Celebrating AfterEllen.com’s 10-Year Anniversary: Where were the celesbians in 2002?


As we here at AfterEllen.com celebrate 10 years of being on the internet, we thought we’d take a trip back with some of our favorite out women, some of whom weren’t out at the time, and see how things have evolved for them over the last decade.

Angelina Jolie

In 2002: She was named Sexiest Woman by Vogue and articles dedicated to discussing her appeal to both men and women began cropping up everywhere. She starred in Life or Something Like It and received the inaugural Humanitarian Award by the Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. Angelina also became a mom that year, adopting her first child, Maddox, from Cambodia.

Ellen DeGeneres

In 2002: Her second sitcom, The Ellen Show, was cancelled after 18 episodes. Ellen was dating Alexandra Hedison, who attended the Emmy Awards with her when Ellen appeared as a presenter.

Chely Wright

In 2002: The closeted country star ranked #93 on FHM‘s “100 Sexiest Women of 2002” and #18 of “The 20 Hottest Women in Music 2002.” She was one of 50 most beautiful in People magazine and performed on the CD Clinch Mountain Sweethearts.

Rosie O’Donnell

In 2002: Rosie quit both her talk show and her magazine and came out as a lesbian. It was a tumultuous year, but Ro found time to write a memoir, Find Me, and also play a lesbian mom on Will & Grace.

Wanda Sykes

In 2002: Wanda, who wasn’t out at the time, lent her voice to Crank Yankers on Comedy Central and was an Emmy-winning writer for Inside the NFL.

Evan Rachel Wood

In 2002: Evan had her first of many lesbianish roles as a teen lesbian on Once and Again. Her girlfriend was played by Mischa Barton.

Melissa Etheridge

In 2002: Melissa began dating Tammy Lynn Michaels, which forced the actress to come out of the closet. She also released the musical video, Live… And Alone.

Portia de Rossi

In 2002: The closeted actress was working on her last season of Ally McBeal. From her memoir, An Unbearable Lightness, we also know she was struggling with eating disorders and repressing her sexuality at this time.

Jane Lynch

In 2002: Jane was working as hard as ever with small roles on MDs, 7th Heaven, Family Guy, Felicity and Titus.

Meredith Baxter

In 2002: The closeted actress was dating a woman for the first time this year, but we only know this now from her memoir, Untied, and her discussion of it on the publicity tour for the book. She continued to act and starred in the Hallmark movie A Christmas Visitor.

Heather Matarazzo

In 2002: The not-yet-out actress played a misfit in the gender-switch comedy Sorority Boys and also appeared in Sgt. Sass, as well as The Women (on PBS).

Anna Paquin

In 2002: Anna was in the West End theater production of This is Our Youth and saw the release of two films: Darkness and The 25th Hour. She was not yet publicly out as bisexual.

Lily Tomlin

In 2002: Lily wrapped up a tour of her one-woman show, The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, with her life and writing partner Jane Wagner. Lily then joined cast of The West Wing and made an appearance in Orange County.

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