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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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10. Martina Navratilova - 82
Born: 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia

Legacy: One of the greatest tennis players who ever lived, she came out in 1981 and has been an advocate for LGBT rights ever since.

8 (tie). Sir Elton John - 88
Born: 1947 in Middlesex, England
Legacy: Singer, songwriter and activist who has won basically every award out there and has been openly LGBT since 1976.
8 (tie). RuPaul - 88
Born: 1960 in San Diego, California

Legacy: Actor, model, author, recording artist and reality TV host who is also arguably the most famous drag queen in American history (see Divine).

7. Dan Savage - 93
Born: 1954 in Chicago, Illinois

Legacy: Author, journalist, podcaster and very vocal media pundit who began the "It Gets Better" project in 2010 to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.

6. Larry Kramer - 97
Born: 1935 in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Legacy: Playwright, author and LGBT rights activist whose work includes the controversial 1978 novel "Faggots," the 1985 play (and 2014 movie) "The Normal Heart," as well as co-founding the Gay Men's Health Crisis in response to the AIDS epidemic.

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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