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5 autistic LGBTQ+ celebrities you should know about on World Autism Awareness Day

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MARCH 29: Actor Wentworth Miller attends the "Prison breakout" Screening and conversation at the Paley Center for Media on March 29, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Today (April 2) marks World Autism Awareness Day and is an opportunity to highlight some of the LGBTQ+ celebrities who have spoken openly about their experiences with autism.

World Autism Month takes place every April and aims to provide education about understanding autism and supporting autistic people.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it affects people in different ways. Autism is not a disease or illness, but means that the brain functions differently than others, as noted by the study NHS.

Some features of the disorder can cause people to have difficulty communicating and interacting with others and to take longer to understand information.

This World Autism Awareness Day, people are encouraged to wear blue to show their support.

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, here are five LGBTQ+ celebrities who have spoken publicly about autism.


Wentworth Miller

Actor Wentworth Miller
Prison Break star Wentworth Miller shared in 2021 that he was diagnosed with autism. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Prison breakout Star Wentworth Miller announced in 2021 that he was diagnosed with autism as an adult.

The gay actor, now 51, shared his diagnosis with his 2.1 million Instagram followers, saying it was “a shock but not a surprise.”

“Right now it looks like my work is advancing my understanding,” Miller wrote at the time. “A reconsideration of five decades of lived experience through a new lens. This will take some time.

“In the meantime, I don’t want to risk suddenly being a loud, ill-informed voice in the room. The #autistic community (I know) has been discussed in the past. Spoken for. I don’t want to cause any additional damage. Just to raise my hand and say, ‘I’m here.’ Was (without realizing it).'”

Miller acknowledged his privilege in being able to access a diagnosis, recognizing that this is something that many people don’t get to enjoy.


Bradley Riches

Heartstopper star Bradley Riches wears a red sweater with slicked back hair
“Heartstopper” star Bradley Riches spoke out about autism on “Celebrity Big Brother.” (Antony Jones/Getty Images for Spotify)

Heart stopper Star Bradley Riches opened Celebrity Big Brother about autism and the importance of being yourself.

Riches, 22, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of nine, said the opportunity was there Celebrity Big Brother allowed him to push himself.

In an interview with Metro, he explained that he wants to provide representation for young autistic people.

“I’ve never seen an actor openly autistic, but we’re on the right track with more autistic actors playing autistic roles, which should always be the case, otherwise it’s not a truthful portrayal,” he told the outlet Year 2022.


Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby in the new Netflix show Something Special. (Netflix)
Hannah Gadsby in her 2023 Netflix show “Something Special.” (Getty/Netflix)

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a household name after the release of her groundbreaking comedy special Nanetteand first opened up about her autism diagnosis on the acclaimed 2018 comedy special.

You told PinkNews in 2023: “There’s a lot of outside chaos that I’m trying to summarize.”

“The diagnosis has helped enormously because I now know that I probably don’t always see the whole picture, so it’s quite humorous.”


Josh Thomas

Comedian Josh Thomas was diagnosed with autism at the age of 33
Comedian Josh Thomas was diagnosed with autism at the age of 33. (Mike Pont/WireImage)

Gay comedian and actor Josh Thomas has been praised by the LGBTQ+ community for his portrayal of the lives of gay millennials with a focus on mental health issues in his acclaimed comedy series Please like me. Then came the 2020s Everything will be finea series about a gay entomologist who is diagnosed with autism.

Speak with The guard Speaking about his autism diagnosis at the age of 33, he said: “I was more aware of it [I’m] I’m bad at some things… making people feel comfortable and talking about themselves – I wouldn’t say I’m the top candidate for that job. Which I think gave us some interesting interviews because I’m so direct and no one sounds like they’re bullshitting or being performative.”

The now 36-year-old comedian currently hosts his own podcast titled How to be gay.


Sheldon Riley

Sheldon Riley
Sheldon Riley didn’t let autism stop him from achieving his dreams. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for Hamilton Australia)

Australian singer Sheldon Riley represented Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 with his song “Not the Same,” which addresses his experiences as an autistic and queer person.

The singer was diagnosed with autism at the ages of six, nine and twelve.

Speak with SBS NewsHe shared: “I was told for a long time that I would not be able to behave as a normally functioning human being, get a job, have friends or have a partner.”

He said being chosen to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest was a great validation.

“I’m not just the reality TV guy or someone who dresses up because they love dressing up, I’m a musician. I write my own music, I’m completely independent.”

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