Though the word “idol” is often over used these days there are a select few that do merit intense admiration. Worthy individuals that truly shine, as beacons of light illuminating the rest of us are indeed a rare find. Their efforts create the foundations from which we can build on for years to come. As we turn another page in the history books, let’s recognize those gay men and women that have truly made a lasting impression in 2010.
20 Ricky Martin This Puerto Rican singer/actor/hottie finally came out along with his aptly titled autobiography “Me” in 2010. But it is his humanitarian efforts that focus on the welfare and protection of children, including human trafficking, that show there is another side to “Livin la Vida Loca”. His efforts to end modern-day slavery have been recognized by the U.S. State Department and his rise to gay activist has just begun.
19 Chely Wright And speaking of coming out…this country music artist shook the foundations of Nashville for being the first major American country performer to publicly come out as gay…ever! Her seventh album “Lifted off the Ground”, autobiography “Like Me” and release of her own personal demons in 2010 enabled her to speak out against bullying and hate crimes towards gays and in the process created a new moniker for herself as a gay rights activist.
18 Marc Jacobs This American global design phenomenon has garnered almost as much attention for his personal life as an openly gay male than for his runway creations. His struggles to achieve personal happiness have been more tumultuous than building his own fashion empire, which includes his title as Creative Director for French design house “Louis Vuitton”. He’s been in and out of rehab, in and out of love but always recognized as a visionary in fashion.
17 Chaz Bono Who knew Sonny and Cher’s daughter, Chastity would grow up to be a LGBT rights advocate? The California courts officially recognized her gender transition from female to male in 2010 when Chaz was granted his request for gender and name changes. He has used his fame to enlighten the hearts and minds of the public and continues to be a trailblazer. Mom couldn’t be prouder, though she is still grappling with the pronouns.
16 Neil Patrick Harris Openly gay since 2006, this American singer/actor continues to break free from convention and social stigmas. After an incredible career high in 2009 including two Emmy awards (for hosting the Tony Awards and guest starring on Glee) he has embraced the greatest role of all: Fatherhood. Neil and longtime partner David Burtka became the proud fathers of surrogate twins in 2010.
Stay tuned for Part Two out of Four. Who's on your list?