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25 Celebrity Coming Out Stories That Shocked The World

The Huffington Post   Noah Michelson   First Posted: 10/17/11 10:33 AM ET   Updated: 10/17/11 10:33 AM ET

"Star Trek" actor Zachary Quinto's coming out as gay via a profile in New York magazine made a lot of noise this weekend.

Even in 2011, with the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and gay marriage legal in New York, an A-list actor's decision to leave the closet isn't one made hastily or without losing some sleep.

The fear of being shunned by casting directors concerned about a gay actor's ability to convincingly play straight and worries that he or she will end up alienating a major portion of his or her fan base has kept and continues to keep many in Hollywood closeted.

Still, we've come a long way over the past 25 years and as more and more stars make the choice to come out, the LGBT "community" gains new role models, especially important for isolated youth, and greater visibility overall which helps alter, shape, and define the way mainstream society understands and views what it means to be LGBT.

In honor of Quinto's coming out, HuffPost Gay Voices is taking a look at 24 other celebrities who shocked the world by coming out of the closet. Vote on the most shocking and tell us which story surprised you the most in the comments section below.

Jonathan Knight, 2011
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The New Kids On The Block singer was out-ed by fellow '80s teen pop star Tiffany in January 2011 when she revealed she dated Knight before "he became gay later."

In response, Knight posted a message on his website stating in part:
"I have never been outed by anyone but myself! I did so almost twenty years ago. I never know that I would have to do it all over again publicly just because I reunited with NKOTB! I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay!"

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