Anderson Cooper, Queen Latifah, George Takei Among This Year’s LGBT History Month Icons


Equality Forum announced its 31 Icons for this October’s LGBT History Month, bringing their total archived icons to 248 in eight years reports GLAAD, who’s founder Vito Russo is among this year’s inductees.

The icons were chosen from over 500 nominations  and along with Russo, fellow 2013 inductees include: actor Nathan Lane, playwright Edward Albee, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, Trekki George Takei, Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas, journalist Anderson Cooper, fashion designer Jason Wu (who famously designs for Michele Obama) and Gwen Araujo, the teenage pre-operative trans woman who was murdered in Newark, California over 10 years ago.

Interestingly enough, Her Highness Queen Latifah and Apple CEO Tim Cook are also among this year’s inductees — though neither one of them has ever publicly commented about their sexuality.

Each day in October, a new icon will be featured on the organization’s site, along with video, a biography, a bibliography and downloadable images. Visit LGBTHistoryMonth.com for the full list of icons and when they will appear on the site.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #andersoncooper #edwardalbee #equalityforum stories and more


  • Cam

    When did Cowardly closet cases become ICONS?

  • startenout

    What was the criteria for being on this list if it isn’t being openly and honestly gay??

  • Tone

    That Vito Russo is being lumped in with the likes of Queen Latifah and Anderson Cooper is a travesty and an insult to his legacy and contributions to our community.

  • Merv

    Tracy Champman isn’t out, either, so that makes at least three of the gay icons who aren’t even officially gay.

  • QJ201

    More Celebrity ass kissing. Latifah can kiss my OUT gay ass.

  • Eric Auerbach

    WTF? Closeted gays as “Icons”? What a fucking joke.

  • Kangol

    Autoflagged; not sure what happened. Let’s try again.

    Tracy Chapman did come out in the 1990s, but maybe she went back in the closet.

    But Queen Latifah definitely is not out. She has not come out, and lots of publications and the mainstream media seem intent on maintaining her closet. If you’re going to choose her, why not choose New Jersey’s soon to be junior Senator, Cory Boo•ker, who an Alter•net writer did out. He at least is consistently pro-ga¶y in his politics and policies.

    Anderson Cooper is out, so let’s cut him some slack. He was a in a velvet closet lined with gold, but he did step out of it.

  • Homophile

    Queen Latifah on this list is bullshite.

  • Merv

    @Kangol: Tracy Chapman dated Alice Walker in the mid 1990s (according to Alice Walker), but Tracy Chapman has never confirmed or denied it.

  • GeriHew

    Alice Walker is bisexual. I think Tracy Chapman probably is as well but doesn’t like labels and has little interest in being an LGBT Icon.

  • ginasf

    So basically, the trans community gets boiled down to one teenager who was murdered 10 years ago. I take nothing away from Gwen Araujo and how tragic her short life was, but out of the hundreds of trans people they could select… people who’ve fought for trans right and made a life against the odds, this is a pretty dismissive choice. What it really comes down to is that the Equality Forum is made up of non-trans gay people who know squat about trans people. So for the 2 or 3 people they ever mention, it ends up being Sylvia Rivera or Christine Jorgensen or Chaz Bono because, honestly, those are the only names they know. Do us a favor… just call it Gay blah blah Month. Calling it LGBT and then dealing with trans history in this shallow a manner does no one any favors.

  • Equality

    Moving forward, all living LGBT History Month nominees must be OUT. Equality Forum relies on a selection committee of LGBT academics to recommend the Icons each year. Anyone can nominate anyone they want on our home page, http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com, so you all can have a say.

    As for Queen Latifah, unfortunately it was believed she would come out on her new talk show, which is now not going to happen.

    Tracy Chapman did acknowledge having an affair with Alice Walker, so she is not in the closet. Not all LGBT famous people have to make a public statement. She has never denied it.

    As for the transgender Icons, there are actually two this year. Gwen Araujo and author Patrick Califia. Added to the ten trans Icons we have already archived, there are a total of 12. And we welcome new nominations for next year anytime.

Comments are closed.