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.
Amandla Stenberg, acclaimed star of films like “The Hate U Give” and “The Hunger Games” continues to use her social media presence to spark thoughtful conversations around a variety of issues including but not limtied to cultural appropriation, biracial identity, sexual identity, gender, LGBTQ+ acceptance and visibility, and mental health. Already recognized by the Teen Choice Awards, Hollywood Film Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards and more for her work, Stenberg is set to receive the HRC Visibility Award this year for her LGBT+ activism worldwide. Stenberg initially came out as bisexual in 2016 via Teen Vogue’s Snapchat and recently confirmed that she identifies as ‘gay’ and couldn’t be happier. In her interview with King Princess for Wonderland, she said that “the continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalised homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles”.
In an article she wrote for Vogue, Cara Delevinge said that learning about the fluidity of gender was “a breakthrough moment” for her. This ‘milestone’ allowed her to find comfort in identifying as gender fluid. The model-actress closed Burberry’s London Fashion Week show during LGBT History Month by wearing a rainbow cape to honour the LGBTQ+ community. The look designed by Christopher Bailey went viral immediately. Delevinge recently championed Rimmel’s anti-bullying campaign #IWillNotBeDeleted in which young people are encouraged to embrace their own individual beauty and to not give in to the “hands of bullies by minimising your own self-expression and creativity”.
Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winner Cynthia Nixon has been a consistent champion for LGBT+ rights by using her platform to be vocal about a variety of issues including but not limited to marriage equality, fighting stigma and prejudice, and the importance of LGBT+ visibility. She was recently recognized with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award for being a fearless advocate for LGBT+ equality. The former Sex And The City star has also proudly supported her trans son Samuel (called Seph) by posting an empowering public message about his success on her social media. As recent candidate for New York governor, Nixon who has been married to a woman since 2012 has never shied away from addressing her queerness, forcing media outlets to reflect on the language they use when talking about LGBT+ folk.
Breakout star of ’We Need to Talk About Kevin’, ’The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ and the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, non-binary actor Ezra Miller has grabbed headlines for his eclectic queer lifestyle. From challenging gender roles in fashion by wearing fantastical outfits to film premieres, to opening up about his polyamorous relationships in a Playboy interview, Miller has defied every heteronormative stereotype possible. Lead of the upcoming standalone ’Flash’ film, Miller has addressed the #MeToo movement by reinforcing how important it is to “acknowledge the diversity of voices who have experienced this shit, and all genders, all capacities, all types of people.” To Miller, “Queer just means no, I don’t do that. I don’t identify as a man. I don’t identify as a woman. I barely identify as a human”.
Speaking to The Timesmagazine in 2012, Gillian Anderson said that she is bisexual. Anderson spoke about a long-term relationship that she was in with a girl and how she felt the need to come out in order to pay homage to her late girlfriend after she lost her life to a brain haemorrhage. Anderson has been vocal and unapologetic of her bisexuality, claiming that “It’s just who I am. I have absolutely no issue with it whatsoever, and I don’t really care if other people have an issue with it”. The award-winning star of the iconic show X-Filesbelieves that all humans are intersectional and complicated, and that everyone deserves to be respected equally. Anderson currently plays a sex and relationship therapist on Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’, a sex-positive show with numerous LGBTQ+ storylines.
In collaboration with Gay Times and All Out, Celebrity stylist Gok Wan introduced a powerful Pride campaign in 2018 called the #GlobalPrideMakeover. The campaign aimed to raise awareness around the injustices LGBTQ+ folk face in countries that are not as privileged as the UK to “take part in a Pride parade, have parties and march without a fear for our lives”. The exclusive film depicted Gok dress people up with the ‘perfect Pride’ outfit. The twist? Each item resembles the persecution faced by members of the LGBTQ community globally. According to Gok Wan, we must continue to fight “for a world where no one has to sacrifice their family, freedom, safety, or dignity because of who they are or who they love.”
Best known for his roles on Doctor Who, Torchwoodand Arrow, John Barrowman has been an active LGBT+ advocate for many years. Commenting on his ‘I’m a Celebrity’ appearance, Barrowman stated that he doesn’t want to just be named ‘King of the Jungle’ but instead both “King and Queen of the Jungle and cross the gender lines”. He has been unapologetic about his identity and as per his message for London Pride 2018, he believes that we must “continue to stand for what we believe in and who we are. Never apologize for being you.”
Actor, producer, and the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series, Lena Waithe is responsible for several watershed moments this past year. From wearing a stunning floor-length rainbow flag cape to the Met Gala, to working on Twenties, an upcoming series about a “queer black girl and her two straight best friends”, Waithe continues to make history by being a proud, visible and vocal “gay black female” – an act she deems as revolutionary. On accepting GLAAD’s Outstanding Individual Episode award for the episode showing her Master of None character Denise’s coming out, Waithe called for a more unified community stating that someone else’s “struggle may look different than mine, but the pain we feel is the same”. In her recent Vanity Fair shoot with her fiancé, Waithe provides authentic representation of queer black excellence while normalising lesbian relationships in a heartwarming and genuine manner.
Best known for her acclaimed performance on Orange is the New Black, Ruby Rose has broken new ground by being cast as the titular character on Batwoman, the first-ever superhero series to be led by a lesbian character. Her casting and character is a remarkable moment for LGBT+ representation as most mainstream superhero narratives tend to remain severely heterosexual and heteronormative. Upon the announcement of her casting Rose said, “This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on TV and felt alone and different.” In an interview with the magazine Elle,Rose who identifies as gender-fluid said that, “only you know who you were born to be, and you need to be free to be that person.”
Rylan, the former X-Factor and Celebrity Big Brother star, uses his celebrity to raise awareness around LGBT+ issues including but not limited to homophobic crime. Rylan recently faced abuse on the streets when someone shouted homophobic slurs at him. Upon shouting back, his abuser fled the scene. Rylan champions LGBT+ causes with his husband, Daniel Clark-Neal, and his son, Cameron. All three were pictured wearing Stonewall shirts with the logo “Come Out For LGBT”. The campaign calls for straight allies to speak up in support of LGBT people and their rights.