Cher once jumped out of a bathroom window with her gay friend to escape the police. And if you also didn’t know that you mean as much to her as she means to you, well, now you do. The gay icon of all gay icons expressed just that (see her heartfelt quote below) when she called me in September while promoting her 26th (!!) album, Dancing Queen. Other highlights from this year’s interviews with LGBTQ-identifying and -adjacent Hollywood notables: Anna Kendrick opened up about being sexually fluid, Will & Grace stars Eric McCormack and Sean Hayes chatted about the show’s revival, and powerhouse actress Viola Davis reflected on her queer evolution.
“There’s been sometimes where I was just, you know, heartbroken about things, but it always gives you hope when there are people who think that you’re cute and worthwhile and an artist.” – Cher on her LGBTQ fans
“It’s like your queer uncle that was marching back in ’78: Maybe he doesn’t have the loud voice, maybe he can’t march as fast now, but he is still just as important.” – Eric McCormack on the Will & Grace revival
“Do I care anymore about mass appeal? Do I care about universality if it’s not moving people?” – lesbian musician Brandi Carlile, the most nominated female at this year’s Grammys
“I think I haven’t had that emotional love for a lady, which isn’t saying it could never happen to me, but I think I’m more of an Emily than a Stephanie.” – Anna Kendrick, who played opposite Blake Lively’s sexually fluid Emily in A Simple Favor
“Even as a 13-year-old, I saw my friends be conflicted with their sexuality and religion and I was thinking, ‘OK, something’s wrong here.’” – Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons frontman
“I just wanted to be a beacon for moms who are confused…” – Jennifer Garner on playing the mother of a gay son in Love, Simon.
“If the people are listening to you, you should say something worth hearing.” – Jussie Smollett
“At the time, there was that kind of question when you’d go into the audition: ‘Are you comfortable kissing a guy?’ ‘Yeah, of course.’” – Justin Theroux on playing gay in the late ’90s
“That was a first for me. I can’t say that I’ve walked in on any gay orgies in the past.” – Margot Robbie on the gay orgy in The Wolf of Wall Street
“Who knows how and why and who you pick as your friends, but it’s usually me and all my lovely, dear gay friends that I’ve had forever.” – Melissa McCarthy
“However you define yourself or don’t define yourself, you should be able to do that with total freedom.” – Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye star
“I was always me, but I didn’t always own it. And when I owned it, that’s when I found that I was my strongest.” – Adam Rippon
“If you’re queer, your subjectivity is not in the margins – its front and center for the life you’re leading. But mainstream stories have pushed queer stories into the margins of storytelling…” – Rachel Weisz, star of two lesbian-led films this year, Disobendience and The Favourite.
“There are people on all spectrums of human behavior in the gay community, just like there are people on all spectrums of human behavior in the straight community, so I nix that and I say ‘bye’ to that – I say, ‘bye, Felicia!’ – because that doesn’t make any sense to me.” – Sean Hayes on dismissing those who say Jack is too flamboyant
“So, the thought of going to a program like the one in the film at that crucial, vulnerable moment and being told, ‘No, this is 100 percent back on you, and you’re filling a God-shaped hole in your life with these tendencies’ was one of the most harmful and hurtful things that I can imagine.” – Troye Sivan on his role in Boy Erased.
“I have to say I loved him, so I felt it was on me to shift my thinking and it was up to me to understand him.” – Viola Davis on getting acquinated with the LGBTQ community through her friend Slim