Welcome to Queerty’s Pride 50, celebrating the people we are particularly proud of this season.
The inaugural year’s honorees constitute a diverse range of LGBTQers and their allies but have one major thing in common: Not only have they achieved professional breakthroughs but they’ve done it the right way. They’ve stood up for the community, made themselves role models, and given us all a reason to be proud in an otherwise challenging year in our struggle for equality.
Next year marks 50 years since Stonewall in New York City. Queerty is celebrating 50 of the amazing people who are continuing the progress of a half-century of Pride. Check back every day until the end of Pride season in June to read profiles of each and every honoree.
With no further ado, and in no particular order, the complete list of Queerty’s Pride 50…
1. Adam Rippon
Olympic bronze medalist whose sassy and irreverent tweets and interviews smacked down noted homophobe Mike Pence while his on-ice performance showed that very openly gay athletes can succeed at the highest level.
Drag Race winner Season One, All-Star Season Three standout, and subject of new documentary Being BeBe.
3. Ronan Farrow
The journalist who blew the whistle on Harvey Weinstein and helped start the #MeToo movement with meticulous reporting and impressive storytelling.
Passionate and political queen from Drag Race Season 10 who is also the curator of Chicago’s Black Girl Magic drag show.
5. Wilson Cruz
Star Trek: Discovery actor & activist nailed a great role and spoke out about being disowned after coming out at an early age and the remaining challenges of being out in Hollywood.
6. Courtney Act
Drag Race queen, winner of Celebrity Big Brother: U.K., and spokesperson for PrEP & HIV prevention in New Zealand and beyond.
7. Troye Sivan
Breakthrough singer-actor whose videos and music feature LGBTQ themes with remarkable honesty and integrity.
A high school student who won the title of Prom Queen, leading the way for other young people to be themselves and still participate in longstanding traditions like the prom and senior ball.
9. Patti LuPone
Broadway diva and fierce longtime ally who stole the show at the Grammys.
10. Erin Bailey
Openly bisexual high-schooler who organized a major Pride celebration in Mike Pence’s hometown.
Comedian and activist who guest-starred on Will & Grace and landed his own sitcom deal with Lionsgate via his amazingly compelling depictions of gay life in Los Angeles.
12. Anthony Rapp
Actor who plays the first out-gay character in Star Trek history. Rapp courageously came forward about Kevin Spacey’s sexual abuse when he was a teen, sparking a nationwide conversation about male-on-male abuse in Hollywood.
13. Lena Waithe
Comedienne and Ready Player One actress who fearlessly wore a pride flag to the MET Gala. In 2017, Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Master of None.
14. David Thibodeau
Out competitive college swimmer who penned a moving essay on the importance of coming out for OutSports, making him a role model for varsity athletes everywhere.
15. Tony Kushner
Author of Angels in America, currently undergoing a Broadway revival with Andrew Garfield & Nathan Lane as well as a Berkeley production, proving the play prescient and more relevant as social and political commentary than ever in the Trump era.
16. Emma Gonzales
Survivor of the Parkland High School massacre and leading activist for gun control who delivered a speech at March for Our Lives and riveted the nation.
Bronze medal-winning Olympic diver and Oscar winner, equality advocates and proud dads to be.
18. Todrick Hall
Singer, Broadway actor in Kinky Boots, and Drag Race judging staple who overcame homophobia to succeed. His popular Straight Outta Oz is a brilliant concept album.
19. Max Mutchnick
Creator of Will & Grace who remarkably pulled off a highly successful revival through his ability to harness the power of comedy to spark dialogue and change.
20. Gus Kenworthy
Olympic skier and Instagram star who showed he is every bit Adam Rippon’s equal as an advocate and sex-positive role model.
21. Greg Berlanti
Director of Love, Simon, Hollywood’s first mainstream teen gay love story with a happy ending.
22. Katie Sowers
First lesbian assistant coach in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers.
23. Samira Wiley
The Handmaid’s Tale Emmy nominee who publicly put herself on the line to make coming out safer for young adults everywhere.
24. Danica Roem
A transgender politician elected to Virginia’s House of Representatives and brilliant Trump critic.
Actor & songwriter whose incredibly positive dance video featuring a gay couple backed his Eurovision performance of “Together” was good enough for a 16th place finish.
Actor & director of the newly released How To Talk To Girls at Parties and Hedwig and the Angry Inch calls being queer a privilege and the joy and spirit he brings to everything he does has everyone believing him.
27. Janelle Monae
Queer star of Hidden Figures & singer of Dirty Computer came out in the hopes of creating more safe space for young people to do the same.
28. Robin Campillo
Writer/director of BPM, a partially autobiographical film made to memorialize those lost to AIDS and HIV and the power of ACT UP to change the world.
29. Nico Tortorella
A binary-busting model who has spoken out eloquently against bi-phobia in our own community.
30. Masha Gessen
Activist, New Yorker writer and proud lesbian mom is perhaps the world’s foremost critic of Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda and mistreatment of the backward nation’s LGBTQ minority.
The gay prince who opened his palace for homeless disowned queer youth in India.
32. Guillermo Diaz
Scandal star who has spent his entire career out of the closet as an example to other performers. (Also sports a rad Madonna tat.)
Drag queen, all around great guy, and Drag Race contestant took on Drag Race fans for attacking one another, arguing for civility in fandom.
34. Hayley Kiyoko
Pop singer & actress of CSI: Cyber who brilliantly integrated lesbian themes into her songwriting and was rewarded with international pop stardom.
35. Reggie Bullock
Detroit Piston basketballer and equality advocate who spoke in memory of his murdered transgender sister, Mia Henderson.
36. Ada Vox
Drag queen & American Idol contestant became the first Idol finalist to perform in drag, attracting a legion of fans dubbing themselves “Voxies.”
37. Dan Reynolds
Imagine Dragons lead singer and gay rights advocate who produced Believer, a documentary on Mormonism’s mistreatment of queer people.
38. Marshall Bang
Los Angeles-based Kpop star came out this year to challenge anti-gay laws and sentiments in South Korea, where he is an enormous star and hero to the persecuted LGBTQ community.
39. Chris Mosier
Olympic runner publicly challenged anti-trans policies of the IOC and won inclusion, later becoming the first trans athlete to compete and the first transgender runner to appear in a Nike commercial.
First Drag Race contestant to come out as trans during her season, showing that drag and trans are totally complementary.
41. Marc Benioff
Salesforce CEO & corporate philanthropist who threatened to remove all Salesforce business from the state of Indiana in response to the passage of a draconian anti-gay law, leading a corporate wave of equality advocacy. (The bill passed but received an amendment protecting LGBTQ folk.) He has stood up for us everywhere equality is threatened.
The couple sued homophobic Colorado baker who defied Biblical injunctions to treat people equally and for refusing to sell them a wedding cake based on nothing more than their sexual orientation is apparently different from those he prefers. The Supreme Court sided with the baker on technical grounds but the couple impressed the world with their courage and thoughtfulness.
43. The Fab 5
Very, very gay Netflix stars who wadded into the deep south to defy stereotypes and challenge homophobia with wit, style, and humor.
Dancers who became the first NFL male cheerleaders by making the squad of the Los Angeles Rams.
45. Brandon Wolf
Survivor of the Orlando Pulse Massacre, a vocal advocate of gun control, and another sharp critic of Mike Pence’s homophobia.
46. Hailie Sahar
Transgender star of Mr. Robot and Pose–also Miss LA Pride 2018.
47. Abbi Jacobson
Broad City actress and noted feminist who publicly came out as bisexual.
48. Rachel Maddow
MSNBC news anchor of The Rachel Maddow Show who leads the charge of a number of LGBTQ news personalities who are doing great journalism in an attempt to fend off Trump’s attacks on equality and democracy itself.
49. Kate Kendell
Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kendell helped guide a number of key LGBTQ-rights cases to the Supreme Court, where the legal eagle extraordinaire usually emerged victorious.
50. Magnus Hastings
Photographer specializing in drag queen portraits, published Why Drag?, capturing the glamour and iconic looks of a number of Drag Race fixtures. He also began the #GayFace photo series, documenting the looks of different gay people, the proceeds of which go to the True Colors Fund.
If we missed anyone, please don’t scream.
Add them to the comments section below, and we’ll consider them for inclusion in next year’s Pride 50.