a girl. I felt something ... I felt love and I was like, 'Oh, I'm not gay, at all.' So I started dating girls."

Dawson added that he thinks life would be "a lot easier" if he were either gay or straight.

"But I'm not," he said. "I mean, I'm not completely gay."

RELATED: This Dad's Reaction to His Son's Bisexuality Is Going Viral

5. Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings

Transgender YouTube personality Jazz Jennings made news in summer 2014 when she came out as pansexual in a YouTube Q&A. The Merriam-Website dictionary defines pansexuality as "exhibiting or implying many forms of sexual expression."

Jennings, who was assigned male at birth, identifies as female. When asked by a fan whether she gets crushed on any boys, Jennings explained she is pansexual and is attracted to people based on their personality above all else.

"I will say that I'm pansexual and I mostly like people for their personality," Jennings said. "I don't care if they're gay, bi, trans, whatever they are."

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Just Came Out As Pansexual. Here's What That Means