(Photo Credits: Southbanksteve, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Did you have a gay hero or an LGBTQ+ role model while you were growing up, guys? If so, who are they? Is she or he a distant relative? A teacher? Maybe they are a celebrity or public figures?
Having a good role model is extremely important as they have a powerful impact on youths. Reportedly, “Having role models in our life is very important, and having good role models is more important, as they influence what we do and how we turn out eventually.”
In addition, Barnardo’s said:
“Having role models is an important part of adolescent development. It’s important for our LGBTQ young people to see other people like them in society so that they feel represented, inspired, and motivated to be their best selves.”
Anyway, some gay men online shared their lifelong gay heroes and role models, because who said adults can’t have one? Here are some of the people they mentioned:
- Alan Turing – was an English mathematician famous for developing the Universal Turing Machine, the basis for the first computer. Turing’s work, alongside his fellow code-breakers, “helped shortened the war by several years.” Today, he is known as the Father of the Modern Computer.
- Ian McKellen – is a famous English actor whose career spans seven decades. He is noted for his role in films like The Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and The Hobbit, among many others.
- George Michael – was an English singer and songwriter best known for his songs Careless Whisper, Last Christmas, and Wake me up before you go-go. He is the other half of the famous English pop duo Wham!
- Bayard Rustin – was an iconic gay civil rights leader and advocate for justice. Rustin was a chief organizer and close advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was someone who “helped translate the philosophy of nonviolence into direct action by organizing the 1963 March on Washington.”
- James Baldwin – was an American writer and activist famous for his timeless contribution to literature and music. His legacy included a number of novels, poems, plays, and essays. He reportedly also wrote several songs for Ray Charles. Among his works are: Giovanni’s Room, Notes of a Native Son, and Nobody Knows My Name, to name a few.
Having said all that, did you have a gay role model, guys? How did your role model help shape the person that you are today? Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comments section below!
Craig Rodwell, because he realized the significance of the Stonewall riots and November 1969, Rodwell proposed the first gay pride parade to be held in New York City. The first march was organized from Rodwell’s apartment on Bleeker street. He helped transform Stonewall from a just riot, into a successful long term movement.
The great Sylvester!!!!!!
Bisexual here and I actually do have a few and not because they are gay. Being from NYC and growing up around gay people, and having gay relatives, its a norm though. Tim Cook for one, which may be obvious, but give the guy credit for standing up for our privacy. Also recently Larry Kramer, who was a bit before my time, just finding out more about him after his passing.
I cry to think of the fraction of people who visit this blog who don’t even know who know these names, let alone haven’t actually read James Baldwin.
Would your crying abate with the names of:
Benjamin Britten & his partner, Peter Pears?
Would you stop crying if someone mentioned…
Benjamin Britten and his operatic partner, Peter Pears?
How about Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold who was Secretary General to The United Nations?
How about Tennessee Williams, playwright?
How about Oscar Wilde, playwrite?
There are many more than James Baldwin… .
You’re the only person I’ve ever seen who is able to spell “playwright” correctly in one sentence, then slaughter it in the next. *slow clap*
I am not without “Imperfections!”
Even Shakespeare made grammatical errors!
As did Thomas Jefferson when writing the “Declaration Of Independence”!
Hence, allow Casper to commit a few, too!
You, sir, are no Shakespeare or Thomas Jefferson. You’re a blithering idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
WTF, For real!! This isn’t a freaking spelling test. You’re fine Casper.
Add Duncan Grant to the list.
Right! This man fought against two stigmas, simultaneously . . . how many gay men does anybody know of who has? These are the two of the biggest discriminations.
James Baldwin, hands down. He used words, wisely.
Ben Affleck, Will Smith, Lebron James and Dwayne Wade, Cory Booker and Ashton Kutcher
Where have you read that Ben Affleck or Will Smith or Cory Booker are members of the LGBTQ+ community?
I wondered the same thing.
“The Community” demands inclusion and acceptance, but then behaves in ways that create division. This topic drove an Inequality Knife into the Role Model discussion by asking gay (only) role models. If equality were truly the goal, the topic would have been Role Models (with no mention of sexual orientation.)
We will never achieve equality if we behave in ways and live lives that are divisive.
It’s about “GAY PRIDE-GAY HEROS, ok, where did you lose sight of that? “Please explain.”
I’m mean, I’ve never been on ay hetero-dating site, but it’s not about gay folk; their discussions, I’m sure.
Overt d’Espirit and Kaspar the Ghost are two regular commenters who are so stupid, it’s impossible to even engage with them. They’re better left alone.
Seriously? Shut the fuck up. Asking about someone’s personal LGBTQ+ heroes is no more “divisive” than asking about their Black heroes or their female heroes. You sound like a clueless 90-year old man who’s been living under a rock.
It’s time to take a long, deep look in the mirror, bruh.
How ? He smashed his dead brothers wife…no Bueno
My hero is Trump because back in the 90s He donated and also gave Gods love we deliver over 300000 dollars cause Joan Rivers informed him they could not make deliveries and feed hiv patients ..he also found restaurant owners to donate thousands of dollars worth of kitchen equipment, after that incredibly I never missed a meal! The sweet guy was always late hours but after he was their on time each morning. He told me there were only 4 stoves everyone was cooking on…now there were 25. And with the money donated they purchased 7 vans…All at the request… Read more »
God bless you, Lenny. I’m glad Trump helped you out, but you just opened a great big can of political crap. Here comes the wave of rhetoric.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give right now to post a GIF of a lemming running off the edge of a cliff…
Not really Westley. He’s irrelevant now!!!!
I don’t pretend to think FOR A SECOND that this is a tweet from anyone who actually has inside knowledge of these charities or their activities.
Also: maybe he should have used some of that money he gave away to pay the hundreds of people he stiffed out of a paycheck.
Lmao, perhaps, one kind act from a total narcissist does not make him an angel, but a master manipulator. I won’t give this much energy.
Nobody. Only myself.
Adam Lambert is my current Gay Hero. Besides being the first openly Gay contestant on American Idol he’s a role model for us all and continues to raise money for many organizations.
“He’s a role model” and “he continues to raise money for many organizations” describes a lot of people. So you basically like him because he’s the first openly gay man on American Idol? Don’t lie and try to make excuses for him. It’s okay to admire him. But don’t pretend like he’s someone important. He’s not.
He overcame adversity and became one of American Idol’s most well-known artists. He’s the musician Queen (a decades-long legendary group) chose to add to their roster. He happens to be Gay. And he’s using his vast income for philanthropy.
Yet for some people, “But don’t pretend like he’s someone important. He’s not.” Everyone is “entitled” to their opinion.
as I’ve already written…
many, many times before…
It all, exemplifies, Andy Warhol’s definition of “15 minutes Of Fame”!
Today’s Headlines; tomorrow’s garbage!
William “Billy” Haines, the first openly gay actor, late 1920’s, that gave up his career in acting rather than give in to pressure from the studio to dump his life partner and “marry” a woman.
Yeah, him, too, I still have the VHS of him that I recorded long ago from the PBS ch way back when I lived in Minnesota. I was REALLY, impressed with the moxy of that man, this dude had balls, man, for sure!
Morris Kight is one of my heroes. If you’ve never heard of him, please google his name. He deserves more recognition for all that he did for our community. Others I admire are Gerry Studds, Elaine Noble, Dave Kopay, Glenn Burke, Arthur Laurents and Larry Kramer.
Elton John for what he’s done for HIV/AIDS research and relief.