In alphabetical order
This category recognises LGBT+ ceebrities who have come outin the face of adversity or who support the LGBT+ community in a positive way.
Cara Delevingne is a fashion model and actress who first rose to fame as the face of brands such as Burberry, H&M and Chanel, before moving into acting. She has starred in over ten films. Delevingne is openly bisexual has supported initiatives like National Coming Out day for years. She officially came out in an interview with Vogue magazine, but the writer described her bisexuality as a ‘phase’. Delevingne clarified that her sexuality was definitely not a phase, stating “I am who I am.”
Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black is a screenwriter, director, film and television producer and LGBT+ rights activist. He won a Writers Guild of America Award and an Oscar for the 2008 film Milk and has written and directed many screenplays. Black’s filmmaking regularly focuses on LGBT+ issues. He has produced three short films for Coca Cola covering LGBT bullying; an ABC special – When We Rise, an eight-hour exploration of the interconnectedness of activists from the LGBT, civil rights, women’s rights and peace movement and a pro-equality commercial for Tylenol, featuring same-sex couples. Black is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and writer of 8, a staged re-enactment of the federal trial that led to a federal court’s overturn of California’s Proposition 8.
Elliot Page is an actor whose breakthrough role came in the film Juno, for which he received an Academy Award Nomination. Page came out as gay at Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Time to THRIVE’ conference in Las Vegas in 2014, which focuses on addressing issues within the LGBTQ community. Page speaks openly about the fear he had of coming out and of Hollywood’s double standards on homosexuality. He recently starred in Freehold, an LGBT+ rights film based on a true story, which he fought for six years to bring to the big screen. Last year, Page and best friend Ian Daniel produced and premiered a new reality series called Gaycation, in which they travel the globe on an LGBT+ cultural exploration.
Olly Alexander is an actor and singer-songwriter who is the lead singer in the band Years and Years. He has starred in the popular drama ‘Skins’ and the hit US series ‘Penny Dreadful. Openly gay, Alexander spoke of his use of pronouns in his music in an interview with Attitude magazine, where he stated “Growing up, many of my favourite songs were mainly ‘you and I’ type of relationship songs that weren’t gender-specific, and I loved those songs because they were universal, but it was important to me to get some male pronouns in there on this album because we don’t have enough songs like that”. Alexander advocates for better sex and relationships education in schools.
Kate Mckinnon is an actress, comedian and impressionist. She has been an ‘out’ performer since her career began, and was the first out lesbian to join the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and was previously a cast member on ‘The Big Gay Sketch Show’. She recently played the character of Holtzmann in the reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’. Director Paul Feig appeared to confirm Holtzmann’s character as gay in an interview. On her realisation that she was a lesbian, McKinnon said: “I figured it out by watching the X-Files and noticing my physiological reaction to it. I thought at first it was initially a reaction to David Duchovny’s face but no, it was Gillian Anderson.”
Lady Gaga is a singer-songwriter and actress who has sold over 27 million albums and 146 million singles worldwide. Gaga is openly bisexual and a fierce advocate of LGBT+ rights through her music, concerts and public demonstrations. She described speaking at the 2009 National Equality March as ‘the single most important event of her career.’ She was a leading activist for the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and is believed to be the first person to say the word ‘transgender’ at a Super Bowl Halftime show.
Lauren Jauregui is a singer and member of the girl group Fifth Harmony. Her career break came as a solo contestant on season two of the X Factor USA in 2012, when she was just 16-years-old. After being eliminated from the competition, she joined the band Fifth Harmony, who have sold over half a million records to date. Fifth Harmony are outspoken advocates of LGBT+ rights. Jauregui came out as bisexual in 2016, in an open letter to Donald Trump’s voters, which was published by Billboard magazine. In the letter, she stated ‘I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it.’
Laverne Cox is an Emmy nominated actress whose breakthrough role came in the Netflix series ‘Orange The New Black’. Cox is the first transgender woman of colour to have a role in a mainstream drama. In 2014 she was on the cover of TIME Magazine. Her documentary ‘Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word’ explored the lives of seven transgender youth and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. Cox was in Glamour magazine in 2014 as one of the ‘Women of the Year’ for her work in raising awareness about trans issues. She also received the Reader’s Choice Award from “Out” Magazine and was named one of the Top 50 Trans Icons by the Huffington Post.
RUPAUL is a singer, actor, author, presenter and drag queen. He became famous internationally with his hit song ‘Supermodel (You Better Work)’ in 1993, but is perhaps best known for the Emmy-award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race, a show about drag queens. RuPaul’s presence on mainstream television in the 90’s undoubtedly brought LGBT+ visibility to the fore. He has worked with the M·A·C Cosmetics brand for seven years, collaborating to raise money for the M·A·C Aids Fund. He regularly speaks out about LGBT+ rights and the fight for equality.
Russell Tovey is an actor, playwright and screenwriter best known for his role in the History Boys and his portrayal of the werewolf George Sands in the BBC drama ‘Being Human’. Tovey is openly gay and has stated that he felt comfortable with his sexuality from an early age, saying “…it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, being gay. It’s made my career.” His latest film, The Pass, details the struggle of a Premiership footballer coming to terms with his sexuality.