It’s not a secret that back in the day being anything but straight wasn’t as widely accepted as it is nowadays. Even now members of the LGBTQ+ community face a lot of trouble and discrimination based on their sexuality. In the past it was even worse. So it wasn’t uncommon for gay men to marry women, just because that was the right thing to do. And we don’t mean just average men, famous gay men still married women. We’ve compiled a list of famous gay men who used to be married to women at some point in their life.
1. Elton John
You can hardly shock anyone by telling them that Elton John is gay. It’s a pretty well known fact. But did you know that he was married to Renate Blauel, a German recording engineer for 4 years? They got married in 1984 and divorced in 1988. Since then, Elton John has actually married his current partner David Furnish – twice. In 2005 Elton and David formed a civil partnership, on the day the Civil Partnership Act came into force. In 2014, when gay marriage became legal in the UK, they got married.
2. Ricky Martin
I don’t know if anyone was surprised when Ricky Martin came out in 2010, but you might be surprised by the fact that he’s been in a relationship with a woman on and off for 14 years! And not just any woman, a Mexican model and TV presenter Rebecca de Alba. He’s been dating Jwan Yosef, a painter, since April 2016.
3. Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming is openly bisexual and has been in relationships with both men and women. He’s been with his current partner Grant Shaffer for 11 years now. They first dated for about 2 years, then entered into a civil partnership in 2007 and then finally got married in 2012. He’s also been in a relationship with Nick Philippou for six years prior to this. But did you know that back in the day he’s been married to actress Hilary Lyon for 8 years?
4. Cole Porter
Cole Porter, an American composer and songwriter, married a woman because it was beneficial for both of them. They were married from 1919 until 1954. His wife Linda Lee Thomas, was 8 years older than him, and knew very well that Cole was gay. However, back in the day being gay wasn’t something you could publicly acknowledge, so this offered Cole a safe public image.
5. Little Richard
These days we know that Little Richard is gay, but he’s been called many things before. One magazine once described his as a bisexual alien. He’s been wearing makeup since the 1950s and even performed in drag. He struggled with his sexual orientation from an early age, he was even forced to leave home by his father because of it. Yet from 1959 to 1963 Little Richard was married to a woman named Ernestine Campbell.
6. Peter Allen
Peter Allen was a famous Australian singer, songwriter and entertainer. You might know about him if you’ve seen The Boy From Oz, which is a musical that’s based on his life. In the 70’s when Peter finally became comfortable with his sexuality, he was in a long term relationship with George Connell. But before that, from 1967 to 1994, he was married to the legendary Liza Minnelli.
7. Vincente Minnelli
In a very strange and bizarre turn of events, Liza Minnelli’s father was also gay. He lived an interesting double life. In LA he pretended to be straight, but in New York he was openly gay. However, that didn’t stop him from being married to women 4 times throughout his life. He was married to Judy Garland, Georgette Magnani, Danica Radosavljev and Lee Anderson and had 2 kids.
8. Jack Wrangler
Jack Wrangler, the American actor was openly gay, but married Margaret Whiting in 1994. This is what he had to say about his sexuality and life choices. “I’m not bisexual and I’m not straight. I’m gay, but I could never live a gay lifestyle, because I’m much too competitive. When I was with a guy I would always want to be better than him: what we were accomplishing, what we were wearing—anything. With a woman you compete like crazy, but coming from different points of view, and as far as I’m concerned, that was doable.”
9. Anthony Perkins
This famous American actor was gay and only had same sex relationships all through his 20s and 30’s. Yet at the age of 41 he married Berry Berenson, an American actress, photographer and model. They had 2 kids together and stayed together until Anthony died in 1992.
10. Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde, the well known Irish poet, writer, novelist was also gay. Yet he was married to a woman named Constance Lloyd from 1884 to 1898 and they had 2 kids. However, he was exposed and sued for the crime of “sodomy” and then imprisoned for 2 years. Back in 1880’s being gay was not only frowned upon, but also illegal.