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  1. PRIDE is commemorated every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in NewYork City, when patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ+Americans were commonly subjected.This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+Americans. This year, I am celebrating PRIDE by sharing bits of our rich history. Every day this month, I will post a series of profiles highlighting LGBTQ+ icons who have made significant contributions to society.Take a moment to learn about these scientists, artists, athletes, activists, business and political leaders whose stories inspire me to live authentically, and to continue the fight for equity and justice, every day. Happy PRIDE 2020! LGBTQ+ ICONS
  2. SYLVIA RIVERA Sylvia Rivera was a queer, Latina, self- identified drag queen who fought tirelessly for transgender rights, as well as for the rights of gender-nonconforming people. After the Stonewall riots, where she was said to have thrown the first brick, Rivera started S.T.A.R. (StreetTransvestiteAction Revolutionaries), a group focused on providing shelter and support to queer, homeless youth. She also fought against the exclusion of transgender people in NewYork’s SexualOrientation Non- DiscriminationAct. She was an activist even on her deathbed, meeting with the Empire State Pride Agenda about trans inclusion. Credit: Valerie Shaff
  3. Credit: MPJ Institute MARSHA P. JOHNSON Marsha P. Johnson was a Black trans woman, a sex worker, and an activist who spent much of her life fighting for equality. She served as a mother figure to the drag queens, trans women, and homeless youth of Christopher Street in NewYork City. She was alongside Sylvia Rivera at the beginning of the Stonewall riots, and together they founded S.T.A.R. Johnson was a central figure in the beginning of the gay liberation movement of the 1970s in the United States.
  4. ALICIA GARZA “It was July 2013 when the world encountered a brilliant, powerful assemblage of words that would come to define a generation. Alicia Garza gifted Black millennials the rallying cry #BlackLivesMatter in the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. She unleashed the power of digital activism to create a movement and revealed to us that a hashtag, a post, an image, and a video shared online could change the course of history. Before joining forces with community organizers Patrisse Cullors-Khan and Opal Tometi, Alicia’s work had already spanned nearly two decades. Drawing inspiration from her childhood growing up in a household with a single mother, the lifelong began her early work with an emphasis on justice. Since then, she has been able to see how the pieces of seemingly disparate issues like economic justice, students’ rights, and police brutality are all intertwined in the fight against state violence.” — Raquel Willis, Out Executive Editor Credit: Jessica Chou
  5. GILBERT BAKER Political activist, designer and flag-maker Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag in 1978. Until then, the pink triangle had been the symbol for the gay movement. But it represented a dark chapter in the history of same-sex rights, as Adolph Hitler conceived the pink triangle during WWII as a stigma placed on homosexuals in the same way the Star of David was used against Jews. Baker and many others felt that we needed something that was positive, that celebrated our love. “The rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope. In the Book of Genesis, it appeared as proof of a covenant between God and all living creatures. It was also found in Chinese, Egyptian and Native American history," said Baker. "A Rainbow Flag would be our modern alternative to the pink triangle. Now the rioters who claimed their freedom at at the Stonewall Bar in 1969 would have their own symbol of liberation.” Credit: Spencer Platt
  6. BRENDA HOWARD “A month after the [Stonewall] riots ended, New York City saw one of the country’s public marches where [LGBTQ+] people proudly, publicly claimed their identities: The Christopher Street Liberation Day March. The parade influenced other cities around the world, laying the groundwork for Pride parades internationally. And Stonewall has become an iconic moment in our collective history, many are unaware that the first Pride parade, the Liberation Day March, was organized by a bisexual woman. A year later, the same woman coordinated the one-year anniversary of the Christopher Street Liberation Day march, sparking what would become a lifelong passion for the late Brenda Howard.” – Eliel Cruz Credit: Efrain Gonzalez
  7. HARVEY MILK Harvey Milk believed that government should represent individuals and ensure equality for all citizens while providing needed services. He encouraged the participation of LGBTQ+ people and other minorities in the political process. The more gay people came out of the closet, he believed, the more their families and friends would support protections for their equal rights. In the years since Milk’s assassination, public opinion has shifted on gay marriage, gays in the military, and other issues, and there have been hundreds of openly LGBTQ+ public officials in America. Yet, the work continues. Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
  8. JAMES BALDWIN James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. activist. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son, explore intricacies of racial, sexual, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, but most notably in mid-20th century US. With his second novel, Giovanni’s Room, he courted controversy because of its explicit depictions of homosexuality, prompting him to first publish it abroad. And although the Civil Rights Act was passed less than a decade later, white supremacy in the form of state- sanctioned violence, spatial segregation, and the war on drugs was still king — and the promise of freedom from oppression, Baldwin understood, was not yet complete. This made his socio-political interventions, especially at the intersection of queerness and Blackness, all the more audacious as he linked the struggles of communities once thought to be in opposition. Credit: Richard Avedon
  9. LENA WAITHE Actor, writer and proud lesbian Lena Waithe is currently on a roll — recently inked an overall deal with Amazon to produce the upcoming horror anthology Them, amongst other original series for the online streaming platform. Besides being the the first Black woman to win the outstanding writing for a comedy series Emmy for Netflix’s Master of None, Waithe has created and executive produced successful shows such as drama series The Chi on Showtime and BET’s Boomerang. Credit: Cara Robbins
  10. LARRY KRAMER Four years after AIDS first made headlines, more than 6,000 Americans had already died. Yet the budget for AIDS research was a fraction of what the U.S. government spent on diseases that were far less threatening. President Ronald Reagan had yet to even say the word AIDS in public. Angered by this inaction that was primarily killing people in the LGBTQ+ community, Larry Kramer founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), an influential direct action protest organization aiming to gain more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP ultimately forced the government and the scientific community to fundamentally change the way medical research is conducted — paving the way for the discovery of a treatment that today keeps alive an estimated half-million HIV-positive Americans and millions more worldwide. Credit: Robert Giard
  11. GAVIN GRIMM Gavin Grimm is a student and transgender rights activist who became famous for the lawsuit fighting the bathroom laws of his former high school in Gloucester, Virginia. He has become a national face for transgender students and currently resides in California. Credit: Scout Tufankjian
  12. BAYARD RUSTIN Bayard Rustin was a close friend and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. However, because he was an openly gay man, he did not receive wide recognition for his integral role in the civil rights movement. Rustin’s sexuality was used against him and Dr. King by opposing parties, who threatened to spread lies about their relationship. This forced Rustin to work in the shadows to prevent bringing further controversy to both Dr. King and the March on Washington. Despite this, Rustin still remained a political and gay activist, working to bring the AIDS crisis to the NAACP’s attention. Credit: Eddie Adams
  13. WILLIAM DORSEY SWANN Born in Maryland around 1858, William Dorsey Swann endured slavery, the Civil War, racism, police surveillance, torture behind bars, and many other injustices. But beginning in the 1880s, he not only became the first American activist to lead a queer resistance group; he also became, in the same decade, the first known person to dub himself a “queen of drag”—or, more familiarly, a drag queen. During that time, Swann organized a series of balls in Washington, D.C., where men who were former slaves would gather to dance in their satin and silk dresses. Years later, these events would inspire the “ball culture,” an underground LGBTQ+ subculture that originated in 1920s New York City, in which people "walk" for trophies, prizes, and glory at events known as balls. This important part of the our LGBTQ+ history inspired the documentary Paris Is Burning, FX’s Pose and, more recently, HBOMax’s Legendary. IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE
  14. ALPHONSO DAVID Alphonso David became the first person of color to lead the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the country’s largest LGBTQ+ rights group. He was also the first Black and openly gay man to serve as chief counsel to the governor of New York. During his time as a staff attorney for Lambda Legal in the mid-2000s, David also worked on New York’s first marriage equality case, Hernandez v. Robles. Credit: HRC
  15. SHERYL SWOOPES Sheryl Swoopes was one of the first first women to be drafted into the WNBA, and she has three Olympic gold medals. More notably, some refer to her as the Michael Jordan of the WNBA. In 2005, she came out as gay. "I was at a point in my life where I am just tired of having to pretend to be somebody I am not," Swoopes told The New York Times. "I was basically living a lie. lie. For the last seven, eight years, I was waiting to exhale." Swoopes retired from the sport in 2011. Credit: Bill Baptist
  16. BRIAN SIMS Brian Sims is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is also also a lawyer and an activist on LGBTQ+ civil rights. Sims is the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history. The son of two retired Army lieutenant colonels, Sims came out to his football team after helping to lead them to the Division II national championship game as their captain. He remains the only former NCAA football captain to have ever come out, and is one of the most notable collegiate athletes to do so in any sport. He is dedicated to making Philadelphia safer, strengthening and protecting public education, preserving services for seniors and other vulnerable Pennsylvanians, making affordable health care more available, expanding expanding civil rights for all Pennsylvanians, preserving our environment while investing in alternative energy, creating jobs and cleaning up Harrisburg. Credit: NBC News
  17. RUPAUL The multi-talented RuPaul burst onto our screens in 2009 with the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — popular reality show in which drag queens compete for the title of America’s next drag superstar, as well as a cash prize. Since then, RuPaul Andre Charles has produced and hosted the reality competition series, for which he has received six Primetime Emmy Awards. Considered to be the most commercially successful drag queen in the United States, RuPaul has been credited with creating wider wider exposure for drag queens and LGBTQ+ into mainstream society. In 1999, RuPaul was awarded the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards for work in promoting equality in the LGBTQ+ community. In 2017, he was included in annual Time 100 list of the most influential people the world. Credit: Press
  18. MARK FINLEY Mark Finley has been the Artistic Director of The Other Side of Silence (TOSOS) since its revival in 2002. NYC’s oldest and longest-producing LGBTQ+ theater company, TOSOS is “dedicated to to an honest and open exploration of the life experience and cultural sensibility of the LGBTQ+ community, and to preserving and promoting our literary past in a determined effort to keep our theatrical heritage alive.” Finley has directed many many of its acclaimed and award-winning productions, including Doric Wilson’s A Perfect Relationship (OOBR award). He made his off- off-Broadway directorial debut with Chris Penny Penniworth. His work has been seen locally, locally, regionally and internationally. Finley is an actor, an author and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
  19. CHRIS E.VARGAS Chris E.Vargas is the Executive Director of the Museum ofTransgender History & Art (MOTHA), an arts and history institution highlighting the contributions of trans art to the cultural and political landscape.Vargas is also a video maker and interdisciplinary artist. His work explores the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical and institutional memory and popular culture. He earned his MFA in the department of Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2008-2013, in collaboration with GregYoumans, he made the web- based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love...with Chris and Greg. Episodes of the series have screened at at numerous film festivals and art venues, including MIX NYC, SF Camerawork, and theTate Modern.With Eric Stanley,Vargas co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2015) which have been screened at Palais deTokyo, LACE, Centre for ContemporaryArtsGlasgow, and the New Museum, among other venues.
  20. CAMDEN ADOR Camden is a trans person and visual artist. After serving in the US Navy, he moved to NYC to pursue a degree in visual arts with a concentration in photography. Right now his focus is in LGBTQ+ portraiture and exploring, through photography, the many facets of sexual and gender identity. He hopes his work continues to not only challenge society’s obsession with gender but also to provide a source of education, showing that identity goes far beyond the binary.
  21. RENATO BARUCCO Renato Barucco is a writer and public health advocate who coordinates research studies on gender and sexuality at Columbia University. He has extensive experience implementing and managing transgender health programs in underserved New York City neighborhoods, including the development of HIV/AIDS education and cultural competency training curricula. Barucco was the recipient of the 2013 George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader award. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Not One of Us, Storyscape Literary Journal, Adelaide Literary Magazine, and
  22. AIMEE STEPHENS Aimee Stephens was the first transgender person whose civil rights case was heard by the Supreme Court, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented her. Her case concerns the question of whether federal law prohibiting employment discrimination applies to transgender employees. "If you're part of the human race, which we all are, all deserve the same basic rights,” Stephens said. “We're not asking for anything special. We're just asking to be treated like other people are." Credit: Paul Sancya
  23. RYAN O’CONNELL Actor-writer Ryan O'Connell stars in Special, a semi-autobiographical series series based on his memoir. He plays Ryan, a gay man with cerebral palsy who decides to do away with his identity as an accident victim and go after the life that he wants. After years of dead-end internships, blogging in his pajamas and mainly communicating through text, Ryan figures out how to take his life from bleak to chic as he gets ready to start limping toward adulthood. O'Connell serves as an executive producer on the comedy series, along with The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons.
  24. LINDSAY CHURCH Lindsay Church is the Executive Director and co- founder of Minority Veterans of America. After serving in the Navy as a linguist as an LGBTQ+ service member under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Church was medically retired in 2012. She began her work with veterans in 2014 and has since worked in higher education, traditional veteran service organizations, congressional advocacy, and more. Despite taking great pride in her work, through the years, she noticed that there were many people being left out of the veteran community. In 2017, Church resigned her as the Commander of an American Legion post to, to, along with co-founder Katherine Pratt, start the Minority Veterans of America (MVA), an organization dedicated to creating community belonging and advancing equity for minority veterans. The primary communities MVA serves are veterans of color, women, LGBTQ+, and (non)religious minority veterans. Credit: MVA
  25. FRIDA KAHLO Frida Kahlo was a gifted painter who was openly bisexual. She used her medium to depict taboo topics, like female sexuality, pain, and feminine beauty standards, primarily through self-portraits. She also honored indigenous Mexican culture through her art, which drew the attention of Mexican painter Diego Rivera. Rivera became her patron and the two eventually married. During their marriage, Kahlo was known to have affairs with men and women, including Josephine Baker and Leon Trotsky. Credit: Imogen Cunningham
  26. ANNE KRONENBERG Anne Kronenberg is an American political administrator and LGBTQ+ rights activist who is best known for being Harvey Milk's campaign manager during his historic San Francisco Board of Supervisors campaign in 1977, and his aide as he held that office until he and mayor George Moscone were assassinated.As an openly lesbian political activist, Kronenberg was noted for her instrumental role in the gay rights movement, both for Milk's campaign and in her own right. In 2018, Kronenberg retired from her post as the executive director of the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. She is known globally through her public appearances in her role as co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Credit: Joyce Garay
  27. DAVID HOCKNEY Artist David Hockney's career flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, when he flitted between London and California, where he enjoyed an openly gay lifestyle with friends like Andy Warhol and Isherwood. Much of his work, including the famous Pool Paintings, featured explicitly gay imagery and themes. In 1963, he painted two men together in the painting ‘Domestic Scene, Los Angeles,’ one showering while the other washes his back. He is considered one of the most most influential British artists of the 20th century. Credit: Andy Warhol
  28. PATRICIO MANUEL Patricio Manuel started boxing professionally as a woman in the early 2000s and made a name for himself, becoming a USA National Amateur Boxing Champion. When he transitioned and came out as trans, he lost his coach and his gym in the process. "It hurt a lot … gyms are our safe space," Manuel told The Guardian. "To have someone basically say you can be here, but no one can know you're here, I don't live my life like that. I will never compromise who I to make someone feel comfortable." In In 2018, Manuel fought Hugo Aguilar in a professional match, and he won, becoming the first openly transgender boxer in the US. Credit: Everlast
  29. MORGANA BAILEY After hiding her true self for 16 years, Morgana Bailey came out in a TED Talk sponsored by her internationally-reputed employer in front of an audience of her co-workers. Overnight, she became a human resources and human rights activist. In her brave TED Talk, Bailey uttered four words that had been paralyzing to her, “I am a lesbian.” But why speak up? Because she realized that her silence had personal, professional and societal consequences. As a global HR leader, Bailey Bailey collaborates with people across her organization as corporate policies, regulatory requirements and related employee data requirements continually evolve. Her career experiences have confirmed that the only constant is change, and one’s ability (or inability) to adapt can generate profound long-term outcomes. “I want to see the diversity of society reflected in the workplace.” Credit: TED
  30. INDYA MOORE Indya Moore started as a model, but they really made a name for themselves when they were cast as Angel on FX's Pose. As a trans and non- binary person, they became a mainstream success, booking even more modeling gigs and eventually becoming Elle's first trans cover model. In that cover story, Moore said activism is one of the most important parts of their life. "When I'm around people having conversations about their day, I'm looking at them, like, 'What could they possibly be talking about? How are we not talking about deconstructing white supremacy right now? How are we not trying to save trans people?'" Moore told Elle. "I don't know who I am outside of someone who's just trying to be free and find safety for myself and for others." Credit: Thomas Whiteside
  31. ROB SMITH Rob Smith grew up as a young boy who was a little feminine, rather artistic, and very sensitive. And that side did not fit squarely into the norms and expectations of society. So, he decided to suppress suppress his unique personality and manifest an entirely different version of himself. Why? Because it was easier to be the cool kid rather than the isolated one. Fast forward 30 years: Rob is the Founder of The Phluid Project: The first retail brand that does not stick to the binary definition of of gender — and is on a mission to build a brand that exists to empower individuals to express themselves openly, without judgment or fear.
  32. ERIN URITUS Erin Uritus is the CEO of Out & Equal, the premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equality. Through worldwide programs, Fortune 500 partnerships, and annual Workplace Summit conference, Out & Equal helps LGBTQ+ people thrive and support organizations creating a culture of belonging for all. Throughout her entire career, Uritus has worked to help mission- driven organizations and their staff partner with and energize stakeholders to achieve extraordinary impact, navigate through historical challenges and opportunities, and and become healthier and happier along the way.
  33. WILFRED OWEN Wilfred Owen was one of the leading poets of WWI. Through fellow soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon, Owen was introduced to a sophisticated homosexual literary circle which broadened his outlook and increased his confidence in incorporating homoerotic elements into his work, including a reference to Shadwell Stair, a popular cruising spot for gay men in the early 20th Century. Sassoon and Owen kept in touch during the war in 1918 they spent an afternoon together. Three weeks later, Owen bid farewell to Sassoon as he was on the way back to France. Sassoon waited for word from Owen but was told that he was killed in action exactly one week before the signing of the Armistice Armistice which ended the war. He was only 25. Throughout his life and for decades after, accounts of his sexuality were obscured by his brother, Harold, who had removed any discreditable passages in Owen’s letters and diaries after the death of their mother.
  34. FRANCES FREI A professor at the Harvard Business School, Frances Frei formerly served as Uber's first SVP of leadership and strategy. strategy. Her work at Uber focused on building a world-class leadership team, fostering leadership at all levels of the organization, and guiding the clear articulation of strategy and planning. Frei has been central to Uber’s cultural transformation. Her research examines how leaders create the context for organizations and individuals to thrive. She is the best-selling author of Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Your Business. She received her PhD from from the Wharton School.
  35. TROY PERRY In 1968, Reverend Troy Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, one of the first to specifically minister to LGBTQ+ people. He has become an internationally recognized spiritual leader and one of the world's leading activists for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people. In 1984, Rev. Perry completed a one- hour video on the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, titled "God Gays & The Gospel: This Is Our Story" which is available for broadcast on local public access stations.
  36. DEREK JARMAN Derek Jarman was an English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener, and author. For a generation he was a hugely influential, high-profile figure at a time when there very few famous out gay men. His art was an extension of his social and personal life and he used his platform as a campaigner and created a unique body of inspiring work. He founded the organization at the London Lesbian and Gay Centre at Cowcross Street, attending meetings and making contributions. Jarman participated in some of the best-known known protests including the march on Parliament in 1992. In 1986, he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and discussed his condition in public. In 1994, he died of an AIDS-related illness in London. Credit: Howard Sooley
  37. LILI ELBE Lili Elbe was a Danish transgender woman who was among the early recipients of gender reassignment surgery. Born Einar Magnus Wegener, Lili was a successful painter under that name. During this time, she also presented as Lili and was introduced publicly as Einar's sister. In 1930, Elbe went to Germany for gender reassignment surgery, which was highly experimental at the time. A series of four operations were carried out over a period of two years. After successfully transitioning, she changed her legal name to Lili Ilse Elvenes and stopped painting altogether. The name Lili Elbe was given to her by Copenhagen journalist Louise Lassen. Lili’s life was brought to the big screen in the 2015 movie The Danish Girl.
  38. TIM COOK American business executive and industrial engineer Timothy Donald Cook is the chief executive officer of of Apple, and previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its cofounder Steve Jobs. In 2014, Cook became the first chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to publicly come out as gay. Cook also serves on the boards of directors of Nike, Inc., the National Football Foundation, and is is a trustee of Duke University. In March 2015, he said he planned to donate his entire stock fortune to charity. Credit: Apple
  39. FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE Florence Nightingale was a British social reformer, statistician, and the founder of modern modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she care for wounded soldiers. Nightingale also loved three women passionately, according to 1993 book Superstars: Twelve Lesbians Who Changed the World. This reportedly included included her cousin, Marianna Nicholson. The 19th century British icon was apparently so in love with Marianna that she pretended to be her brother Henry in order to avoid the judgment of others. Nightingale, who never married, also enjoyed intimate relationships with her aunt Mai and cousin Hilary.
  40. ERNESTINE ECKSTEIN Ernestine Eckstein was an African American woman who helped steer the US US LGBTQ+ rights movement during the 1960s. As a leader in the New York of Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), her influence helped the DOB move away from negotiating with medical professionals and towards tactics of public demonstrations. Her understanding of, and work in, the civil rights movement lent valuable experience on public protest to the lesbian and gay movement. In the 1970s she became involved in the Black feminist movement, in particular the organization Black Women Organized for Action (BWOA). Credit: Kay Tobin
  41. ANDY WARHOL Andy Warhol was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art. He lived openly as a gay man before the gay liberation movement. In an interview in 1980, he indicated that he was still a virgin but in 1960 he received hospital treatment for condylomata, a sexually transmitted disease. Throughout his career, Warhol produced erotic photography and drawings of male nudes. Many of his most famous works draw from gay underground culture or openly explore the complexity of sexuality and desire. The first works that Warhol submitted to a fine art gallery, homoerotic drawings of male nudes, were rejected for being too openly gay. After gallbladder surgery, Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia in 1987. His work sells for of millions of dollars.
  42. THOMAS PAGE MCBEE Thomas Page McBee is an author, film and TV writer, reporter, and “questioner of masculinity.” His Lambda award-winning debut memoir, Man Alive, was named best book of the year by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His “refreshing [and] radical” follow-up, Amateur, explores the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence with a beginner’s mind. In the course of reporting the book, McBee became the first transgender man to ever fight in Madison Square Garden. Amateur was shortlisted for the UK’s Baillie-Gifford nonfiction book prize and the Wellcome Book Prize, named a best book of 2018 by many publications, and translated into multiple languages. McBee speaks internationally on the intersection of gender and culture. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife. Credit: Michael Sharkey
  43. SELMA LAGERLÖF Selma Lagerlöf was the first female writer to ever be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she won in 1909. In 1992, the Swedish author’s letters to her Jewish lover and fellow writer, Sophie Elkan, were published in a book, Du lär mig att bli fri. This Swedish title translates to: “You teach me to be free.” The women started a relationship relationship after meeting in 1894, and stayed together until Elkan died in 1921, writing thousands of letters to other in the meantime. In one of these, Lagerlöf tells her beloved: “I have you with me everywhere, see you and hear you and live with you. Once I can’t do that anymore, I will long for you. In any case, I can’t thank you enough for these past days.” Lagerlöf was also the first woman to ever feature feature on a Swedish banknote, gracing the 20 kronor note when it was created in 1991.
  44. HUNTER SCHAFER Hunter Schafer's only acting credit to date is her role as Jules on HBO's Euphoria. Though her acting resume is resume is small, it's impactful. Her character is one of the only trans characters onTV that doesn't actually struggle with her identity. "There need to be more roles where trans people aren't just dealing with being trans; they're being trans while dealing with other issues," Schafer told Variety. "We're so much more complex than just one identity." Credit: Dan Wong
  45. JASON PAUL COLLINS In 2013, Jason Paul Collins made history when he became the first person to openly come out in any of the the four major professional sports. When he was a Washington Wizards center, he broke the news in an article in Sports Illustrated, writing, "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation," he said. "I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand." The following year, Collins retired from the NBA after 13 seasons in the league.
  46. FRANK KAMENY One of the earliest gay rights activists, Frank Kameny is known today for protesting after being fired from a US government job for being gay. He led an "Annual Reminder" picket protest for gay rights in Philadelphia until 1969. He was active in the Mattachine Society of Washington, DC, and he and Gittings were active in persuading the American Psychiatric Association to delist homosexuality as mental disorder in 1973. Credit: Chuck Kennedy
  47. PHYLLIS LYON & DEL MARTIN Dorothy Louise Taliaferro "Del" Martin and Phyllis Ann Lyon were an American lesbian couple known as feminist and gay- rights activists. They had been together for three years when they cofounded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in San Francisco in 1955, which became the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States. They both acted as president and editor of The Ladder until 1963, and remained involved in the DOB until joining the National Organization for Women (NOW) as the first lesbian couple to do so. Credit: Clem Albers
  48. SELISSE BERRY Selisse Berry is the founder of Out & Equal, an LGBTQ+ workplace equality non-profit organization that provides training and resources to LGBTQ+ employees and corporations alike through advocacy, training programs and events. Under her leadership, the organization grew with dramatic increases in attendance at the annual Workplace Summit and the expansion of programs and global initiatives. Berry’s clear and unwavering vision has been instrumental creating an international organization whose philosophy reflects the importance of treating all colleagues in the workplace with respect and dignity. Since her first job as a guidance counselor, Berry has continued her commitment to justice as a teacher and as a leader of several social service organizations. organizations. She has master’s degrees in education and theology from the University of Texas and San Francisco Theological Seminary, respectively. Berry and her wife, Cynthia Martin, were legally married California in 2008. Credit: Todd Johnson
  49. ORLANDO CRUZ In 2012, Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer from Puerto Rico, announced he was gay. “I don't want to hide any of my identities," he told ESPN. "I want people to to look at me for the human being that I am. I am a professional sportsman that always brings his best to the ring. I want for people to continue to see me for my boxing skills, my character, my sportsmanship. But I also want kids who suffer from bullying to know that you can be whoever you want to be in life, including a professional boxer, that anything is possible and that who you are or whom you love should not be an impediment to achieving anything in life." In 2016, he dedicated a match to the victims of the gay nightclub shooting at Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
  50. FALLON FOX In 2013, Fallon Fox came out in a series of interviews for Sports Illustrated and Outsports, becoming the first transgender woman in MMA fighting history. But her coming out did not go well. Instead, it sparked widespread criticism and controversy, leaving many to question if she should be allowed to fight cis women. "It took me about a year to understand and to feel the support from the transgender community," Fox told The Guardian. "Because heck, they're scared. scared. Some of them support me, but they're scared of showing up at my fights because of this. But I did have a fight where people came to support me and that's all I needed. I needed to know for certain that I had someone I was fighting for besides myself." Credit: Vince Wasseluk
  51. MEGAN SMITH A few years into President Obama’s second term, Megan Smith left a cushy executive role at Google to become the country’s third Chief Technology Officer (CTO), a position Obama created when he first took office. Smith was the first woman in that role. While there, she helped spearhead initiatives such as TechHire, which aimed to develop new tech talent in rural communities, and Computer Science for All, which increased federal and encouraged state and local leaders to invest in improving computer science training for K-12 students. Google, Smith started the group Women Techmakers and supported a number of other diversity and inclusion initiatives—an echo of her earlier work as the CEO of PlanetOut, a media company for the LGBTQ+ community that used to own Out magazine and The Advocate. These days, Smith is at the helm of Shift7, a company working to address systemic social, environmental, and economic problems by bringing together tech innovators across the world. Credit: Ariel Zambelich
  52. TITUSS BURGESS Tituss Burgess is an American actor and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway musicals and is known for his high tenor voice. He is best known for starring as Titus Andromedon on the Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for which he has received four consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations. He received the HRC Visibility Award at the 2015 St. Louis Gala. Credit: Jeff Mills
  53. RYAN MURPHY Ryan Patrick Murphy is an American screenwriter, director, and producer who is best known for creating producing a number of television series, such as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens, Pose, 9-1- Credit: Jesse Cramer
  54. MJ RODRIGUEZ Before landing her role on Pose, MJ Rodriguez appeared in shows like Nurse Jackie and The Diaries. But it's her role as Blanca Rodriguez on Rodriguez on Pose that really catapulted her into the spotlight. Rodriguez told Metro that she sees this newfound attention as an opportunity to represent the trans community. "[It's] invigorating in a way we get to be ourselves and live out loud. Intimidating because there are so many things that that come our way. And with what we have to deal with and the responsibilities that we have, [it] can be a little overwhelming," she told Metro. "Just making sure that we speak for our community in the right way and that we do the work that needs to be done that a lot of people out there aren't doing. Whether through our craft or speaking on a platform that we need to be speaking on." Credit: Getty
  55. CHELLA MAN Chella Man, a prominent Jewish-Chinese YouTuber and actor who played superhero Jericho in the DC Universe series Titans, is known for sharing his experiences being transgender, Deaf and genderqueer. He’s also given a powerful talk at a TedX Conference called “Becoming Him” and is an outspoken activist for changing the disparity of roles in Hollywood for both disabled and transgender actors. He uses his Instagram as a platform for for acknowledging others identifying as trans and/or disabled and sharing sweet, sometimes sometimes sexually empowering photos of himself and his girlfriend, photographer and performance artist MaryV Benoit. Credit: Ryan Duffin
  56. JUSTIN HALL Justin Hall is an American cartoonist and educator who has written and illustrated autobiographical and erotic comics. He edited the Lambda Literary Award-winning, Eisner- nominated No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, which he’s now producing as a feature-length documentary film. Most recently, he conceived and co-edited the anthology Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers. Hall curated the world’s first museum show of LGBTQ+ comics at the S.F. Cartoon Art Museum, as well as co-curated the largest such show at the Schwules Museum in Berlin. He is the first Fulbright Scholar of Comics, an Associate Professor of Comics at California College of the Arts, and the co- organizer of the Queers & Comics Conference. Hall is on the boards of the non-profits Prism Comics (supporting LGBTQ+ comics) and Siewphewyeung/Our Books (supporting Cambodian comics), and has written chapters on both LGBTQ+ comics and erotic comics for the Routledge Companion to Comics and the Cambridge History of the of the Graphic Novel.
  57. LEANNE PITTSFORD It’s no secret that tech has a gender diversity issue, but recruiting efforts often overlook an important segment of of women: members of the LGBTQ+ community. Leanne Pittsford is fighting daily to change that. In 2012, she founded Lesbians Who Tech & Allies to create networking opportunities and increase visibility for queer women in the industry. Today the group is the largest LGBTQ+ community of technologists in the world, world, with 60,000 members and 40-plus city chapters. Lesbians Who Tech & Allies helps further the careers of its members through scholarships, mentoring, and leadership programs. Its annual San Francisco Summit draws more than 6,000 women, nonbinary people, and allies. It’s also the largest event for women in tech in California. In 2017, Pittsford expanded her mission by creating the job-listing and networking platform To date, Lesbians Who Tech has connected diverse talent with more than 600,000 open jobs.
  58. NANCY CÁRDENAS Playwright and director Nancy Cárdenas is thought to be one of the first Mexican people to openly come out on television. Much of her work revolved around her lesbian identity, writing collections of poetry and plays addressing gay and lesbian themes. Cárdenas was also an activist activist who helped start the fight against gay prejudice in Mexico and fought for equal rights for everyone, no matter their sexuality.
  59. SIMON NKOLI Simon Nkoli is seen by many as the central hero of the gay and lesbian struggle in South Africa. He was an apartheid, gay rights, and HIV/AIDS activist who founded the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW). In 1990, Nkoli and GLOW organized the first Pride March in Johannesburg. They also played an integral role in convincing African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling political party, to recognize gay and lesbian rights in the country. Five years later, Nkoli declared his HIV positive status and began working to destigmatize HIV/AIDS.
  60. IFTI NASIM Ifti Nasim was a gay Pakistani poet who moved to the United States to avoid persecution for his sexuality. His collection of poems, Narman, is thought to be the first gay-themed book of poetry written and published in Urdu. He also founded SANGAT/Chicago, an organization which supported the South Asian LGBTQ community. Nasim was honored in 1996 by being inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.
  61. JÓHANNA SIGURÐARDÓTTIR Former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir made history as the first openly LGBTQ+ leader of a nation, but to many of her constituents she was just another leader. “Most Icelanders saw nothing unusual about a lesbian prime minister,” writesTrudy Ring for The Advocate.The country had repealed laws against gay sex in 1940, when it was a dependency of Denmark. In 1996 it became one of the first nations in the world to establish civil partnerships for same- sex couples. In 2006 it followed up by approving adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples. In 2010, a year into Sigurdardóttir’s tenure as prime minister, Iceland passed a marriage equality law. She and her partner, author Jonina Leosdóttir, were one of the first couples to take advantage of it.The women, both divorced mothers, had been in a civil partnership since 2002. Sigurðardóttir left office in 2013.
  62. MISS MAJOR GRIFFIN-GRACY Miss Major Griffin-Gracy has dedicated 50 years of her life to organizing for trans women of color. She is a veteran of the Stonewall riots, a survivor of AtticaCorrectional Facility, and the founding executive director ofTransgender,GenderVariant, Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), a nonprofit that centers and supports trans, gender- nonconforming, and intersex people in and out of prisons, jails, and detention centers.A few years ago, Griffin-Gracy moved from the comfort of home in San Francisco toArkansas, where she heard a call to help the trans community build a stronger movement. In Little Rock, she’s building the Griffin-Gracy Education Retreat and Historical Center, lovingly known as the House of GG. Credit: Mickalene Thomas
  63. CARLOS HUBER Carlos Huber is a Mexican architect and perfumer who is greatly inspired by historical objects and buildings such as the Palace of Versailles and the works of Theodore Gericault. Huber moved to New York in 2006 to study historic preservation at Columbia University. Recently, he launched Arquiste, a line of perfumes that reflects his love for historical elements. Credit: Arquiste
  64. BILLIE JEAN KING Billie Jean King is one of the most famous names in professional tennis. Over the course of her career, she earned 39 Gram Slam titles from 1966 to 1975. She also beat Bobby Riggs in the famous "Battle of the Sexes" match. In 1981, King was outed as a lesbian, and her publicists told her to deny the claim. "I said: 'I'm going to do it. I don't care. This is important to me to tell the truth.'" King told NBC News 44 years later. "The one thing my mother always said, 'To thine own self be true.'" Credit: AP
  65. RICKY MARTIN Enrique Martín Morales, better known as Ricky Martin, is a Puerto Rican singer, actor, and author who is known as the "King of Latin Pop." Once evasive about his private life, Martin came out in 2010 on his website, where he wrote "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am." An activist for many causes, he founded the Ricky Martin Foundation in 2000 as a child advocacy organization. The group runs the People for Children project, which fights child exploitation. Through his foundation, Martin also supports efforts by other charitable organizations. He has received numerous awards for his philanthropic work, including the 2005 International Humanitarian Award from the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He and his husband Jwan Yosef, an artist who was born in Syria and raised in Sweden, are raising four children.
  66. JIM PARSONS Actor Jim Parsons studied his craft at the University of Houston and the University of San Diego. Following a series of small film and TV roles, he rocketed to fame as the socially stunted but brilliant theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, winning four Lead Actor Emmy Awards during the hit sitcom's 12-year Along with appearing in films like The Muppets and Hidden Figures, Parsons has earned acclaim for his performances in Broadway productions of The Normal Heart and The Boys in the Band. For Credit: Michael Lewis
  67. NICOLE MAINES Before acting, Nicole Maines was the subject of several documentaries that focused on the trans experience. In 2016, she was profiled in HBO's The Trans List, and in 2018, she was profiled again in again in Not Your Skin. She then moved into becoming the first trans superhero on TV, playing reporter named Nia Nal on CW's Supergirl. The character is eventually turned into a superhero named Dreamer. "I've been doing a lot of auditions lately because a lot of different shows have been really eager to tell the story of transgender people," people," Maines said at Comic Con. "It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to. I wish there was a trans superhero when I was little." Credit: Robert Hanashiro
  68. MATT ALBER Matt Alber is a Portland-based singer/ songwriter, filmmaker and youth advocate. In 2014, Lincoln Center in New York him to perform on their esteemed American American Songbook series, which garnered a printed review by the New York Times. In 2015, he was selected by the U.S. State Department as a musical ambassador to Russia, Hungary, Kosovo and to Sudan, Africa where he taught recording arts & sciences to young artists in Khartoum. Alber Credit: Stuart Gregory
  69. ALOK VAID-MENON A gender non-conforming poet and performance artist, ALOK Vaid- Menon is known for their bold, eccentric sartorial choices. In 2017 they received a Live Works Performance Act Grant and released a book of poetry called Femme In Public, saying the chapbook “is a a dream of what it could look like to celebrate transfemininity in public — both in ourselves and for the people who desire us (by which I mean: everyone, across time, always)." On Instagram, ALOK spotlights genderqueer and gender fluid activists as well as plenty of photos of of their iconic, quirky style. Credit: Bronson Farr
  70. STEVE ENDEAN Steve Endean played a pivotal role in the foundation of the Human Rights Campaign and served as its first treasurer. Earlier, in 1978 he had moved toWashington, DC to serve as Executive Director and lobbyist of the Gay Rights National Lobby, which then merged with HRC in 1985. He also served as the first president of the Right to Privacy Foundation (RPF), a predecessor to HRC’s education and policy units. In 1986, Endean founded the Fairness Fund to generate high volumes of citizen mailgrams and letters to members of Congress at pivotal moments in the legislative process. In 1988, this organization also merged with HRC. Endean died from complications relating toAIDS at the age of 44.
  71. KELLY RAKOWSKI Photo editor-by-day Kelly Rakowski is also somewhat of an internet sensation, first with the creation of a lesbian culture Instagram account called @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, in which she posts photos of lesbian culture from the 1800s to early 2000s. Her next endeavor was Personals — a text-only queer dating platform that’s supposed to provide users with the opposite experience they might have on an application like Tinder, a kind of “slow dating” that allows people to connect based on similar traits instead of looks alone. The Personals Instagram features a plethora of the often quippy, well-spoken personal ads you can find on the dating platform and are very fun to read. Credit: Cait Oppermann
  72. BILLY PORTER The iconic Billy Porter is perhaps best known for his leading role as Pray Tell on the FX series Pose, for which he was nominated for both a Critic’s Choice Award and a Golden Globe, but Porter actually got his start in musical theater. He’s performed in a number of Broadway shows such as Grease and Dreamgirls, but is most famous for his role as role as Lola in the Broadway adaptation of Kinky Boots, for which he won both a Tony and a Grammy. Porter is also known for his statement-making, gender-bending red carpet looks such as a red velvet and pink tulle uterus suit wore to the 73rd Annual Tony Awards in support of reproductive rights. Credit: Shavonne Wong
  73. GUS KENWORTHY In 2014, Gus Kenworthy won the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic games for skiing. Just a year later, the freeskier made headlines again when he came out. He tweeted a picture of himself on the cover of ESPN magazine with the words, "I am gay." "Wow, it feels good to write those words," Kenworthy said on Facebook at the time. "For most of my life, I've been afraid to embrace that truth about myself. Recently though, I've gotten to the point where the pain of holding onto the lie is greater than the fear of letting go, and I'm very proud to finally be letting my guard down." Credit: Kevin Jairaj
  74. ALAN TURING Mathematician Alan Turing played a pivotal role cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial moments. In so doing, he helped win WWII. In 1952, Turing was convicted for having relationship with 19-year-old Arnold Murray. At the time it was illegal to engage in gay sex, and Turing underwent chemical castration. He took his own life at the age of 41 after using cyanide to poison an apple. Turing was posthumously pardoned, which led to new legislation pardoning all gay men under historical gross indecency laws. That provision is informally known as the "Alan Turing law." Turing was named ‘The Greatest Person of the 20th Century’ following a public vote on the BBC last year.
  75. COLETTE The French author and legend Sidonie- Gabrielle Colette, better known as Colette, lived openly as a bisexual woman and had relationships with many prominent queer ladies, Napoleon’s niece Mathilde ‘Missy’ de Morny. Police were called to the Rouge back in 1907 when Colette and Missy shared a kiss on the iconic stage. Best known for her novel Gigi, Colette also wrote the Claudine series, which follows the titular character who ends up despising her husband and has an affair with another woman. Colette died in 1954 at the age of 81.
  76. JOHNNY WEIR Johnny Weir is considered a superstar in world of figure skating. He first made a name for himself on the international field at the Olympic games in 2006 and 2010. Since then, Weir crossed into mainstream media, appearing in his own reality show called Be Good Johnny Weir, and hosting several lifestyle talk show segments. In 2011, he published his memoir in which he came out as gay. "I wear my sexuality the same as I wear my sex or my skin color. It is something that simply is and something I was born into," Weir tweeted in 2018. "I extremely lucky to grow up in a family/community of acceptance and perhaps that's why I don't see my sexuality as something that needs addressing. I am forever indebted however, to the warriors who came before me that allow me to lead the life I do so openly." Credit: Eric McCandless
  77. GABBY RIVERA Gabby Rivera is a Bronx-born, queer Puerto Rican author on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever. She’s the first Latina to write for Marvel Comics, penning the solo series America about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. Rivera’s critically acclaimed debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath was called “f*cking outstanding” by Roxane Gay and was re-published in September 2019 by Penguin Random House. Currently, Rivera is the writer and creator of b.b. free, a new original comic series with BOOM! Studios. When not she speaks on her experiences as a queer Puerto Rican from the Bronx, an LGBTQ+ youth advocate, and the importance of prioritizing joy in QTPOC communities at events across the country. Credit: Julieta Salgado
  78. FREDDIE MERCURY Freddie Mercury is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona as the frontman of Queen and his four-octave vocal range. In the early 1970s, Mercury had a long-term relationship with Austin, whom he lived with for several years. By the mid-1970s, he had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, and in 1976, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality, which their relationship. While some claimed he hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was openly gay. Some have said he identified as bisexual. Freddie’s legacy was immortalized in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, with Rami Malek portraying the portraying the music legend. Credit: Getty
  79. MISS J. ALEXANDER Miss J. Alexander of America’s Next Top Model fame was the first real, real, queer, accessible representation representation for many LGBTQ+ people consuming television around the turn of the century. “Miss J. was the runway expert and taught an entire generation of models — as well as queer people at home — how to walk the runway,” says Out staff writer Mathew Rodriguez, a personal fan of the show. A triumph for visibility, Alexander is a professional runway coach, designer, author and model.
  80. RYAN O'CALLAGHAN Ryan O'Callaghan played six seasons in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. He retired in 2011, which is when he had suicidal thoughts and became addicted to painkillers because he was closeted, he said. "My whole plan was to play football and kill myself," he told NBC News. "I was convinced from a young age that my family would never love me if they knew who I really was. The things you hear as a child—every time you hear someone say 'faggot' or talk bad about a gay guy, or see something on TV and make fun of that. If you have a closeted kid, he hears every one of those times you say something. It sticks with him. This was 25 years ago. Most of the things they said were out of ignorance, not hate." A A psychologist convinced the athlete to come out to to his family instead, and when he was accepted with open arms, he came out publicly in 2017. Credit: John Amis
  81. ZANELE MUHOLI Visual activist Zanele Muholi forever changed the image of Black queer South Africans through her portraiture and organizing during a time when the country’s LGBTQ+ media representation sensationalized and demonized queer people. In 2006, Muholi developed Inkanyiso (meaning “illumination” in Zulu) as a digital platform for queer media and activism in response to the lack of visual histories and skills training produced by and for LGBTQ+ persons, especially artists (in the form of photography, film, visual arts, and multimedia). Three years later, it grew into a full-fledged organization and now boasts seven volunteer contributors and a mobile school of photography, educating community members on how to also be agents of documenting the world around them. Through the organization, Muholi has created opportunities for younger Black LGBTQ+ community members to home in on their strengths.
  82. SALLY RIDE America’s first female astronaut, the first woman in space, and space shuttle shuttle robotic arm operator, Sally Ride Ride helped pave the way for women in STEM. When she came out posthumously, and subtly, in her obituary, she became many, many more firsts for queer women everywhere. The end of the obit stated simply: “In addition to Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years, Sally is survived by her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin, and nephew, Whitney; her of 40 at Sally Ride Science; and many friends and colleagues around the country.” Credit: NASA
  83. JANELLE MONÁE Janelle Monae is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer. If her sexuality has been a subject of fascination, so too has her dizzying dizzying body of work. In 2018, Monáe released her widely acclaimed third album, Dirty Computer, earned her two Grammy nominations. (Monáe has racked up eight nominations over the years.) The Prince-inflected single “Make Me Feel,” whose accompanying video featured Monáe and Tessa Thompson awash in neon lighting, was hailed as a “bisexual anthem” even before Monáe came out. Earlier this year, she tweeted the hashtag #IAmNonbinary, along with a quoted tweet, which trended on Twitter that day. Monáe stated in an interview with The Cut a month after the tweet, that it was made "in support of Non-binary Day and to bring more awareness to the community." She did not explicitly confirm nor deny whether she is non- binary. Credit: Justin French
  84. EUGENE LEE YANG Eugene Lee Yang is a producer, actor, director, writer and one of today's most recognizable queer Asian American performers. His digital work over the past years as a viral video producer has been viewed billions of times, and he is recognized as one of the world's most culturally influential YouTube creators. In early 2018, he and the comedy quartet The Try Guys launched their own independent production company, 2nd Try, amassing millions of followers with projects including his official coming out video, which raised over $100,000 for The Trevor Project, the national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. In 2019, he received HRC’s Visibility Award.
  85. RAMI KASHOU The son of the former Miss Jordan, Rami Kashou grew up in style. Kashou was born in Jerusalem and raised in Ramallah where he was often commissioned by the local town socialites to design their ensembles. Upon arriving in the U.S. in 1996, Kashou worked retail for several years. After a stint of traveling to Europe as a buyer, Kashou bit the bullet and purchased two sewing machines. After three years of self-education, he began creating what would later be known as the “One of a Kind” collection that was picked up by various notable Los Angeles boutiques. Kashou showcased his finale collection in Bryant Park as a finalist and runner up his appearance on Project Runway, where his passion for fluid draping was embraced by many women around the globe.
  86. JIM OBERGEFELL Jim Obergefell is the named plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, a decision that that brought nationwide marriage equality to the United States on June 26, 2015. He and his husband John launched their legal battle with the State of Ohio to demand recognition of their lawful marriage on John’s impending death certificate. John died of ALS three months after their first court hearing, and Obergefell continued the fight along with more than 30 other plaintiffs from four states. Credit: Emma Parker
  87. MEGAN RAPINOE Ever since Megan Rapinoe scored a goal against Colombia in the 2011 World Cup then headed to the corner to serenade the flag with “Born in the USA,” she’s established established herself as someone who leaves an impression. She’s used that sway beyond the field—a constant voice for equal rights whether the discussion is focused on gender, gender, race or sexual preference. She also runs a camp with twin sister, Rachael, where she passes on the values that have made her great: having fun and working hard. Her favorite part is talking with the kids. When it’s time to rotate to her station, the campers campers sit down and ask her anything they want—like "how did you get to be you?" Credit: Franck Fife
  88. TRACE LYSETTE Trace Lysette began her acting career in 2014, playing Shea on Amazon's Transparent. Her character is an openly trans woman who is a yoga instructor and educator. Lysette made headlines in 2017 when she came forward and accused her Transparent co-star, Jeffrey Tambor, of inappropriate sexual behavior while on set. "Despite multiple uncomfortable experiences with Jeffrey, it has been an incredible, career-solidifying honor to bring to my character, Shea, on Amazon's Transparent," the actress wrote in a statement statement at the time. "Working on the award- winning series as a low-income trans woman with active roots in New York's ball culture is a rare opportunity most of my sisters are not given." Outside of Transparent, Lysette has appeared on FX's Pose and Hustlers.
  89. BARBARA GITTINGS Barbara Gittings heard the term “homosexual” for the first time in her life when she was rejected for membership to the National Honor Society when a teacher suspected her of “homosexual inclinations.” By college she was a psychiatrist-confirmed lesbian who, with no groups or organizations to turn to, took it upon herself to research her “condition.” After meeting with the founders of the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian-centric organization in the US, Gittings started a a DOB chapter in New York City, placing her in the of a near-silent movement. By the 1960s Gittings became a recognizable face on the picket line, lobbying for gay rights in Washington and around the country. the early 1970s, shortly after the Stonewall riots, Gittings helped with petitioning the American Psychiatric Association to change its stance on homosexuality. In 1973, the APA withdrew its of homosexuality as a mental disorder. Credit: Kay Tobin
  90. MICHAEL MCCONNELL & JACK BAKER Michael McConnell and Jack Baker always said theirs was the first legal same-sex marriage in the country – and now they have the Social Security document to prove it. In 2019, they received the letter from the federal administration confirming Baker was McConnell’s legal spouse going back nearly 50 years, and entitled to monthly husband’s benefits. The document was tangible tangible proof the federal government recognized a Minnesota court’s decision that the Minneapolis couple’s 1971 same-sex marriage was, in fact, legal. “When we got that letter in our hot little hands, we opened a bottle of champagne, patted ourselves on on the back and toasted. Then we drank and watched a trashy movie,” McConnell, 76, told the Daily News. “That was very important to us.” The committed couple of 52 years fought long and hard for the rights they knew they deserved. After meeting and and falling in love, they decided to get married in 1967, back when the American Psychiatric Association still classified homosexuality as a disorder. Credit: Tobin Kay
  91. MARK ASHTON Mark Ashton was an Irish gay rights activist who co- founded the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners Movement with close friend Mike Jackson. The support group collected donations at the 1984 Lesbian and Gay Pride march in London for the miners on strike, and the story was later immortalized in the 2014 film Pride, which saw Ashton played by actor Schnetzer. Ashton also served as General Secretary of the Young Communist League. In 1987 he was admitted to Guy’s Hospital after being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He died 12 days later of an AIDS-related illness at the age of 26.
  92. OSCAR WILDE Oscar Wilde was one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal criminal conviction for homosexuality and imprisonment at the height of his fame. His books were crucial in his conviction and were quoted in as evidence of his “immorality.” After being forced to do hard labor for two years, his health had suffered greatly from the harshness of prison. Although Lord Alfred Douglas had been the cause of his misfortunes, he and Wilde were reunited in 1897 and they lived together near Naples for a few months until they were separated by their families. Wilde spent his last three years impoverished and in exile. He died at the young age of 46. In 2017, Wilde was pardoned for homosexual acts under the Policing and Crime Act 2017, known informally as the Alan Turing law.
  93. TOM PHELAN Tom Phelan has a short list of acting credits, but his role in The Fosters is revolutionary. He has become one of the first trans actors to play a young trans character. In the show, his character tackles taking hormones and experiencing misgendering. He told The Hollywood Reporter that while his character is character is great for trans visibility, he worries that won't make that big of an impact. "We've come a long long way with being in the public eye, but in terms of lessening violence, there hasn't been a lot of change," change," he said. "Media representation is great, but it's not going to promote visible, genuine change. Media representation is for the community and for young trans kids and it's for people looking to see themselves. I don't think it's for the rest of the world. Its primary function is to serve as a looking glass so that people who feel lost and confused can look and see themselves."
  94. KEITH HARING Keith Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s. His later work often addressed political and societal themes – especially homosexuality and AIDS – through his own iconography. From 1982 to 1989, he was featured in more than 100 solo and group exhibitions as well as produced more than 50 public artworks in dozens of charities, hospitals, day care centers, and orphanages. He used his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his illness and to generate activism and awareness about AIDS. In 1989, he established the Keith Haring Foundation to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children's programs, and to expand the audience for his work through exhibitions, publications and the licensing of his images. Haring died of AIDS-related illness at the age of 31. Credit: Keith Haring
  95. LESLIE CHEUNG A Hong Kong singer and actor, Leslie Cheung was considered "one of the founding fathers of Cantopop" for achieving huge success both in film and music. He debuted in 1977 and rose to prominence as a teen heartthrob and pop icon of Hong Kong in the 1980s, receiving numerous music awards. distinguished himself as a Canto-pop singer through embodying the politics, sexual and gender identity of a queer subject position. He announced his same-sex relationship with Daffy Tong during a concert in 1997, earning him prestige in LGBTQ+ communities in China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong. In an interview with Time magazine in 2001, Cheung said he identified as bisexual. Before his suicide, Cheung mentioned in interviews that he had become depressed because of negative comments about gender- crossing in his Passion Tour concert. He had planned to retire from stage performance because of the strain of being a gay artist in Hong Kong. On what would have been his 60th birthday, over one thousand fans joined Florence Chan in the morning at Po Fook Hill Ancestral Hall for prayers.
  96. JACKIE SHANE Jackie Shane was an American soul and rhythm & blues singer, who was most prominent in the local music scene of Toronto in the 1960s. Considered to be a pioneer transgender performer, she was a contributor to the Toronto Sound and is best known for the single “Any Other Way.” She soon became the lead vocalist for The Motley Crew and relocated to Toronto with them in late 1961 before having a successful music career of her own. In 1967, the band and Jackie recorded a live LP together, by which time she was often performing as a woman. Throughout her active musical career and for many years thereafter, Shane was written about by nearly all sources as a man who performed in ambiguous clothing that strongly suggested femininity. SHe faded faded in prominence after 1971, with even her own former bandmates losing touch with her. Shane died in her sleep, at her home in Nashville, in 2019. Credit: Jeff Goode
  97. BARBARA SMITH In her 72 years, Barbara co-founded the Combahee River Collective and helped build a visible Black feminist movement during a period when one did not exist. “Virtually everything I have done has been in service of that mission,” Smith says, from teaching one of the first courses on Black women writers in the United States in 1973, to building the field of Black women’s studies by asserting that there was and could be such a thing. She co- founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980, the first United States publisher for all women of color to reach large national audience, which published the second edition of the beloved and groundbreaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back. Credit: Getty
  98. WALTER MERCADO Walter Mercado Salinas, also known by his stage name Shanti Ananda, was a Puerto Rican actor, dancer, and writer, best known as a television personality for his shows as an astrologer. His astrological predictions shows aired for decades in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States. States. He favored long and colorful brocades and huge gemstone rings, which he flashed while pointing to viewers. His catch phrase to his audience: “Above all, lots and lots of love.” Though Mercado never publicly stated his sexuality, he was an icon in the gay community as someone who challenged the conservative television culture in Latin America. “This is a culture that’s been dominated by machismo and homophobia for a very long time,” said Alex Fumero, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who has been working on a documentary about Mercado. “For someone who so brazenly played with gender and sexuality and always remained something of a mystery . . . he was really brave.” Credit: Sundance Institute
  99. LEONARDO DA VINCI Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography. The Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most popular portrait ever made; The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all of all time; and his Vitruvian Man drawing is regarded a cultural icon. Salvator Mundi was sold for a world $450.3 million at a Christie's auction in New York in the highest price ever paid for a work of art. Leonardo da Vinci repeatedly depicted male sexuality in his art and faced accusations of sodomy during his lifetime. The artist was twice publicly accused of having gay sex, his youthful male protégé was removed because of the “wicked life he had led” with Da Vinci, and his own writings repeatedly mused on his own attraction to men.
  100. DICK LEITSCH Richard Joseph Leitsch, also known as Richard Valentine Leitsch, was an American LGBTQ+ rights activist and president of gay rights group the Mattachine Society in the 1960s. He conceptualized and led the "Sip-In" at Julius' Bar, one of the earliest acts of gay civil disobedience in the United States. LGBTQ+ activists used "sip-ins" to attempt to gain the legal right to drink in bars in New York. Leitsch was also known for being the first gay reporter to publish an account of the Stonewall Riots and the first person to interview Bette Midler in print media.
  101. MARTHA SHELLEY One of the first members of the Gay Liberation Front, Martha Shelley is one one of the best-known lesbian activists activists in America. A writer and poet, she was also active in Lesbian activist group Lavender Menace. The name "Shelley" was an alias taken to avoid being identified in FBI surveillance of the Daughters of Bilitis. Credit: Diana Davies
  102. RITA MAE BROWN Rita Mae Brown is an American writer, activist, and feminist who is best known for her first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle. Brown was a member of the Gay the Gay Liberation Front, Lavender Menace, and joined a lesbian commune in Washington, D.C., called Furies Collective, whose founding documents stated: "Sexism is the root of all other oppressions, and Lesbian and woman oppression will not end by smashing capitalism, racism, and imperialism. Lesbianism is not a matter of sexual preference, but rather one of political choice which every woman must make if she is to become woman-identified and and thereby end male supremacy." In 1979, Brown met and fell in love with tennis champion Martina Navratilova. In 1980, they bought a horse farm in Charlottesville where they lived together until their breakup, over Navratilova's then concern that coming out would hurt her application for U.S. citizenship. Credit: PBS
  103. BILLY BEAN Over the course of his MLB career, Billy Bean played for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres, Padres, but in 1995 he left the game because he could not live with his secret anymore. In 1999, he finally came out as gay. Today, he's the Ambassador for Inclusion at the MLB, which allows him to speak to each team in the league about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. "I feel rewarded in those moments that we're creating an environment where it's not sinister," Bean told "I think the fact that we're having this conversation means we're getting close. These conversations, I feel like we should've taken care of a long time ago. But it's happening."
  104. SHARICE DAVIDS Kansas Democrat Sharice Davids made history in multiple ways when she was elected to Congress, ousting her Republican opponent David by a nearly double-digit margin. Not only is Davids the first openly LGBTQ+ Kansan elected to Congress, she’s also one of the first two Native American women to hold Congressional office as a member of the Wisconsin Ho-Chunk or Winnebago people. The former White House fellow and pro fighter was raised by a single mother who spent 20 years in the U.S. Army.
  105. GREG LOUGANIS Greg Louganis won four gold medals and one silver medal at three Games from 1976 to 1988 as a diver, but it wasn't until 1994 that he came out as gay. The following year, the diver announced he was also living with AIDS. "Things are different now," now," Louganis told ESPN. "I think we've come to a place of acknowledging bullying and recognizing the importance of standing up for your fellow teammate. I think there is less of that. that. There is much more sensitivity, and people are much more open. Just look at how many athletes have come come out now." Credit: Dean Treml
  106. JOSEPHINE BAKER Josephine Baker was a well-known entertainer of the Jazz Age who identified as bisexual. One of the most successful African American performers in French history, Baker used her platform as an entertainer to advocate for desegregation, refusing to perform in segregated venues and even speaking at the 1963 March on Washington. Baker also served as a spy for the French during World War II, passing along secrets she heard while performing for German soldiers. Credit: Estate of Emil Bieber / Klaus Niermann
  107. KARL HEINRICH ULRICHS Karl Heinrich Ulrichs is regarded by some as the pioneer of the modern gay movement and the first person to publicly “come out.” Volkmar Sigusch, a leading German scholar in sexual science, described him as “the most decisive and influential pioneer of homosexual emancipation … in world history.” Ulrichs was a judge in Germany but was forced to resign in 1854 after a colleague discovered he was gay. After he resigned, he became an activist for gay gay rights. He wrote pamphlets about being gay in Germany. In 1867, Ulrichs spoke in Munich at the Congress of Jurists to demand legal equal rights for all sexualities.
  108. JAMIE CLAYTON Jamie Clayton is known for her role as Nomi Marks on Netflix's Sense 8. In the series, Clayton plays a trans hacker who develops the ability to see into the minds of eight other people around the world. When the show ended in 2018, Clayton joined Netflix's Designated Survivor as Sasha Booker. Outside Outside of TV, Clayton has become an activist for trans rights, especially trans visibility in Hollywood. "Actors who are trans never even get to audition for anything other than roles of trans characters," she tweeted. "That's the real issue. We can't even get in the room. Cast actors who are trans as non-trans characters. I dare you." Credit: Eva Mueller
  109. TAMMY BALDWIN In 2013, Senator Tammy Baldwin became the first openly LGBTQ+ senator in American history — and from Wisconsin, no less. A staunch, longtime defendant of LGBTQ+ rights, Sen. Baldwin has most recently helped introduce the Equality Act, the nation’s first ever comprehensive legislation to protect protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. And while the Act has very little chance of passing the Senate, with politicians like Sen. Baldwin in Washington the fight to pass federal non-discrimination legislation is long from over. Credit: Bill Clark
  110. MICHAEL SAM In 2014, Michael Sam came out as in an interview with ESPN. When he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Sam Sam became the first openly gay man to ever be drafted into the NFL. "Since "Since February and my big announcement, this has been a whole [lot of] speculation of the first openly gay football player, but you know what? It's not about that. It's about playing football," Sam said in a press conference shortly after being drafted. drafted. Unfortunately, Sam was let go go from the team, and in 2015, he announced he was leaving the sport for good.
  111. LAVERNE COX No stranger to superlatives, trailblazer Laverne Cox was the first openly transgender person to receive a primetime Emmy nomination for her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own TV show (Vh1's TRANSform Me), and the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME. Cox is also known for her uplifting social media presence, which she uses to promote the hashtag #TransIsBeautiful. Credit: Danielle Levitt
  112. BRIAN MICHAEL SMITH Brian Michael Smith has been earning acting credits since 2011, appearing in TV shows Gossip Girl, Girls, Chicago P.D., Blue Bloods, Credit: Natasha Karam
  113. GLENN BURKE Glenn Lawrence Burke was a Major League Baseball player for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics from 1976 to 1979. He was the first MLB player to come out as gay to teammates and team owners during his professional career, and the first to publicly acknowledge it, stating, "They can't ever say now that a gay man can't play in the majors, because I'm a gay man and I made it." In 1977, ran onto the field to congratulate his Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker after Baker hit his 30th home home run; Burke raised his hand over his head and Baker slapped it. They are widely credited with inventing the high five. He died from AIDS-related causes in 1995. In 2013, Burke was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. Burke was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in 2015. Credit: LA Dodgers
  114. ROBERTA COWELL Roberta “Betty” Cowell was the first known person in Britain, and among the first in the world, to undergo pioneering gender-reassignment surgery in 1948, before more famous cases such as April Ashley and Christine Jorgensen. Before the war, as Bob, she (Cowell herself joked in her autobiography that one of the trickiest parts of undergoing gender reassignment was knowing which pronoun to use) had been a racing driver, competing at Brooklands in Surrey and in the Belgian Grand Prix. Later, Cowell became a fighter pilot, flying Tiger Moths and Spitfires. When her plane was shot down, she was captured and interned in Stalag Luft I. Credit: Maurice Ambler
  115. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD Dusty Springfield was one of the most successful British female singers in history. She had six top 20 singles in the US, and is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Considering herself to be bisexual, Springfield said in 1970, "I couldn't stand to be thought of as a big butch lady. But I know that I'm as perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy." This was quite a thing to admit at the time, just one year after the Stonewall Riots. When she died of breast cancer in 1999, Melissa Etheridge told The Advocate "As a child listening to the radio, I was taken by surprise when a sexy, husky woman's voice came out. 'Son of a Preacher Man' is one of the the steamiest, coolest songs ever sung by a woman. She will be missed." Credit: David Magnus
  116. CAROLINE SPURGEON The first ever female university professor at the University of London— and only the second in England— Caroline Spurgeon asked to be buried next to civil servant Lilian Clapham, who was made an MBE for promoting job opportunities for women. Spurgeon Spurgeon designed the gravestone which memorializes Clapham—who was also captain of the England women’s hockey team—and left a message remembering their “happy life life together” when she died in 1935, according to LGBTQ+ history charity Brighton Ourstory. They can be found buried next to each other in Alciston churchyard, East Sussex.
  117. DAVID DENSON David Denson was playing for the Milwaukee Brewers when he came out as gay in an interview in 2015. He became the first person to be openly gay while playing in the league. "I think I opened the door. I showed just because I'm gay doesn't doesn't make me any different or less of a person," Denson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "If "If there are others who want to come out, hopefully, they have my story to fall back on and see it's OK." Denson announced he was retiring from baseball in 2017 and told the media it had nothing to do with coming out. Credit: CNN
  118. RENÉE RICHARDS Renée Richards transitioned from male male to female in the '70s, and in she applied to participate in the US Open. She refused to take the required required Barr body test, which would test her blood to find out her sex. When she was rejected by the US Open, she sued the United States Tennis Association for gender discrimination and won. Richards eventually retired from the sport in 1981 and has gone on to become an influential coach. Today, she refuses to be put in the spotlight as a trans activist. "Years ago I was the pioneer, no question about it. They all quoted me and my court case," she told Sports Illustrated. "But I am not anymore." Credit: Manny Millan
  119. NATE BERKUS Nate Berkus is a Chicago-based interior designer who became a household name after his appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, Berkus has had his own TV shows, written two New York Times bestselling books and has developed numerous product lines. In 2014, Berkus and fellow designer Jeremiah Brent were the first same-sex couple to marry at the New York Public Library. He and his husband actively support pro-LGBTQ+ initiatives and advocate it openly in their interviews.
  120. NYLE DIMARCO Nyle DiMarco is an American model, actor, and Deaf activist. In 2015, he was the second male winner and the first Deaf winner of America's Next Top Model. The following year, he won the televised televised dance competition Dancing with the Stars, with professional dance partner Peta Murgatroyd. DiMarco does not consider himself disabled by deafness and sees his media profile as an opportunity to bring awareness to Deaf culture. He views deafness as an advantage in modeling because he is accustomed to communicating without speaking. He believes deaf actors should play deaf roles. DiMarco is a spokesperson for LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids). He is also a signer and creative collaborator on The ASL App, an app that teaches ASL. In 2016, DiMarco started The Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a non-profit organization providing access to resources for deaf children and their families. Credit: Getty
  121. ROBBIE ROGERS Robbie Rogers played soccer in England until 2013 when he he was gay and leaving the sport. He later told The Guardian that he left the sport after coming out because he didn't want the media attention and scrutiny. "I'd just want to be a footballer," Rogers said. "I wouldn't want to deal with the circus. Are people coming to see you because you're gay? Would I want to do interviews every day, where people are asking: 'So you're taking showers with guys – how's that?'" But a few months later, he joined the Los Angeles Galaxy team and became the first openly gay man to play in a major US professional league. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez
  122. ALEXANDRA BILLINGS Alexandra Billings is the first transgender person to play a transgender character on TV when she took the role of Donna in 2005's Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. then, she has appeared in How to Get Away with Murder, Grey's Anatomy, ER, Eli Stone, and Goliath as a trans trans character. But the actress is best known for her role as Davina on Amazon's Transparent. She has also been outspoken about cis-gendered people taking trans roles. In In an op-ed for HuffPost, she explained her frustrations with Jared Leto's Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club, in which he played a trans woman. She She especially found it frustrating that the actor didn't acknowledge the trans community in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. "He spoke about shaving his legs, he spoke about his backside in his bikini, and he spoke about a Brazilian wax he never got because it seemed to be too much trouble," Billings wrote. "What he didn't speak about was the transgender woman he played, or the millions of other transgender people in the audience, or the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are living with and dying from the AIDS virus."
  123. DYLAN MARRON Dylan Marron is an IFP Gotham Award & Drama Desk-nominated writer, performer, and video maker. He is the voice of Carlos on the hit podcast Welcome to NightVale, an alum of the NewYork Neo Futurists, and the creator of Every SingleWord (Tumblr's "MostViral Blog" of 2015; Shorty Award Nominee), a video series that edits down popular films to only feature the words spoken by people of color. He hosts and produces Conversations with PeopleWho Hate Me, a podcast where he calls up the the people behind negative comments on the internet. It was selected as a Podcast Pick by USAToday and The Guardian, named "the timeliest podcast" by FastCompany, and won aWebbyAward. Award. Credit: James Hartley
  124. RYAN RUSSELL Ryan Russell played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a defensive end, and now he is a free agent. But in 2019, he made headlines when he announced his bisexuality in an essay on ESPN. "Let that sink into your brain: Even Even though openly LGBTQ+ people are thriving in every area of public life — politics, entertainment, the top corporations in America — they are so invisible in pro sports that a gossip blogger is doing a favor for a bisexual football player by not disclosing that he happens to date men," Russell wrote in the essay. "Nobody should need a favor to live honestly. In nobody's world should being careful mean not being yourself. The career you choose shouldn't dictate the parts of yourself that you embrace." Credit: Benjamin
  125. GEORGE TAKEI George Hosato Takei is an American actor, author, and activist who is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and one episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Takei is a proponent of LGBTQ+ rights LGBTQ+ rights and is active in state and local politics. He has won several awards and accolades in his work on human rights and Japan–United States relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum. Takei's work on the Broadway show Allegiance, as well as his own internment in in two US-run internment camps during has given him a platform to speak out against the Trump administration's rhetoric about immigrants and immigration policies.
  126. JAIME HARKER Author Jaime Harker is a professor of English and the director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi, where she teaches American literature, LGBTQ+ literature, and gender studies. She has published essays on Japanese translation, popular women writers of the interwar period, Oprah’s book club, William Faulkner, Cold War gay literature, and women’s liberation and gay liberation literature. In 2017, she opened Water Valley Bookstore, Mississippi's only queer, feminist, transinclusive bookstore. More than a business, Harker describes her LGBTQ-friendly bookstore as a mission. “I want a kid to come in, get a book and find hope and a future here. This is what I can do. I can open an LGBTQ bookstore that suggests, ‘There’s a place for for you here. We want you here. Stay here.’”
  127. HOWARD CRUSE Howard Cruse was an American alternative cartoonist known for the exploration of gay themes in his comics. First coming to attention in the 1970s during the underground comix movement with Barefootz, he was the founding editor of Gay Comix in 1980, created the gay-themed strip strip Wendel during the 1980s, reached a more mainstream audience in 1995 when an imprint of DC Comics published his novel Stuck Rubber Baby. Credit: Compadre Media
  128. DAVID BOWIE David Bowie was a bisexual English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. Active in five decades of popular music and frequently reinventing his music and image, Bowie was widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He has been cited as influence by many musicians and was known for his voice and the intellectual depth of his work. Bowie outed himself in an interview with Melody Maker in 1972, a move coinciding with the first shots in his in his campaign for stardom as Ziggy Stardust. In a 1976 interview with Playboy, Bowie said: "It's true — I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me." He distanced himself from that in a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, saying his earlier declaration of was "the biggest mistake I ever made." In response to that comment in a a 2002 interview with Blender; Bowie said: “I don’t think it was a in Europe, but it was a lot tougher in America. I had no problem with people knowing I was bisexual. But I had no inclination to hold any banners or be a representative of any group of people. I knew what I wanted to be, which was a songwriter and a performer, and I felt that [bisexuality] became my headline over here for so long. America is a very puritanical place, and I think it stood in the way of so much I wanted to do." Credit: Jim King