(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!

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