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Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson

3 Celebs Who Came Out as LGBTQ+ During a PR Crisis

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison
By Robin Zabiegalski

In an interview with Bustle Rosario Dawson kind of came out as queer.

She said that contrary to popular belief she hadn't come out via Instagram in 2018 and went on to say, "I mean, I guess I am now.” She followed up that statement by saying, "I’ve never had a relationship in that space, so it’s never felt like an authentic calling..."

This "coming out," if it can even be called that, comes while Dawson is facing a lawsuit from a transgender man who worked for her who says that Dawson purposely misgendered him and harassed him while onset.

Dawson isn't the only celebrity who's coming out timing is suspiciously linked to a PR crisis. Here are a few celebs who came out during scandals.

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Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil
Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

Earlier this month, actress Jameela Jamil faced criticism after it was rumored that she would be hosting the upcoming competition series about voguing, Legendary. The LGBTQ+ community was upset that a show so rooted in the queer experience would be hosted by a cis-het actress.

During the public backlash, Jamil announced that she was queer. The timing of the announcement was interpreted as suspicious by many. They assumed that Jamil was trying to distract from the criticism surrounding her by coming out. Critics of Jamil pointed out that this isn't the first time she's used public statements to distract from criticisms against her.

Jamil later said that she chose the wrong time to come out.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kevin_Spacey,_May_2013.jpg

Kevin Spacey was one of the first people to be taken down by the #MeToo movement, and he's one of the only people whose career actually suffered because of the accusations against him.

In 2017, actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting him when he was a teenager. Soon several other accusers came forward. Spacey made a feeble attempt at an apology saying that he was heavily drinking during the time Rapp said he was assaulted and didn't remember the incident.

In his "apology" statement, Spacey also came out as gay. The media and the public saw this coming out as a calculated PR move on Spacey's part and it wasn't well-received.

Bryan Singer

Bryan Singer
Gettyimages | Jason LaVeris

Every Hollywood insider knew that Bryan Singer was queer long before he talked to the media about his sexuality. It wasn't like it was a well-kept secret. So, Bryan Singer didn't really "come out" the same way other celebrities have.

But he did wait until a very suspicious time to talk publically about his sexuality. In 2014, a civil suit was brought against Singer by a man who said Singer had assaulted him when he was underage. Soon several more accusers made their stories public.

Singer denied all the allegations and took the opportunity to publically speak out about his sexuality for the first time. He identified himself as bisexual and said that he hadn't been more clear about his sexuality in the past because it's such a complicated and nuanced topic.

Many thought that Singer's sudden willingness to talk to the media about his sexuality was a way to reclaim his narrative and take press away from his accusers.

Coming Out as a PR Move

Rosario Dawson
Gettyimages | Roy Rochlin

Rosario Dawson is just the latest celebrity who has used coming out as a calculated PR move to recover from some sort of PR disaster. The fact that she came out a week after Jameela Jamil used the same strategy to get out of her own PR mess makes the timing that much more unfortunate.

Celebrities coming out as queer should be a thing that the LGBTQ+ community and the larger community can celebrate. But when celebrities use their queer identities as a tool to distract from questionable or downright deplorable behavior it reveals hypocrisy rather than authenticity.

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