Nowadays when a big star comes out of the proverbial closet, it's almost a non-event. After all, what's the big deal, right?

Coming out has become much more normalized and accepted in the media (as it should be!). Where it was once almost impossible for a young gay kid or teen to see any representation of themselves on TV or in films, these days the stigmas surrounding what it means to be a gay person in show biz have receded considerably.

Of course, this wasn't always the case. There was once a time where something as natural, normal, and self-realizing as simply coming out could almost destroy an entertainer's career or reputation. When TV actress, comedian, and personality Ellen Degeneres publicly came out back in 1997, it reportedly resulted in a swift public fall from grace, leaving her depressed, frustrated, and unable to find work.

However, with the new millennium came a change in cultural attitudes. After not being able to find work in the entertainment industry for a number of years, The Ellen Degeneres Show was launched in September 2003. Since the 38-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning show's initial airing, Ellen's profile has risen tremendously, making her a beloved figure in the pop culture canon.

But while things are definitely different today, there is still a lot of work to be done. Observed since 2010, GLAAD's National Spirit Day is an annual nation-wide event in which schools, organizations, celebrities, and individuals wear purple to take a collective stand against bullying and violence against LGBT+ youth.

In honor of GLAAD's National Spirit Day, we rounded up a list of inspiring celebrities who have come out as gay or bi-sexual — click through to see all of them.

21 Inspiring Stars Who Have Come Out

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