WHO IS HE?: A Scottish-born actor who’s done work on TV, film, stage, and the occasional musical. You might smell like him.
BEST KNOWN FOR HIS CHARITY WORK WITH: Norm-UK, a voluntary organization which gives men medically supported advice on circumcision and the foreskin. Cumming considers circumcision an unnecessary genital mutilation.
WHY HE MATTERS: He’s got his talented fingers in lots of charitable pies, many of them devoted towards fighting homophobia and AIDS, advancing LGBT health, and promoting world peace; no, really.
QUOTE: “Actually I like working kind of fast, because if you got it, why bother doing it over and over? I like working on things that are very different and that involve different disguises. It is not hard to feel like an outsider. I think we have all felt like that at one time or another.”
Cumming does metric tons of charity work all over the world. Back in his home country, he’s a patron of Scottish Youth Theater, Scotland’s National Theatre ‘for and by’ young people. He’s modeled kilts for Dressed to Kilt, a fundraiser gala for paralyzed, wounded, and hospitalized veterans. He also walked the Great Wall of China to raise money for the American Foundation for AIDS Research “Treat Asia” program.
On this side of the world, the bisexual-identified LGBT rights campaigner has held a comedy benefit for the Trevor Project, performed on behalf of several AIDS charities—including AMFAR and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS—and is a member of the Creative Coalition, a non-profit that raises awareness about a variety of social issues (from artistic education to campaign finance). For a while, he donated 20% of the profits from his Cumming fragrance-line to the Empire State Pride Agenda, a lobbying group for gay rights in New York State and across the country. He’s a recipient of GLAAD’s Vito Russo Award, a recipient of the San Francisco Human Rights Campaign’s Humanitarian Award, and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to film, theatre and the arts and activism for LGBT rights.