IMDB: Famous LGBTQ Celebrities

List: Notable Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People

Great Queers of History: Parts 1, 2, 3

Info: LGBTQ History

Video List: Famous LGBTQ Folk

Listal: Gay and Lesbian Celebrities

Famous LGBTQ People: Queer Historical Icons

Gay Kings and Queens of Europe

Huff Post: Queer Celebrities

Video List: Top Ten Most Influential LGBTQ Celebrities

Info: Famous LGBTQ People



Oscar Wilde | Writer

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900) was a gay Irish author, poet and playwright, born in Dublin, Ireland. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. He is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights of the Victorian Era. In his lifetime he wrote nine plays, one novel, and numerous poems, short stories, and essays. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. He is best remembered for his epigrams, his novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray," his play "The Importance of Being Earnest," and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46, in Paris, France. He was romantically linked with Lord Alfred Douglas, to whom he sent many love letters.


Biographical Notes: Oscar Wilde

Video Bio: Oscar Wilde

Official Oscar Wilde Website

Oscar Wilde Biography

Cool History: Oscar Wilde



Billie Jean King | Athlete

Billie Jean King (Moffitt), born in 1943, is a lesbian American world no. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. She won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. She often represented the United States in the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup. She was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, she was the United States' captain in the Federation Cup. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice. In 1973, at age 29, she won the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match against the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. She was also the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation. Regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

Biographical Notes: Billie Jean King

Official Billie Jean King Website

ESPN: Billie Jean King Won For All Women



James Baldwin | Writer

James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) was a gay American novelist, playwright, and activist, born in Harlem, New York. His essays, as collected in "Notes of a Native Son" (1955), explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century North America. Some of Baldwin's essays are book-length, including "The Fire Next Time" (1963), "No Name in the Street" (1972), and "The Devil Finds Work" (1976). An unfinished manuscript, "Remember This House," was expanded and adapted for cinema as the Academy Award–nominated documentary film "I Am Not Your Negro." One of his novels, "If Beale Street Could Talk," was adapted into an Academy Award-winning dramatic film in 2018. Baldwin's novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only African Americans, but also gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals' quests for acceptance. Such dynamics are prominent in Baldwin's second novel, "Giovanni's Room," written in 1956, well before the gay liberation movement.


Biographical Notes: James Baldwin

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Encyclopedia Brittanica: James Baldwin

James Baldwin: Speaking on Dick Cavett Show

Chicago Public Library: James Baldwin

James Baldwin: Heartfelt Plea for Racial Justice and Equality



Rachel Levine | Physician

Dr. Rachel Levine (born 1957) is a transgender American pediatrician who has served as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health since 2017. She also serves as Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. She was previously Pennsylvania's Physician General. Levine is originally from Wakefield, Massachusetts. She is Jewish, grew up attending Hebrew School, and had a Bar Mitzvah. While growing up, she did not speak to her Rabbi about LGBTQ issues. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine and completed a residency in pediatrics and fellowship in adolescent medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. As the state secretary of health, she led the public health response on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. She worked closely on a daily basis with the FEMA director and led daily press briefings. She is one of only a handful of openly transgender government officials in the United States.


Biographical Notes: Rachel Levine

Meet the Transgender Doctor Who is Leading the Fight Against COVID-19

COVID 19 Hero: Dr. Rachel Levine



Pete Buttigieg | Politician

Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (born 1982) is a gay American politician who was mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election. Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, attending the latter on a Rhodes Scholarship. He worked as a consultant at the management consulting firm McKinsey. He served as a naval intelligence officer in the US Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant. He was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Buttigieg served as the 32nd mayor of South Bend, Indiana, from 2012 to 2020, as the youngest mayor of a city with a population of over 100,000. In 2015, Buttigieg publicly came out as gay and was reelected with over 80% of the vote. He became the first openly gay person to launch a major presidential campaign. Despite initially low expectations, he gained significant momentum in mid-2019 when he participated in several town halls, forums, and debates. At the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg narrowly won the pledged delegate count that a majority of news organizations use to determine the winner. With this win, he became the first openly gay candidate to earn presidential primary delegates from a major American political party. Buttigieg can speak 8 different foreign languages. Buttigieg is a Christian, and he has said his faith has had a strong influence in his life. His parents baptized him in a Catholic church as an infant and he attended Catholic schools. Now a member of the Episcopal Church, Buttigieg is a congregant at the Cathedral of St. James in downtown South Bend. In December 2017, Buttigieg announced his engagement to Chasten Glezman, a junior high school teacher. They had been dating since August 2015. They were married in 2018, in a private ceremony at the Cathedral of St. James in South Bend.


Pete Buttigieg: Rolling Stone Special Interview
Pete Buttigieg: Meet Pete

Pete for America: Official Presidential Campaign

Pete Buttigieg: First LGBTQ Person to Win Delegates in Any Presidential Contest

Pete Buttigieg: Advocate Magazine Interview

Pete Buttigieg: Unlikely Unprecedented Presidential Campaign



Ellen DeGeneres | Comedian

Ellen Lee DeGeneres (born 1958) is a lesbian American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the popular sitcom "Ellen" from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," since 2003. Her stand-up comedy career started in the early 1980s, and included a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a film actress, DeGeneres starred in Mr. Wrong (1996), EDtv (1999), and The Love Letter (1999), and provided the voice of Dory in the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016). During the fourth season of "Ellen" in 1997, she came out as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey, and the series went on to explore various LGBTQ issues, including the coming-out process. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi. She has authored four books. She has won 30 Emmys, 20 People's Choice Awards (more than any other person), and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2020, she received the Golden Globes Carol Burnett Achievement in Television Award.


Biographical Notes: Ellen DeGeneres

Golden Globes Honor Ellen's Incredible Career

Official Ellen DeGeneres Website

Golden Globes: Kate McKinnon's Tribute to Ellen DeGeneres

The Ellen Show: YouTube Channel

Ellen DeGeneres Accepts Carol Burnett Award at Golden Globes Event

Golden Globes: Ellen DeGeneres Receives Achievement in Television Award



Harvey Milk | Politician

Harvey Bernard Milk (1930–1978) was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk moved from New York City (where he was born) to the Castro District of San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay and bisexual men. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests and unsuccessfully ran three times for political office. Milk served almost 11 months in office, during which he sponsored a bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supervisors passed the bill by a vote of 11-1 and was signed into law by Mayor Moscone. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, who was another city supervisor.  Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community. In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBTQ official ever elected in the United States".  Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Biographical Notes: Harvey Milk

How Harvey Milk Changed the Gay Rights Movement

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Harvey Milk

NPR News: Harvey Milk 40 Years Later

The Activism of Harvey Milk



Laverne Cox | Actor

Laverne Cox (born 1972 in Mobile, Alabama) is a transgender American actress and LGBTQ advocate. She rose to prominence with her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black," becoming the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in any acting category, and one of the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special as executive producer for "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word," making her the first openly transgender woman to win the award. In 2017, she became the first transgender person to play a transgender series regular on broadcast TV as Cameron Wirth on CBS's "Doubt." In April 2014, Cox was honored by GLAAD with its Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her work as an advocate for the transgender community. In June 2014, Cox became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. Cox is the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of a Cosmopolitan magazine.


Biographical Notes: Laverne Cox

Official Laverne Cox Website

IMDB: Laverne Cox



Larry Kramer | Activist

Laurence David Kramer (1935-2020) was a gay American playwright, author, film producer, public health advocate, and LGBTQ rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts for films, including Women in Love (1969) for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his novel Faggots (1978), which earned mixed reviews and emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for Kramer's portrayal of what he characterized as shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s. Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease later known as AIDS among his friends in 1980. He co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis, which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart in 1985. His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS, and with raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases. Kramer was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me (1992), and he was a two-time recipient of the Obie Award. Kramer lived in Manhattan, near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, and in Connecticut. Kramer and his partner, architectural designer David Webster, were together from 1991 until Kramer's death. He died of pneumonia in 2020.

Biographical Notes: Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer: Hero, Mentor, Prophet

Larry Kramer, Gay Author and AIDS Activist, Dies

Remembering AIDS Activist Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer's Loud and Proud Activism Remains Necessary

Larry Kramer: One of the Fiercest Voices in AIDS Activism

Iconic Gay Activist Passes Away at 84

Larry Kramer, Playwright and Activist, Dead at 84

Larry Kramer: True LGBTQ Radical



Hans Christian Andersen | Writer

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a bisexual Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's fairy tales, consisting of 156 stories across nine volumes, and translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West's collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", "The Red Shoes", "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," "The Little Match Girl," and "Thumbelina." His stories have inspired ballets, plays, and animated and live-action films. He was born into a low income, uneducated family in Denmark and received basic education at a local school for poor children. At the age of 14, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor with the Royal Danish Theatre. He attended grammar school in Slagelse. Though not a stellar student, he also attended school at the prestigious Elsinore, where he was abused by the schoolmaster. He later said, that his years at this school were the darkest and most bitter years of his life. He eventually attended the University of Copenhagen. Although he fell in love many times, Andersen never married. He directed his unrequited affections at both men and women, including the famed singer Jenny Lind and Danish dancer Harald Scharff. Andersen's personal life has fueled academic analyses of possible homoerotic themes in his work. Andersen was internationally revered. The Danish Government paid him an annual stipend as a "national treasure." One of Copenhagen's widest and busiest streets is named HC Andersen Boulevard. Located there is larger-than-life bronze statue of Andersen.


Biographical Notes: Hans Christian Andersen

Mental Floss: Surprising Facts About Hans Christian Andersen

Biography: Hans Christian Andersen

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Hand Christian Andersen



Megan Rapinoe | Athlete

Megan Anna Rapinoe (born 1985) is a lesbian American professional soccer player who plays as a winger and captains OL Reign in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States national team. Winner of the Ballon d'Or Féminin and named The Best FIFA Women's Player in 2019, Rapinoe won gold with the national team at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and she played for the team at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup where the US finished in second place. Since 2018, she co-captains the national team alongside Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. She previously played for the Chicago Red Stars, Philadelphia Independence, and MagicJack in Women's Professional Soccer, as well as Olympique Lyonnais in France's Division 1 Féminine. Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play and activism. During the 2012 London Olympics, she scored three goals and tallied a team-high four assists to lead the United States to a gold medal. She is the first player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner at the Olympic Games. She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBTQ organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. Rapinoe knew that she was lesbian by her first year in college. She publicly came out in the July 2012 edition of Out magazine, stating that she had been in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh since 2009. Rapinoe later dated Sub Pop recording artist Sera Cahoone. In July 2017, Rapinoe and basketball player Sue Bird of Seattle Storm confirmed that they had been dating since late 2016. In 2018, Bird and Rapinoe became the first same-sex couple on the cover of ESPN's The Body Issue.


NBC News: USA Wins Third Women's World Cup Title

Megan Rapinoe: Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

USA Today: Megan Rapinoe and the US Women's Soccer Team

Sports Illustrated: Megan Rapinoe's Pride Shines

Washington Post: Rapinoe Delivers Rousing Victory Speech

Video: Megan Rapinoe's Speech at US Women's World Cup Champion's Parade

Biographical Notes: Megan Rapinoe



Edward Albee | Playwright

Edward Franklin Albee III (1928-2016) was a gay American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), and A Delicate Balance (1966). Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play. His works are often considered as frank examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Genet. According to The New York Times, Albee was "widely considered to be the foremost American playwright of his generation." Albee was born in Virginia (near Washington DC) and placed for adoption and taken to New York, where he grew up. Albee moved into Greenwich Village, where he supported himself with odd jobs while learning to write plays. Primarily in his early plays, Albee's work had various representations of the LGBTQ community often challenging the image of a heterosexual marriage. He was openly gay and stated that he first knew he was gay at age 12. Albee insisted that he did not want to be known as a "gay writer," saying in his acceptance speech for the 2011 Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement: "A writer who happens to be gay or lesbian must be able to transcend self. I am not a gay writer. I am a writer who happens to be gay." His longtime partner, Jonathan Richard Thomas, a sculptor, died in 2005 from cancer. They had been partners from 1971 until Thomas's death. Albee also had a relationship of several years with playwright Terrence McNally during the 1950s. Albee died at his home in Montauk, New York.


Biographical Notes: Edward Albee

The History of Edward Albee

Biography: Edward Albee



Sally Ride | Astronaut

Sally Kristen Ride (1951-2012) was a lesbian American astronaut and physicist. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. Ride worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering. She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both. Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012.


Biographical Notes: Sally Ride

National Women's History Museum: Sally Ride

Sally Ride: First American Woman in Space



Elton John | Musician

Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 1947) is a gay English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967 and hey have collaborated on more than 30 albums. John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits in the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100, including seven number ones in the UK and nine in the US, as well as seven consecutive number-one albums in the US. Raised in London, John learned to play piano at an early age, and by 1962 had formed Bluesology, an R&B band with whom he played until 1967. He met his longtime musical partner Taupin in 1967. For two years, they wrote songs for other artists. In 1970, his first hit single, "Your Song," reached the top ten in the UK and the US. John has also had success in musical films and theatre, composing for The Lion King and its stage adaptation, Aida and Billy Elliot the Musical. John has received five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 49th on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. In 2013, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists, and third overall, behind the Beatles and Madonna. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He was knighted by Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services" in 1998. John has been involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, establishing the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. John, who announced he was bisexual in 1976 and has been openly gay since 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish in 2005. They married after same-sex marriage became legal in England in 2014. Presenting John with France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'honneur, in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron called him a "melodic genius" and praised his work on behalf of the LGBTQ community. In 2018, John embarked on a three-year farewell tour.


Biographical Notes: Elton John

Elton John's Website

Biography: Elton John

Elton John Performing "Rocket Man" in London, 1972



Chaz Bono | Writer

Chaz Salvatore Bono (born Chastity Sun Bono, 1969) is a transgender American writer, musician and actor. His parents are entertainers Sonny Bono and Cher. Bono is a trans man. In 1995, while then identifying as a woman, and several years after being outed as lesbian by the tabloid press, he publicly self-identified as a lesbian in a cover story in a leading American gay monthly magazine, The Advocate, eventually going on to discuss the process of coming out to oneself and to others in two books. Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (1998) includes his coming-out account. The memoir The End of Innocence (2003) discusses his outing, music career, and partner Joan's death from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Between 2008 and 2010, Bono underwent female-to-male gender transition. A two-part Entertainment Tonight feature in June 2009 explained that his transition had started a year before. In May 2010, he legally changed his gender and name. A documentary on Bono's experience, Becoming Chaz, was screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later made its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Chaz lives in Los Angeles.


Biographical Notes: Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono: The Pain of Looking at Old Photographs

Daily News: Chaz Bono Changing Gender From Female to Male
Chaz Bono: When I Knew I was Transgender

Sonny & Cher Show 1975: Cher and Chaz

Chaz Bono Opens Up About Becoming a Man

Chastity Bono (dn) on the Cher Show

E On-Line: Chaz Bono Transition
Sonny & Cher Christmas Special 1975 with Chastity (dn)

ABC News: Chaz Bono Gives Voice to Invisible Community
Sonny & Cher with Chastity (dn)

MSNBC: Cher's Child Undergoing Sex Reassignment



Melissa Etheridge | Musician

Melissa Lou Etheridge (born 1961 in Levenworth, Kansas) is a lesbian American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album "Melissa Etheridge" was released in 1988 and became an underground success. The album peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, "Bring Me Some Water", garnered Etheridge her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single "Ain't It Heavy" from her third album, "Never Enough." Later that year, she released what would become her mainstream breakthrough album, "Yes I Am." Its tracks "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" both reached the top 30 in the United States, and the latter earned Etheridge her second Grammy award. "Yes I Am" peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and spent 138 weeks on the chart, earning a RIAA certification of 6× Platinum, her largest to date. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage and, while bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song "Piece of My Heart".  Later that year, Etheridge released her first compilation album, "Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled." The album was a success, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard 200, and going Gold almost immediately. Her latest studio album is The Medicine Show. Etheridge is known for her mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." She has also been a gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations throughout her career, winning two, in 1993 and 1995. In 2007, she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Need to Wake Up" from the film "An Inconvenient Truth." In September 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Etheridge had a long-term partnership with Julie Cypher. During this partnership, Cypher gave birth to two children, Bailey Jean and Beckett, via artificial insemination using sperm donated by musician David Crosby. In September 2000, Etheridge and Cypher announced they were separating. In 2002, Etheridge began dating actress Tammy Lynn Michaels. The two had a commitment ceremony in September 2003. In October 2006, Michaels gave birth to twins. In April 2010 Etheridge and Michaels announced they had separated. In 2014 Etheridge married her partner, Linda Wallem, two days after they both turned 53.

Official Website: Melissa Etheridge

Biographical Notes: Melissa Etheridge

Discography: Melissa Etheridge



Bayard Rustin | Activist

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a gay American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. Rustin worked with Philip Randolph on the March on Washington Movement in 1941 to press for an end to racial discrimination in employment. Rustin later organized Freedom Rides and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen Martin Luther King Jr's leadership, teaching King about nonviolence and later serving as an organizer for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. After the passage of the civil rights legislation of 1964–65, Rustin became the head of the AFL–CIO's Randolph Institute, which promoted the integration of formerly all-white unions and promoted the unionization of African Americans. During the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin served on many humanitarian missions, such as aiding refugees from Communist Vietnam and Cambodia. At the time of his death in 1987, he was on a humanitarian mission in Haiti. Rustin had been arrested early in his career (1953) for engaging in consensual sex, convicted under a “vagrancy” law long used to prosecute LGBTQ people. Due to criticism over his sexuality, he usually acted as an influential adviser behind the scenes to civil-rights leaders. In the 1980s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay causes. Later in life, while still devoted to securing workers' rights, Rustin joined other union leaders in aligning with ideological neoconservatism, for which President Ronald Reagan posthumously praised him after his death in 1987. In November 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Walter Naegle is the surviving partner of the late American Civil Rights leader, and the executive director of the Bayard Rustin Fund, which commemorates Rustin's life, values, and legacy.


Biography: Bayard Rustin, Advisor to Martin Luther King
Biographical Notes: Bayard Rustin

CNN: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Pardoned After 67 Years

PBS: Bayard Rustin, Designer of the March on Washington

Posthumous Pardon for Bayard Rustin

Huff Post: LGBTQ Rights Icon Granted Pardon

The Gay Man Black History Erased



Joel Schumacher | Film Maker

Joel T Schumacher (1939-2020) was a gay American filmmaker. Schumacher rose to fame after directing three hit films: St Elmo's Fire (1985), The Lost Boys (1987), and Flatliners (1990). He later went on to direct the John Grisham adaptations The Client (1994) and A Time to Kill (1996). In 1993, he signed on to direct the next installments of the Batman film series, Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). Known for casting young performers, Schumacher helped several actors including Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, and Matthew McConaughey advance their careers. He also wrote the screenplays for the 1976 low-budget hit movie Car Wash, 1978's The Wiz, and a number of other minor successes. His film directorial debut was The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1981, which starred Lily Tomlin. The Brat Pack film St Elmo's Fire (Starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Andie McDowell) was one of Schumacher's biggest hits. Its style impressed audiences and the financial success of the movie allowed studios to trust him with ever-larger projects. He received his BFA degree from Fashion Institute of Technology and his MFA degree from University of California, Los Angeles. Schumacher, who is from New York, was openly gay throughout most of his career. According to Schumacher, this fact was purposely reflected as a statement in many of his films. Schumacher claimed that he had had sex with up to 20,000 men. Politically, Schumacher donated thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates. Schumacher died from cancer in 2020, in New York City. He was 80.


Biographical Notes: Joel Schumsacher

Gay Film Director Joel Schumacher Dies

IMDB: Joel Schumacher

NPR: Film Director Joel Schumacher Dies at 80

Joel Schumacher: Reluctant and Conflicted Gay Trailblazer



Janet Mock | Writer

Janet Mock (born 1983) is a transgender American writer, television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist. Her debut book, the memoir Redefining Realness, became a New York Times bestseller. She is a contributing editor for Marie Claire and a former staff editor of People magazine's website. Janet Mock was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her father, Charlie Mock III, is African-American, and her mother, Elizabeth (Barrett), is of half Portuguese descent, part Asian descent and part Native Hawaiian descent. Mock lived for most of her youth in her native Hawaii, with portions in Oakland CA and Dallas TX. She began her transition as a freshman in high school. She chose her name Janet after Janet Jackson. She was the first person in her family to go to college. She underwent sex reassignment surgery in Thailand at the age of 18 in the middle of her first year in college. Mock earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004 and a Master of Arts in Journalism from New York University in 2006. After graduating from New York University, Mock started working at People magazine, where she was a staff editor for more than five years. Her career in journalism shifted from editor to media advocate when she came out publicly as a trans woman in a 2011 Marie Claire article. Mock has an impressive writing and media career. In addition to People and Marie Claire, she has written articles for other magazines like Elle, The Advocate, and Huffington Post. She has published several books. And she has appeared on numerous documentaries and talk shows. And she is the writer, director, and producer of the television series Pose. Mock lives in New York City. She married photographer Aaron Tredwell in 2015 and divorced in 2019.


Biographical Notes: Janet Mock

Janet Mock: You Tube Channel

IMDB: Janet Mock

Janet Mock: Knowing Her Gender Identity With Certainty

Janet Mock Website



Isaac Newton | Scientist

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an asexual English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author. He was described as a "natural philosopher" who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus. Among many other impressive feats, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to prove Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena. Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian. Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden and Master of the Royal Mint, and president of the Royal Society. According to popular legend, while on his deathbed, Newton confessed that he had never "known" a woman. This has generally been interpreted that he died a virgin. The general consensus is that Newton was completely asexual, with no sexual interest in women or men, shunning physical affection and preferring to make himself intimate with the workings of the universe than with another human being. While in his later life he received countless awards and much adulation for his scientific discoveries and publications, this didn’t translate into popularity or even love. Newton was famously reclusive and private and did interact with other people, women or men. According to some biographer’s Newton was simply too busy to pursue romantic liaisons. He himself famously remarked: “If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” However, it seems more likely he was simply asexual.


Biographical Notes: Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton Institute: Isaac Newton's Life

The Newton Project: Isaac Newton's Personal Life

Biography: Isaac Newton



Suze Orman | Financial Advisor

Susan Lynn "Suze" Orman (born 1951) is a lesbian American financial advisor, author, and podcast host. She was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree ion social work. After finishing school, Orman moved to Berkeley, California, where she worked as a waitress. In 1980, she borrowed $52,000 and invested that money through a representative at Merrill Lynch, who promptly lost her entire investment in trading options. Later, Orman trained as an account executive for Merrill Lynch, where she learned that the type of investment her broker had put her in was not suitable for her needs, as option trading is considered a high-risk but high-reward investment suitable only for high net worth individuals. It was explained to her that because her broker was the highest producing representative in the office, his actions went unchecked. After completing her training with Merrill Lynch, she remained at the firm until 1983, when she left to become a vice president of investments at Prudential Bache Securities. In 1987, she founded the Suze Orman Financial Group. The Suze Orman Show began airing on CNBC in 2002, running for 13 years in the US and internationally. Orman has written nine New York Times bestsellers about personal finance. She was named twice to the Time 100 list of influential people, has won two Emmy Awards, and eight Gracie Awards. Orman has written, co-produced and hosted 8 PBS specials, and has appeared on multiple additional television shows. She has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show approximately 29 times and Larry King Live over 30 times. Orman is currently the podcast host of the "Suze Orman Women & Money Podcast." As of 2020, her net worth is $50 million. In February 2007, Orman stated that she is a lesbian. Orman has been married to Kathy Travis, who is also her business partner.

Biographical Notes: Suze Orman

Suze Orman: Personal Finance Expert

CNBC: Susan Orman Starts a New Chapter



Little Richard | Musician

Little Richard (1932-2020) was a gay pop musician and the screaming, preening, scene-stealing wild man and pioneer of rock n roll with hits like "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally." The self-described "king and queen" of rock n roll was a huge influence on countless musicians, including the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix,  David Bowie, and Prince. This musical innovator would have stood out in any era. But in the 1950s, when Little Richard came to prominence, he was like no other. With his ferocious piano playing, growling and gospel-strong vocals, pancake makeup, and outlandish costumes, Little Richard tore down barriers starting in the 1950s. That is no small feat for any artist — let alone a black, openly gay man who grew up in the South. Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits. “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” came our later that same year. “Lucille” hit the charts in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958. Little Richard is credited with opening doors and bringing the races together. His music and social influence crossed many boundaries. And he knew his power. "They saw me as something like a deliverer, a way out," he once said. "My means of expression, my music, was a way in which a lot of people wished they could express themselves and couldn't." He also emphatically explained, "I created rock n roll! I'm the innovator! I'm the emancipator! I'm the architect! I am the originator! I'm the one that started it!" Little Richard was among the first class of inductees into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. He was born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932, in Macon, Georgia. The third of 12 children, he clashed with his moonshine-selling father and was ordered out of the family home as a teenager. Aside from music, Little Richard's most noted ambivalence was in his attitude toward his sexuality. In the early days, he covered by exaggerating his freakishness and accentuating his flamboyance. He later called homosexuality "unnatural." And then he said he was "omnisexual." A decade later, he admitted he always knew he was gay. Little Richard died of bone cancer in May 2020 at age 87 in Tennessee.


CNN: Little Richard, Flamboyant Architect of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

NPR: Little Richard, King and Queen of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

Rolling Stone: Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock n Roll, Dead at 87

Tutti Frutti: Little Richard Performs at Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

Biographical Notes: Little Richard



Lilly Singh | Comedian

Lilly Singh (born 1988) is a bisexual Canadian YouTuber, comedian, talk show host, writer, and actress, who initially gained fame on social media under the pseudonym IISuperwomanII. Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Singh began making YouTube videos in 2010. By 2017, she was ranked tenth on the Forbes list of the world's highest paid YouTube stars, earning a reported $10.5 million; as of September 2019 she has fourteen million subscribers, and over three billion video views. Forbes named her one of the 40 most powerful people in comedy in 2019. Singh has received an MTV Fandom Award, four Streamy Awards, two Teen Choice Awards, and a People's Choice Award. In 2016, Singh released her first film, a documentary chronicling her world tour, entitled A Trip to Unicorn Island. In March 2017, she released her first book, How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, which reached number one on the New York Times best-seller list. Since September 2019, Singh acts as executive producer and host of the NBC late-night talk show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh. As a bisexual, Singh is the only openly LGBTQ person, as well as the first person of Indian descent, hosting an American major broadcast network late-night talk show. Her parents emigrated from Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India, and raised her as a Sikh. As a child, Singh has said she was a tomboy. She attended Mary Shadd Public School during her elementary years, and in 2006, she graduated from Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute in Toronto. In 2010, she graduated from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

Lilly Singh Featured in Advocate Mag's Women of the Year Issue

Lilly Singh: Bisexual Indian Comedian and New Late Night Host

Biographical Notes: Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh YouTube Channel

IMDB: Lilly Singh



Gene Robinson | Bishop

Vicky Gene Robinson (born 1947 in Lexington, Kentucky) is a gay former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. Robinson is widely known for being the first priest in an openly gay relationship to be consecrated a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate, a matter of significant controversy. As a schoolboy, Robinson began to realize that he might be different. He suspected he was gay but said it was not something to be open about. Bishop Robinson says he had relationships with women but admitted that he was also attracted to men.  He met Isabella Martin during an internship at the University of Vermont. He says a month into their relationship, he explained his concerns about his sexuality. But, never the less, they married in 1972 and he took a job as a curate in New Jersey before they moved to New Hampshire in 1975. The couple had two daughters, Jamee and Ella. In 1985, after seeking counseling, he and his wife decided they should separate. He went public with his sexuality and they divorced. 18 months later, Bishop Robinson began to date Mark Andrew, who subsequently moved to New Hampshire. They married in 2003. In 2014, after 25 years together, they divorced. Bishop Robinson retired in 2012.


Biographical Notes: Gene Robinson

YouTube: First Openly Gay Bishop in Episcopal Church

BBC: Profile of Gene Robinson



Brandi Carlile | Musician

Brandi M. Carlile (born 1981) is a lesbian American singer-songwriter and producer whose music spans multiple genres. As of 2018, Carlile has released six albums and earned seven Grammy Award nominations, including one for "The Firewatcher's Daughter" and six for "By the Way, I Forgive You." She was the most nominated woman at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, garnering six nominations including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In 2019, Carlile formed an all-female quartet with Amanda Shires, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby called The Highwomen. Born in Ravensdale, Washington, a rural town outside of Seattle, Carlile dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music, teaching herself piano and guitar. Carlile garnered recognition with her 2007 single "The Story", from her album of the same name. "The Story" was awarded gold status in 2017, having sold more than 500,000 copies to date. "The Firewatcher's Daughter" earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. Carlile's music has been categorized in several genres, including pop, rock, alternative country, and folk. Carlile has been a part of several activism campaigns and an advocate for causes ranging from spreading awareness for health issues to LGBTQ rights and empowerment of women. Carlile identified herself as a lesbian in 2002. In June 2012 she announced she was engaged to Catherine Shepherd. The two were married in Boston, Massachusetts in September 2012. The couple have two daughters, Evangeline and Elijah.

Biographical Notes: Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile YouTube Channel

NPR: Brandi Carlile Stories



RuPaul Charles | Entertainer

RuPaul Andre Charles (born 1960) is an American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, and television personality. Since 2009, he has produced and hosted the reality competition series RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he has received six Primetime Emmy Awards. RuPaul is considered to be the most commercially successful drag queen in the United States. In 2017, he was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2019, Fortune noted RuPaul as “easily the world's most famous” drag queen. RuPaul was born and raised in San Diego, California and later moved to Atlanta, Georgia to study performing arts. RuPaul was the only boy of his parents’ four children, and eventually began wearing his sisters’ clothes and exploring cross-dressing, emulating stars like Diana Ross and Jane Fonda in his youth. In Atlanta, RuPaul attended the Northside School of Performing Arts. It was a big step toward getting his feet wet in the world of performance and, in the end, show business. He settled in New York City, where he became a popular fixture on the nightclub scene. In the early 1990s, he landed a record contract and released his first album, Supermodel of the World, while also starting a career in acting. On the strength of his TV shows, including RuPaul's Drag Race, and his oversized personality, RuPaul has become a beacon in gay, drag and transsexual communities. He has described doing drag as a "very very political" act because it "challenges the status quo" by rejecting fixed identities. He explains, "I'm a shapeshifter, I do whatever the hell I want at any given time." RuPaul is indifferent to gender-specific pronouns about him, writing: "You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee. I don't care! Just as long as you call me." RuPaul has been with his Australian partner, Georges LeBar, since 1994, when they met at the Limelight nightclub in New York City. They married in January 2017.

Biographical Notes: RuPaul

RuPaul's Drag Race: You Tube Channel

Biography: RuPaul

IMDB: RuPaul



Tammy Baldwin | Politician

Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born 1962) is a lesbian American politician who served as the United States Senator from Wisconsin since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, she served three terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 78th district, and from 1999 to 2013 represented Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives.  As an openly gay woman, Baldwin has made history several times through her electoral success. In 1998, she became the first openly gay woman and first openly LGBTQ non-incumbent elected to the US Congress, as well as the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in Congress. In 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay person and first openly LGBTQ person elected to the US Senate. Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent in the 2012 US Senate election in Wisconsin. She was reelected in 2018. Her reelection made her the first openly LGBTQ person to win a second term in the US Senate. Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a Bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1984 and a JD degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. She was a lawyer in private practice from 1989 to 1992. For 15 years, Baldwin's domestic partner was Lauren Azar. In 2009, the couple registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin. They separated in 2010. Baldwin was baptized Episcopalian but considers herself "unaffiliated" with a religion.


Biographical Notes: Tammy Baldwin

US Senator: Tammy Baldwin

CSPAN: Tammy Baldwin



Tim Cook | Business Executive

Timothy Donald Cook (born 1960) is a gay American business executive and industrial engineer (Net worth: $1.3 billion). He was born in Mobile, Alabama (Auburn University graduate) and resides in Palo Alto, California. Cook is the chief executive officer of Apple Inc., and previously served as the company's chief operating officer under its cofounder Steve Jobs. Cook joined Apple in March 1998 as a senior vice president for worldwide operations, and then served as the executive vice president for worldwide sales and operations. He was made the chief executive in 2011, prior to Jobs' death. During his tenure as the chief executive, he has advocated for the political reformation of international and domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, corporate taxation, American manufacturing, and environmental preservation. In 2014, Cook became the first chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to publicly come out as gay.


Biographical Notes: Tim Cook

Information Cradle: Tim Cook

People: No Regrets for Apple CEO Tim Cook



Alvin Ailey | Dancer

Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was a gay African-American dancer, director, choreographer, and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). He created AAADT and its affiliated Ailey School as havens for nurturing black artists and expressing the universality of the African-American experience through dance. His work fused theatre, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of black life in America. Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations is recognized as one of the most popular and most performed ballets in the world. In this work he blended primitive, modern and jazz elements of dance with a concern for black rural America. In 2008, the US Congress passed a resolution designating AAADT a “vital American cultural ambassador to the World.” That same year, in recognition of AAADT's 50th anniversary, then NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared December 4 "Alvin Ailey Day" in New York City while then Governor David Paterson honored the organization on behalf of New York State. In 1968 Ailey was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts. In 1977 he received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1988.  he was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame in 1992.  he was inducted into the Legacy Walk in 2012. and he posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2014. Ailey loathed the label "black choreographer" and preferred being known simply as a choreographer. He was notoriously private about his life. Though gay, he kept his romantic affairs in the closet. Ailey died from an AIDS related illness in 1989, at the age of 58.

Biographical Notes: Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

YouTube Channel: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

Biography: Alvin Ailey

Hymn for Alvin Ailey



Annie Leibovitz | Photographer

Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz (born 1949) is a lesbian American portrait photographer. She is best known for her engaging portraits of celebrities, which often feature subjects in intimate settings and poses. She is renowned for her dramatic, quirky, and iconic portraits. Her signature style is crisp and well lighted. She was the key photographer for Rolling Stone magazine and Vanity Fair magazine. She photographed John Lennon on the day he was murdered. Her work has been used on numerous album covers and magazines. She became the first woman to hold an exhibition at Washington's National Portrait Gallery in 1991. She was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, and resides in Manhattan, New York City. Her partner of 15 years was playwright Susan Sontag.

Biographical Notes: Annie Leibovitz

Biography of Annie Leibovitz

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Annie Leibovitz



Michael Boticelli | Health Official

Michael P. Botticelli (born 1958) is a gay American public health official who served as the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug Czar) under President Obama. Prior to joining ONDCP, he worked in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Following completion of his service as ONDCP Director, he became the executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at the Boston Medical Center. Botticelli was born in Troy, New York and raised in Waterford, New York. He attended Catholic Central High School. He later received a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Siena College and a Masters in Education from St. Lawrence University. Botticelli began drinking alcohol regularly in high school and by his 20s, he was an alcoholic. He also experimented with cocaine and marijuana. He was arrested for driving under the influence following a traffic collision on the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1988. A judge gave him the option of going into treatment or being sentenced to prison, and he chose to enter treatment. After achieving sobriety, Botticelli joined the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in 1994. He worked as a coordinator for alcoholism programs (1994-95), as contract manager for HIV-related policies and services (1995-96), as an assistant director for policy and planning (1996-00), as the chief of staff to the public health commissioner (2000-03), and as director of substance abuse services (2003-12). Botticelli and his husband, David Wells, were married in 2009.


Biographical Notes: Michael Botticelli

Michael Botticelli: Johns Hopkins Distinguished Policy Scholar

Drug Czar Michael Botticelli: Knows Addiction Firsthand

Michael Botticelli TED Talk: Addiction is a Disease

War on Drugs: Conversation with Michael Botticelli



Marsha P. Johnson | Activist

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) was an American gay liberation pioneer, activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the Stonewall riots of 1969, sometimes identified as the one who threw the first brick during the uprising. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Johnson co-founded the gay and transvestite advocacy organization STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. A popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, Johnson modeled for Andy Warhol, and performed onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot Peaches. Known for decades as a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village, Johnson was known as the "Mayor of Christopher Street." From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP. Johnson was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. Her father was an assembly line worker for General Motors and her mother was a housekeeper. Johnson attended an African Methodist Episcopal Church as a child and was devoutly religious throughout her life. Johnson first began wearing dresses at the age of five but stopped temporarily due to harassment by local boys. After this, Johnson described the idea of being gay as "some sort of dream", rather than something that seemed possible, and so chose to remain closeted. After Johnson graduated from high school in 1963, she left home for New York City. She waited tables after moving to Greenwich Village in 1966. After meeting gay people in the city, Johnson finally felt it was possible to be gay and was able to come out.

Biographical Notes: Marsha P. Johnson

Washington Post: The Trans Women of Stonewall

New York Times: Stonewall Activists Get a Monument in New York

Marsha P. Johnson and the Stonewall Riots

State Park in Brooklyn Renamed in Honor of Marsha P. Johnson



Jim Parsons | Actor

James Joseph Parsons (born 1973) is a gay American actor and producer. Parsons is known for playing Sheldon Cooper in the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" (2007–2019). He has received several awards for his performance, including four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. In 2018, Forbes estimated his annual salary to be $26.5 million and named him the world's highest-paid television actor. Parsons made his Broadway debut in 2011 portraying Tommy Boatwright in the play "The Normal Heart," for which he shared a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. He reprised the role in the film adaptation of the play, and received his seventh Emmy nomination, this time in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie. In film, Parsons has voiced the lead character in "Home" (2015) and played supporting roles in "Hidden Figures" (2016) and "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" (2019). He was born in Houston, Texas. He received his BA degree from the University of Houston and his MFA degree from the University of San Diego. He resides in Manhattan, New York City. He married Todd Spiewak in 2017. 

Biographical Notes: Jim Parsons

IMDB: Jim Parsons

Rotten Tomatoes: Jim Parsons



Wanda Sykes | Comedian

Wanda Yvette Sykes (born 1964) is a lesbian American actress, comedian, and writer. She was first recognized for her work as a writer on The Chris Rock Show, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999. In 2004, Entertainment Weekly named Sykes as one of the 25 funniest people in America. She is also known for her roles on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (CBS 2006–10), "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO 2001–11), and "Black-ish" (ABC 2015–present). Aside from her television appearances, Sykes has also had a career in film, appearing in "Monster-in-Law" (2005), "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" (2006), "Evan Almighty" (2007) and "License to Wed" (2007), as well as voicing characters in animated films such as "Over the Hedg" (2006), Barnyard (2006), "Brother Bear 2" (2006), "Rio" (2011), "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (2012), "Ice Age: Collision Course" (2016) and "Ugly Dolls" (2019). She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and graduated from Hampton University.  She resides in California, New York, and Pennsylvania.  She married Alex Niedbalski in 2008.


Biographical Notes: Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes Website

IMDB: Wanda Sykes



Alan Turing | Mathematician

Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954) was a gay English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general-purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Despite these accomplishments, he was not fully recognized in his home country during his lifetime, due to his homosexuality, and because much of his work was covered by the Official Secrets Act. During World War II, Turing worked for Britain's codebreaking centre that was responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. Here, he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, which included an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic, and in so doing helped win the war. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, the criminal of "gross indecency." He accepted chemical castration treatment as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning, a possible suicide. In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way he was treated". Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous pardon in 2013. In July 2019 the Bank of England announced that Turing would be depicted on the United Kingdom's new £50 note.


Biographical Notes: Alan Turing

Alan Turing: Short Biography

Video Bio: Alan Turning

New York Times: Alan Turing a Computer Visionary



Caitlyn Jenner | Athlete

Caitlyn Marie Jenner (born Bruce Jenner, 1949) is a transgender American television personality and retired Olympic gold medal–winning decathlete.  Jenner played college football before becoming a track star. Jenner won the men's decathlon event at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, setting a third successive world record and gaining fame as "an all-American hero". Given the unofficial title of "world's greatest athlete", Jenner established a career in television, film, writing, auto racing, business, and as a Playgirl cover model. Jenner has six children with three successive wives (Chrystie Crownover, Linda Thompson, Kris Jenner) and has since 2007 appeared on the reality television series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." Assigned male at birth, Caitlyn Jenner publicly came out as a trans woman in 2015. Her new name was publicly announced in July of that year, with her name and gender being legally changed the following September. In January 2017, she underwent sex reassignment surgery. Jenner has been called the most famous transgender woman in the world.

Biographical Notes: Caitlyn Jenner

UK Mirror: All About Caitlyn Jenner

Us Mag: Caitlyn Jenner Archives



Leonard Bernstein | Songwriter

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a gay American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was born Louis Bernstein in Massachusetts, the son of Ukrainian Jewish parents. He died in New York. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. He is regarded as one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history. His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for "West Side Story," "Peter Pan," "Candide," "Wonderful Town," "On the Town," "On the Waterfront, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works. As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of the Broadway play, "West Side Story."

Biographical Notes: Leonard Bernstein

About Leonard Bernstein

NPR News: Complex Life of Leonard Bernstein



Rachel Maddow | Commentator

Rachel Anne Maddow (born 1973) is a lesbian American television news program host and liberal political commentator. She hosts "The Rachel Maddow Show," a nightly television show on MSNBC, and serves as the cable network's special event co-anchor alongside Brian Williams. Her syndicated talk radio program of the same name aired on Air America Radio. Maddow holds a bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science from Oxford University and is the first openly lesbian anchor to host a major prime-time news program in the United States. Maddow was born in Castro Valley, California. Her father is a former Air Force captain and lawyer. Her mother was a school administrator. Her father's family is of Eastern European (Polish, Russian) Jewish decent. Her paternal grandmother was of Dutch (Protestant) descent. Her Canadian mother has English and Irish roots. Maddow says that her family is "very very Catholic" and she grew up in a "very conservative" community. She was a competitive athlete and participated in high school volleyball, basketball, and swimming. Currently, Maddow splits her time between Manhattan, New York and West Cummington, Massachusetts. Her partner is artist and photographer Susan Mikula.


Biographical Notes: Rachel Maddow

NY Times Mag: Feature Story on Rachel Maddow

MS NBC: Rachel Maddow Show



Jason Collins | Athlete

Jason Paul Collins (born 1978) is a gay American retired professional basketball player who played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A center, Collins played college basketball for Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000–01. Collins was selected by the Houston Rockets as the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He went on to play for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. After the 2012–13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay. He became a free agent and did not play again until February 2014, when he signed with the Nets and became the first openly gay athlete to play in any of four major North American pro sports leagues. In April 2014, Collins was featured on the cover of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." Collins was born in Northridge, California, along with his twin bother Jarron, who also became an NBA player. They graduated from Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles. He and Jarron won two California Interscholastic Federation state titles during their four-year careers with a combined record of 123–10. Collins broke the California career rebounding record with 1,500. Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinals in the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac 10). In 2001, Collins was named to All-Pac 10 first team, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) voted him to their third-team All-American team. He finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage (.608) and third in blocked shots (89).  In the cover story of the May 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins came out as gay, becoming the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so. Collins also said the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 led him to choose "98" for his jersey number, in Shepard's honor. Following his announcement, Collins received high praise and support for deciding to publicly reveal that he is gay. Fellow NBA star Kobe Bryant praised his decision, as did others from around the league, including NBA commissioner David Stern. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and Collins' corporate sponsor Nike were also among those offering their praise and support for Collins. Former tennis player Martina Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981, called Collins a "game-changer" for team sports, which she referred to as one of the last areas where homophobia remained. In addition to being an acclaimed athlete, Collins has the distinction of simultaneously identifying as gay, black, and Christian. As of June 2014, Collins was in a relationship with producer Brunson Green.

Biographical Notes: Jason Collins

CNN Sports: Jason Collins Comes Out as Gay

ABC News: First Gay Professional Athlete to Come Out

Players Tribune: Jason Collins Says "I'm Out"

Sports Illustrated: Why Jason Collins Came Out

Outsports: Jason Collins is Athlete with Stonewall Spirit

Jason Collins Video: First Openly Gay Athlete in Major Sports



K D Lang | Musician

Kathryn Dawn Lang (born 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta), known by her stylized stage name k.d. lang, is a lesbian Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and record producer. She is of English, Irish, Scottish, German, Russian, Jewish, Icelandic, and Sioux ancestry. Lang has won both Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances. Hits include "Constant Craving" and "Miss Chatelaine." She has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has collaborated with a variety of musicians. With her crooning style, campy approach, androgynous appearance, and edgy, rock-inflected music, very few observers knew what to make of her or her music, although no one questioned her considerable vocal talents. Lang, who always appears barefooted in her concerts, began to establish an appearance and style referred to as "cowboy punk." Lang is also known for being an animal rights activist, LGBTQ rights activist, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a vegetarian and tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano. Canadians consider her one of our most accomplished singer-songwriters of all time. She has appeared occasionally in film and television. Lang appeared on the cover of the August 1993 issue of Vanity Fair photographed by Herb Ritts, in which she in a barber chair while model Cindy Crawford shaved her face with a straight razor. Lang, who came out as a lesbian in a June 1992 article of The Advocate, has championed gay rights causes. 


Biographical Notes: KD Lang

All Music: KD Lang




George Takei | Actor

George Hosato Takei (born Hosato Takei, 1937, in Los Angeles, California) is a gay American actor, author, and activist. He was educated at UC Berkely and UC Los Angeles. He 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." His Facebook page has attracted over 10 million followers since he joined in 2011, and the account frequently shares photos with original humorous commentary. Takei is a proponent of 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 a US-run internment camp during World War II, has given him a platform to speak out against the Trump administration's rhetoric about immigrants and immigration policies. He was married to Brad Altman in 2008.


Biographical Notes: George Takei

IMDB: George Takei

Washington Post: Extraordinary Trek of George Takei



Lily Tomlin | Actor

Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born 1939 in Detroit) is a lesbian American actress, comedian, writer, singer and producer. Tomlin started her career as a stand-up comedian (improvisational and observational) as well as performing Off-Broadway during the 1960s. Her breakout role was on the variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" from 1969 until 1973. She currently stars as Frankie Bergstein on the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie," which debuted in 2015 and has earned her nominations for four Primetime Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In 1974, Tomlin was cast by Robert Altman in her first film, "Nashville" won her several awards and nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Over the years, she has appeared in several notable films, including 9 to 5 (1980), All of Me (1984), Big Business (1988), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Tea with Mussolini (1999), I Heart Huckabees (2004), and Grandma (2015). Her signature role was written by her then partner (now wife), Jane Wagner, in a show titled "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" which opened on Broadway in 1985 and won Tomlin the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play.


Biographical Notes: Lily Tomlin

IMDB: Lily Tomlin

CNN: Interview with Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner



Barney Frank | Politician

Barnett Frank (born 1940) is a gay American politician. He served as a member of the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1981 to 2013. A Democrat, Frank served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (2007–2011) and was a leading co-sponsor of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, a sweeping reform of the US financial industry. Frank, a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, was considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States. Frank is known for his quick wit and rapid-fire speaking style. Capitol Hill staffers describe him as brainy, funny, eloquent, hard working, and one of the brightest and most energetic defenders of civil rights issues. Born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey to a working-class Jewish family, Frank graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He worked as a political aide before winning election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1972. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1980 with 52 percent of the vote. He was re-elected every term thereafter by wide margins. In 1987, he publicly came out as gay, becoming the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily. From 2003 until his retirement, Frank was the leading Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, and he served as committee chairman when his party held a House majority from 2007 to 2011. In July 2012, he married his long-time partner, James Ready, becoming the first member of Congress to marry someone of the same sex while in office. Frank did not seek re-election in 2012, and retired from Congress at the end of his term in January 2013.


Biographical Notes: Barney Frank

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Barney Frank

New Yorker: Barney's Great Adventure



Kate Bornstein | Writer

Katherine Vandam "Kate" Bornstein (born Albert 1948) is a transgender American author, playwright, performance artist, actress, and gender theorist. Born in Asbury Park, New Jersey in upper middle-class Conservative Jewish family of Russian and Dutch descent, she now resides in New York City. She was educated at Brown University. In 1986, Bornstein identified as gender non-conforming and has stated "I don't call myself a woman, and I know I'm not a man" after having been assigned male at birth and receiving gender affirmation surgery. She now identifies with the pronouns they/them or she/her. Bornstein has also written about having anorexia, being a survivor of PTSD and being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Bornstein has chronic lymphocytic leukemia and in 2012 was diagnosed with lung cancer. In 1989, Bornstein created a theatre production, "Hidden: A Gender," based on parallels between her own life. In 2009, Bornstein's "Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws" was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBTQ Nonfiction and Honorbook for the Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature. Bornstein edited the anthology "Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation," winning the Lambda Literary and Publishing Triangle Awards in 2011. Bornstein's autobiography, titled "A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir," was released in 2012. In 2013, she released "My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity." Kate's work is taught in five languages, in over 300 high schools, colleges, and universities around the world. Her partner is Barbara Carrellas.

Biographical Notes: Kate Bornstein

NY Times Reflection: Kate Bornstein

Speak Out: Kate Bornstein



Lee Daniels | Director

Lee Louis Daniels (born 1959) is a gay American film and television writer, director, and producer. He produced Monster's Ball and directed Precious, which received six Oscar nominations, including Best Director. In 2012, Daniels directed The Butler, a historical fiction drama. Daniels is also a co-creator, executive producer, and director of the television series Empire (2015) and Star (2016)Daniels was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Radnor High School in 1978, and then Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. He began his career in entertainment as a casting director and manager after a chance meeting with a Hollywood producer, working on such projects as Under the Cherry Moon and Purple Rain. He continued managing talent. The documentary My Big Break features Daniels early in his career when he was managing actor Wes Bentley, who starred as Ricky Fitts in American BeautyMonster's Ball, the debut production of Lee Daniels Entertainment, was a critical and box office success, winning Halle Berry the Oscar for Best Actress. The film was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. He is also known for the 2004 production The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and Mos Def, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His first directorial effort, 2006's Shadowboxer, debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. It starred Helen Mirren, Cuba Gooding Jr., Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Ferlito, Mo'Nique, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Macy Gray. His 2009 film Precious told the story of an obese, illiterate, 16-year-old girl (Gabourey Sidibe) who lives in poverty in Harlem. Mo'Nique won the Academy award for best supporting actress, Daniels was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the film received a Best Picture nomination. He directed the historical fiction drama film The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard, Alan Rickman, and Oprah Winfrey. Empire, a television series created by Daniels, premiered in 2015. In 2016, Daniels received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the television industry. Daniels lives in Manhattan. He and his then-partner, casting director Billy Hopkins, adopted Daniels's biological niece and nephew, Clara and Liam. Hopkins and Daniels later separated. In 2015, Daniels clarified his sexuality by stating that despite being gay men, both he and Empire actor Jussie Smollett are sexually fluid. His current partner is Jahil Fisher.


Biographical Notes: Lee Daniels

IMDB: Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels Entertainment



Tennessee Williams | Playwright

Thomas Lanier Williams III (1911-1983), known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was a Depression Era gay American playwright. He was born in Mississippi and died in New York. Along with contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he is considered among the foremost playwrights of 20th-century American drama. After years of obscurity, at age 33 he became suddenly famous with the success of "The Glass Menagerie" (1944). This play closely reflected his own unhappy family background. It was the first of a string of successes, including "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947), "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955), "Sweet Bird of Youth" (1959), and "The Night of the Iguana" (1961). His plays reveal a world of human frustration in which sex and violence underlie an atmosphere of romantic gentility. His drama "A Streetcar Named Desire" is often numbered on short lists of the finest American plays of the 20th century. Much of Williams' most acclaimed work has been adapted for the cinema. He also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs. In 1979, four years before his death, Williams was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Among his partners were Pancho Rodríguez y González, Frank Merlo, and Robert Carroll.


Biographical Notes: Tennessee Williams

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Tennessee Williams

Famous Authors: Tennessee Williams



Annise Parker | Politician

Annise Danette Parker (born 1956 in Houston, Texas) is a lesbian American politician who served as the 61st Mayor of Houston, from 2010 until 2016. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to 2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010. Parker was Houston's second female mayor (after Kathy Whitmire), and one of the first openly gay mayors of a major US city, with Houston being the most populous US city to date to elect an openly gay mayor, until Lori Lightfoot was elected mayor of Chicago in 2019. Parker attended Rice University on a National Merit scholarship in 1974 and graduated from Jones College in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, psychology and sociology. In 1986-87, she was president of the Houston LGBTQ Political Caucus. Parker is currently CEO and President of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute. Parker and her partner, Kathy Hubbard, have been together since 1990. In January 2014, Parker and Hubbard were married in Palm Springs, California. Parker and Hubbard reside in Houston.

Biographical Notes: Annise Parker

Harvard Institute of Politics: Annise Parker

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Annise Parker



Ismail Merchant | Film Producer

Ismail Merchant (1936-2005), born Ismail Noor Muhammad Abdul Rahman, in Bombay, was a gay Indian film producer, director, and screenwriter. He worked for many years in collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions which included director (and Merchant's longtime professional and domestic partner) James Ivory as well as screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. They are known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985), and The Remains of the Day (1993). Their films won six Academy Awards. He studied at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and got a BA degree at the University of Bombay. At 22, he moved to the US to study at New York University where he received an MBA degree. While in New York, he gave up his family name. He was inspired by such directors as Ingmar Bergman, Vittorio De Sica, and Federico Fellini. In 1961, he made a short film, The Creation of Woman. It was shown at Cannes Film Festival and received an Academy Award nomination. Merchant met American Movie Director James Ivory in 1959. In May 1961, Merchant and Ivory formed the film company Merchant Ivory Productions. Merchant and Ivory were long-term life partners. Their professional and romantic partnership lasted 44 years, from 1961 until Merchant's death in 2005. Their partnership has a place in Guinness Book of World Records for longest partnership in independent cinema history. They produced nearly 40 films, including a number of award winners (James Ivory won an Oscar Award for Call Me By Your Name in 2018). Merchant died in London and was buried in Mumbai.


Biographical Notes: Ismail Merchant

IMDB: Ismail Merchant

Merchant and Ivory: Secret Hollywood Couple



Queen Latifah | Entertainer

Dana Elaine Owens (born 1970), known professionally as Queen Latifah, is a lesbian American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and producer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she released her debut album All Hail the Queen in 1989, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Nature of a Sista' (1991) was her second album. Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, 1993-98. Her third album, Black Reign (1993), spawned the single "U.N.I.T.Y.", which, being a large influence on women, won a Grammy Award and peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. She then starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago (2002), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004. In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums, Trav'lin' Light and Persona. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show (2013-15) on CBS. She has appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007), Joyful Noise (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014) and Girls Trip (2017). Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Since 2016, she has starred as Carlotta Brown in the musical drama series Star. She has been described as a "feminist" rapper. Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 (The first hip-hop artist to do so). Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records. Queen Latifah is in a longterm relationship with her partner Eboni Nichols. In 2019, the couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl. Eboni carried and delivered the couple’s baby.


Biographical Notes: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah and Eboni Nichols

Filmography: Queen Latifah



Lynn Conway | Engineer

Lynn Ann Conway (born 1938) is a transgender American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor, and activist. Conway is notable for a number of pioneering achievements, including the Mead & Conway revolution in VLSI design, which incubated an emerging electronic design automation industry. She worked at IBM in the 1960s and is credited with the invention of generalized dynamic instruction handling, a key advance used in out-of-order execution, used by most modern computer processors to improve performance. Conway grew up in White Plains, New York (dn Robert). Conway was shy and experienced gender dysphoria as a child. She became fascinated and engaged by astronomy (building a 150 mm reflector telescope one summer) and did well in math and science in high school. Conway entered MIT in 1955, earning high grades but ultimately leaving in despair after an attempted gender transition in 1957–58 failed due to the medical climate at the time. After working as an electronics technician for several years, Conway resumed education at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, earning BS and MSEE degrees in 1962 and 1963. After learning of the pioneering research of Harry Benjamin in treating transsexual women and realizing that genital affirmation surgery was now possible, Conway sought his help and became his patient. After suffering from severe depression from gender dysphoria, Conway contacted Benjamin, who agreed to provide counseling and prescribe hormones. Under Benjamin's care, Conway began her medical gender transition. While struggling with life in a male role, Conway had been married to a woman and had two children. Under the legal constraints then in place, after transitioning she was denied access to their children. Although she had hoped to be allowed to transition on the job, IBM fired Conway in 1968 after she revealed her intention to transition to a female gender role. In 1987, Conway met her husband Charles "Charlie" Rogers, a professional engineer who shares her interest in the outdoors, including whitewater canoeing and motocross racing. In August 2002, they were married in Michigan.


Biographical Notes: Lynn Conway

IEEE Award: Lynn Conway

Lynn Conway's Webpage

Lynn Conway: Most Successful Transgender Scientist in the World



Neil Patrick Harris | Actor

Neil Patrick Harris (born 1973) is a gay American actor, comedian, writer, producer, magician, and singer. He is known primarily for his comedy roles on television and his dramatic and musical stage roles. On television, he is known for playing the title character on "Doogie Howser MD" (1989–93), Barney Stinson on "How I Met Your Mother" (2005–14, for which he was nominated for four Emmy Awards), and Count Olaf in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (2017–19). His films include "Starship Troopers" (1997), "Beastly" (2011), "The Smurfs" (2011), "The Smurfs 2" (2013), "A Million Ways to Die in the West" (2014), and "Gone Girl" (2014). In 2014, he starred in the title role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" on Broadway, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Harris was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010. Harris came out as gay publicly in November 2006, saying, "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love." He is married to David Burtka. In 2010, they had twins via surrogacy.

Biographical Notes: Neil Patrick Harris

IMDB: Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris: It's Not Just for Gays Anymore




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