LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS, CHICAGO, BOSTON, MIAMI, ELSEWHERE—Responding to Anderson Cooper, Frank Ocean, Emma Stone, Kelsey Grammer, Zooey Deschanel, and Jimmy Kimmel’s recent unexpected self-outings, a galaxy of Hollywood stars, including Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and Daniel Day-Lewis, announced Tuesday that they, too, have been homosexuals their entire lives.
"For years we have lived a closeted lifestyle, afraid of the consequences, afraid of what the social stigma could do to our public images," said Nicholson, speaking at a press conference alongside newly outed homosexuals Khloé Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Usher, Scarlett Johansson, and Ben Kingsley. "But today we proudly join those who have had the courage to come forward about their sexual orientation, among them Ron Howard, Nicki Minaj, Jessica Biel, Tim McGraw, Connie Chung, Sir Ian Holm, Busta Rhymes, and Peyton Manning."
Monday's announcements reportedly came as a surprise to the many fans of the homosexual celebrities, especially those of Nicholson and DiCaprio, who have famously cultivated "ladies' man" images. In addition, fans of LeBron James, Harrison Ford, Paris Hilton, Howard Stern, Ben Affleck, and David Lee Roth expressed shock.
At press time, representatives for many of the stars, including Ben Stein, have requested various combinations of privacy, support, tolerance, and pro-LGBT activism.
"After years of secrecy, we started thinking it was foolish to stay closeted, especially after Tyra Banks, Vince Vaughn, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Jon Hamm, Carrie Underwood, Channing Tatum, Tom Brady, Gwen Stefani, and Leighton Meester had spoken up," read a joint statement from Robert Redford, Kenny Rogers, and Amanda Byne, which also cited the bravery of Renée Zellweger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ashlee Simpson, and Clive Owen as an inspiration for going public. "That, along with the announcement by the Ernest Borgnine estate, helped us see that we were not alone—that in fact it would be damned hard to be alone if we ever wanted to be."
In the wake of the ongoing media frenzy surrounding the widespread outings, a large number of C-list and minor celebrities have also confirmed their homosexuality. By 8 a.m. Wednesday, Facts Of Life co-star Nancy McKeon, Journey bassist Ross Valory, Hardcore Pawn star Les Gold, first-ever Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? winner John Carpenter, "Balloon Boy" hoaxer Richard Heene, former Buffalo Sabres forward Yuri Khmylev, and cartoon voice-over artist Rob Paulsen had all come out, and statements were believed to be forthcoming from former Saturday Night Live featured player Beth Cahill, Motel 6 spokesman Tom Bodett, Angry Video Game Nerd star James Rolfe, Chicago Cubs playoff-game spoiler Steve Bartman, Aliens co-star Carrie "Newt" Henn, and Greg "Shock G" Jacobs of Digital Underground.
"These confessions come at the perfect time," said People magazine managing editor Larry Hackett, responding to the initial disclosures as well as to the second and third wave of announcements from Paul Simon, David Blaine, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Prince Harry of Wales, Danny Bonaduce, David Brenner, Mickey Rooney, George Clinton, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. "With American citizens, governments, and companies increasingly overcoming their prejudices and becoming gay-friendly, there is no better time for these stars—or for Val Kilmer, Michelle Kwan, Aaron Sorkin, and Billy Crystal—to come right out and say they're gay."
"Between you and me, I had a feeling about Michael Phelps, Jonathan Franzen, Norah Jones, The Rock, Dick Cavett, Billy Zane, Chick Corea, and Jackie Chan," Hackett added. "But Fiona Apple, Steve Lawrence, and Buck Henry? Wow."
With Western culture shaken to its foundations, President Obama attempted to restore calm, responding with approval to the mass exodus from closets across the nation.
"America is a place that guarantees the pursuit of happiness, whether it's for an anonymous factory worker or openly gay men and women like Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner, Mary-Kate Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Moby, Vivica A. Fox, Gov. Gary Herbert of the great state of Utah, or Matt Lauer," Obama said in a speech yesterday afternoon. "We are long past the days of being shocked at homosexuals in our neighborhoods, our places of work, or even in the White House. Yes, I am gay. And so is my wife, Michelle. And my daughters are lesbians. And we proudly stand alongside David Ortiz, Wes Anderson, Hal Linden, Dr. Joyce Brothers, John Rhys-Davies, Forest Whitaker, Matisyahu, James Garner, Jeff Goldblum, and Lisa Marie Presley."
"And Dionne Warwick," the president added.
"And Freddie Prinze Jr., Nikki Sixx, Drew Barrymore, 50 Cent, Hulk Hogan, Art Bell, Philip Roth, and Penn Jillette," he continued. "And Josh Groban."
Not all reactions have been positive, however. A statement from the Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church warned that "every last member of Satan’s legion of miserable homo sinners, including eight of my 13 children and myself, will not escape God's judgment."
Still, the vast majority of people have been supportive, perhaps none more so than actor Hugh Jackman, who last night tweeted, "2 this week's many out celebs: though I have always been straight, u have my support and admiration."