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Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Public Figures

by /bent
June 26, 2014 7:12 PM
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20. ACT UP - 52
Born: 1987 in New York, New York

Legacy: The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, ACT UP is a direct action advocacy group that did remarkable AIDS activism work (watch "How To Survive a Plague" and "United in Anger"!)

19. Divine - 55
Born: 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland
Died: 1988 in Los Angeles, California

Legacy: The drag persona of Harris Glenn Milstead, he was a singer, actor, and the muse to director John Waters.

18. Rosie O'Donnell - 59
Born: 1962 in Commack, New York

Legacy: Actress, talk show host and activist who since coming out in 2002 has been a vocal advocate for gay adoption, among many other things.

17. Lady Gaga - 63
Born: 1986 in New York, New York

Legacy: Pop singer and LGBT activist who has built her career around an LGBT fan base.

16. Vito Russo - 64
Born: 1946
Died: 1990 in New York, New York

Legacy: Gay rights activist, film historian and author best remembered for his 1981 book "The Celluloid Closet" and the TV show "In The Life."

Check out all the results for every poll here.

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  • Codex | June 29, 2014 11:38 PMReply

    ... in America... ;)

  • bob hawk | June 28, 2014 7:11 AMReply

    Very interesting (and telling) that three of the top five were martyrs. Very glad to see such less generally known figures as Audre Lorde and Harry Hay. Am a bit surprised that there were more performers (some of very recent vintage) than writers. Poet James Broughton, and playwrights Tony Kushner and Terrence McNally came to mind most immediately. Still, it's one of the best of the lists. Hope you do this every year.

  • Frank Hui | June 27, 2014 5:00 PMReply

    Overall a good, diverse list. I am a little disappointed that Rev Troy Perry didn't even make the runner up list. He founded MCC and was calling for marriage equality way back since 1972! He actually went on Donahue to talk about it

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