10 Queer Women Who Were Child Stars

So many times we wonder why someone looks familiar, and it turns out we’ve seen them somewhere before. Or maybe you just didn’t know the backstory behind how Lindsay Lohan became a household name, or where Ellen Page got her start. We compiled the earliest roles of some out lesbian, bi and queer women who have either continued acting or switched over to other kinds of work, though all are still in the public eye.

iO Tillett Wrightio-finishedphotos via YouTube/Instagram

The photographer and creator of Self-Evident Truths was often mistaken for a boy and played several young male roles in the films Angela, Trees Lounge, Julian Po, Henry Hill, Shirtsleeves, Cherry and EvenHand.

Julia Weldonjulia-finishedphotos via IMDB/Facebook

The singer once played Meryl Streep’s daughter in Before & After. She also had a role on a 1998 Law & Order episode.

Sheila Kuehlshiela-finishedGetty

The current LA County Supervisor was a lovable tomboy character named Jackie on the 1950s series The Stu Erwin Show. She went on play Zelda Gilroy on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis until 1963. There was spin-off attempt for her character, but Sheila was deemed “too butch” by CBS.

Jodie Fosterjodie-finishedGetty

The Oscar-winner has been acting since 1969, when she had her first role in The Doris Day Show as Jenny Benson in an episode called “The Babysitter.” She got her first starring-role on The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, playing an adorable character named Joey Kelly.

Cynthia Nixoncynthia-finishedGetty

The Sex and the City star first appeared on NBC Special Treat in 1979 before starring in the beloved teen summer camp film Little Darlings alongside Kristy McNichol.

Kristy McNicholkristy-finishedphotos via ChildStarlets.com/Getty

Speaking of, Kristy’s first big role was in the ’70s series Apple’s Way. She continued acting up until the end of Invasion America in 1998.


The out actress famously got her start on The Cosby Show but had even earlier performances on A Different World and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Ellen Pageellen-finalGetty

Ellen’s first part was in a made-for-TV movie called Pit Pony that was so successful it was turned into a full-blown series. 

Lindsay Lohanlindsay-finalphotos via ChildStarlets.com/Getty

Before she landed The Parent Trap, Lilo played Alexandra “Alli” Fowler on soap opera Another World. Her earliest IMDB credit though: “Trick-or-Treater Dressed as Garbage” on The David Letterman Show.

Sara Gilbertsara-finished

Although she was Darlene, Sara Gilbert was a 7-year-old in the 1984 TV movie Calamity Jane.