Top 50 Gay Icons of All Time

19 02 2009


This is coming from a bizarre source — stoppingthehate.com — who, apparently, figured the best way to stop the hate is to encapsulate as many gay stereotypes as possible into a single list. But, I’ll let you be the judge:

50. Lucy Lawless
43. Absolutely Fabulous
41. Marlon Brando
39. RuPaul
38. Princess Diana
36. Charlie’s Angels
33. Golden Girls
31. Janet Jackson
29. Britney Spears
26. Whitney Houston
24. Eartha Kitt
23. Ellen DeGeneres
19. Wonder Woman
17. ABBA
11. Tina Turner
10. Bette Midler
9. Julie Andrews
8. Liza Minelli
7. Diana Ross
6. Bette Davis
5. Marilyn Monroe
4. Cher
3. Barbara Streisand
2. Judy Garland
1. Madonna

In their defense, this is how they define a “gay icon:”

A Gay Icon is a historical figure, celebrity or public figure who is embraced by many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. They can be either living or deceased.

Please, don’t waste my time.

First of all, how are 3/4 of these people relevant anymore? Really? Freakin’ Wonder Woman? I know she was quite the symbol for a generation before me, but she has since fallen quite a bit outside of the norm of gay pop culture. If you wanted to remain relevant, I think placing more modern performers, like Rufus Wainwright or Rihanna, would be far more appropriate.

Secondly, why does this list even matter, especially coming from a site that is apparently all about stopping hate? This should be posted on the “teeheegigglesfunhappygaytime.com” (which is totally a domain I’m going to register for future projects). I feel like this is a site that I would have come across when I was 14 and looking for something to connect me to someone; I would have printed it off and stashed it somewhere, only to look back it in a quiet moment later in life. IE: “Oh neat,” and then it would have ended up in the bottom of my drawer.

In short: where are the people that matter on this list? (And the one person who does — Ellen — who was the first out primetime TV star… well, she’s middling on the list.)

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9 responses

19 02 2009
Michi

see, i think this list somehow responds to your reformist/radical progressive post. in a way, the list is reformist (risking assimilation, offering ridiculous instances of ‘visibility’), while your objection to the list is radical.

and ps — i totally agree, its bullshit, its like when newsweek co-opts the voice of the of ‘(mainstream) gay and lesbian movement’ – whatever THAT means??

love you

19 02 2009
Anastasia Beaverhousin

You can’t please everyone obviously. The website is serious all of the time so for them to have compiled a list like this is a good thing. It shows a lighter side to the world as we know it. Now go watch the Oscars and shut up.

19 02 2009
Damien

I agree. I think it’s a great list of some of the people that helped shape my life. Whoever posted this blog seems a lil bitter to me.

19 02 2009
Anonymous

I thought the list was a definitive look at many of the people that gay people look up to so I say KUDOS to Stopping The Hate!

19 02 2009
Montgomery Maxton

they forgot Dolly Parton

19 02 2009
Anonymous

Dolly Parton is number 12 on the list

19 02 2009
Carolyn

I have to agree with everyone else the list really covers almost every genre of Gay Icons. I think it’s well done.

19 02 2009
QueerCincinnati.com

Seriously? No one else is even mildly annoyed that a site dedicated to “stopping the hate” is enshrining stereotypes?

I mean, ok, if you guys are fine with that…

19 02 2009
Kara

I am not annoyed at all and I don’t think it’s stereotyping anything. I think they put out a list of who they believe are the Top 50 Gay Icons and had fun doing it which is what our community is all about.

I think that they do enough great work for the community that they should be allowed to do something a little lighter for the community once in a while too.

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