As part of Ongig’s mission to celebrate all people, I felt inspired to start a list of successful/famous gay people. Not only have the 200+ folks on this list achieved greatness, but many have done it in a world where some people (wrongly) judge them by their sexual orientation.

Methodology & Disclaimer: I focused on listing people who have publicly come out as in the LGBTQIA+ community (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, trans+, nonbinary, etc. I list the sources at the bottom of this article. I’m not an expert on famous LGBT people. The list is dynamicI welcome feedback, additions, and edits!

Here’s our list of 200+ of the most famous LGBT people in history.

Successful Gay Entrepreneurs (LGBT Inventors & Famous Gay Scientists)

gay entrepreneurs
Apple CEO Tim Cook (source: Austin Community College, Wikipedia)

Business Insider recently said Tim Cook, Apple CEO:

“is arguably the most prominent LGBTQ+ person in tech, but he isn’t the only one.

This list includes people who have changed the world with their ideas. They are famous gay entrepreneurs, gay inventors, and famous gay scientists.

  • Brandon Anderson (entrepreneur)
  • Ana Arriola (product designer)
  • Peter Arvais (entrepreneur)
  • David Bohnett (entrepreneur)
  • David Blumberg (entrepreneur)
  • Kylar Broadus (entrepreneur)
  • Dr. Shante Cofield (entrepreneur)
  • Lynn Conway (computer scientist)
  • Tim Cook (entrepreneur)
  • Clive Davis (record company exec)
  • Sarah Kate Ellis (president of GLAAD)
  • Ruth Gates (scientist)
  • David Geffen (gay American business magnate)

Many people ask is David Geffen gay? The answer is yes. Geffen came out as gay in 1992.

  • Tim Gill (entrepreneur)
  • John “maddog” Hall (computer scientist)
  • Arlan Hamilton (investor)
  • Chris Hughes (entrepreneur)
  • John Maynard Keynes (economist)
  • Lara Mendonça (Head of Design at Twitter) 
  • Florence Nightingale (founder of modern-day nursing)
  • Leanne Pittsford (entrepreneur)
  • Keith Rabois — General partner at Founders Fund. Known for his early-stage startup investments and executive roles at PayPal, LinkedIn, Square and Slide.
  • Jeff Ragovin (entrepreneur)
  • Sally Ride (astronaut)
  • Martine Rothblatt (entrepreneur)
  • Angelica Ross (entrepreneur)
  • Lisa Sherman (Ad Council CEO)
  • Joel Simkhai (entrepreneur)
  • Peter Sisson (entrepreneur)
  • Megan Smith (computer scientist, engineering technologist)
  • Sara Sperling (entrepreneur, public speaker)
  • Peter Thiel (entrepreneur)
  • Gina Trapani (entrepreneur and web developer)
  • Alan Turing (mathemetician)
  • Darren Walker (entrepreneur)
  • Rick Welts (president of Golden State Warriors)
  • Claudia Brind-Woody (tech executive)

Famous Gay Authors & Writers

famous lgbt authors
Janet Mock an American writer, producer, and transgender rights activist. (Source: Wikipedia, Juston Smith)

Janet Mock’s name likely comes up when talking about famous gay writers. Mock is a New York Times best-selling author of books like “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More”.

A gay author searched on by more than anyone is former President Trump’s niece Mary Trump, author of “Too Much and Never Enough” as of April 2021, an amazing 1,110 people per month Google the question “Is Mary Trump Gay”.

Is Mary Trump gay? famous lesbian authors
Mary Trump (former President Trump’s niece and author) Mary Trump; Screenshot of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Here’s a list of more famous gay writers, playwrights, screenwriters, and poets from past and present.

  • Allison Adler (tv writer/producer)
  • Nathan Aguilera (author)
  • Niki Albon (blogger)
  • Hilton Als (writer)
  • Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (playwright)
  • Alan Ball (writer)
  • James Baldwin (novelist)
  • Steven Canals (screenwriter)
  • Ann Mei Chang (author)
  • Lee Daniels (screenwriter)
  • Russell T. Davies (screenwriter)
  • Brian Fuller (tv writer)
  • Roxanne Gay (writer)
  • Glenn Greenwald (journalist)
  • Nina Jacobson (film writer/producer)
  • Uwern Jong (magazine editor/writer)
  • Larry Kramer (playwright)
  • Tarell Alvin McCraney (playwright)
  • Janet Mock (writer)
  • Ryan Murphy (tv writer)
  • Wilfred Owen (poet)
  • Lydia Polgreen (journalist)
  • Celine Sciamma (screenwriter)
  • Justin Simien (writer/producer)
  • Jill Soloway (tv writer/director)
  • Matthew Paul Turner (author)
  • Mary Trump (author)
  • Gore Vidal (writer)
  • Oscar Wilde (gay poet) Oscar Wilde was sent to prison for indecendy related to his homosexuality
oscar wilde gay
Famous gay poet Oscar Wilde in 1882 (image source: Library of Congress, Wikipedia Creative Commons)
  • Jacqueline Wilson (author)

10 LGBTQ Authors with New Releases in 2021

  • Kristen Arnett (gay author and essayist)
  • Brandi Carlile (gay author and singer-songwriter)
  • Akwaeke Emezi (gay author and video artist)
  • Jack Guinness (gay author, model, and presenter)
  • Michael Koresky (gay author, film critic and filmmaker)
  • Trent Preszler (gay author, CEO of Bedell Cellars and former Chairman of WineAmerica)
  • Steven Rowley (gay author and screenwriter)
  • Paul Rudnick (gay author and screenplay writer)
  • Eliot Schrefer (adult and young-adult gay author)
  • Nghi Vo (gay author and novelist)

Famous Gay Politicians (& Government Officials)

important gay people in history
Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the first openly gay person confirmed to US cabinet (source: Wikipedia, Gage Skidmore)
lgbtq celebrities
Former Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum (source: Wikipedia Public Domain)

In 2018, Former Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum told the Tampa Bay Times:

“I don’t identify as gay but I do identify as bisexual, and that is something that I have never shared publicly before.”

Many of these famous gay politicians fight for LGBTQ+ rights. They are activists, senators, judges, governors, and more.

  • Sam Adams (Oregon politician)
  • Bob Allen (Florida politician)
  • Waheed Alli (UK House of Lords member)
  • John S. Arrowood (North Carolina Judge)
  • Tammy Baldwin (U.S. Senator)
  • Clément Beaune (French politician)
  • Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister, Luxembourg)
  • Ana Brnabić (Prime Minister, Serbia)
  • Kate Brown (Governor of Oregon)
  • Pete Buttigieg (U.S. Secretary of Transportation)
  • David Cicilline (U.S. Representative)
  • Ruth Davidson (Scottish Parliament Member)
  • Andrew Gillum (Mayor of Tallahassee)
  • Barbara Gittings (LGBT activist)
  • Alexander the Great (King of Macedon)
  • Chad Griffin (Political Strategist)
  • James Hormel (LGBT activist & U.S. Ambassdor)
famous gay people james hormel
Ambassador James Hormel was presented with the “Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award” for his leadership in the LGBT community and philanthropic efforts. (image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

James Hormel died on August 13, 2021. He was the 1st openly gay U.S. ambassador and a philanthropist. He also funded organizations to fights AIDS and was a promoter of human rights.

“U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who officiated at Hormel’s wedding to his husband, said Hormel ‘made it his mission to fight for dignity and equality for all’ and noted his philanthropic contributions to health, artistic and educational organizations.”

source: James Hormel, first openly gay U.S. ambassador, dies at 88 — Washington Post
  • Karine Jean-Pierre (1st openly gay U.S. Press Secretary)
  • Frank Kameny (gay civil rights activist)
  • Lori Lightfoot (Mayor of Chicago)
  • Wade McLauchlan (Premier of Prince Edward Island)
  • Harvey Milk (San Francisco Board of Supervisors)
  • Layla Moran (UK Parliament member)
  • Gianmarco Negri (Italian mayor)
  • John Paulk (advocate — formerly of the “ex-gay movement”)

John Paulk was once the most famous ex-gay person in the world because of his support for conversion therapy. But:

“In 2013, Paulk disavowed Exodus and the idea of conversion therapy, apologizing for his role in promoting it for so many years. He no longer identifies as “formerly gay.” He is gay.”

source: What It’s Like to Survive Gay Conversion Therapy
  • Jared Polis (Colorado Governor)
  • Geraldine Roman (U.S. Representative)
  • Aaron Schock (U.S. Representative)
  • E. Denise Simmons (Mayor of Massachusetts)
  • Mark Takano (U.S. Representative)
  • Leo Varadkar (Irish politician)

Famous Gay Actors and Famous Gay Actresses + Entertainers, LGBT Influencers & TV Personalities

Ellen gay female actors and famous actors who are gay
One of the most famous gay actresses and TV hosts, Ellen DeGeneres (source: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com (Email: glennfrancispacificprodigital.com))

Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian in 1997 and is a pioneer in the fight for LGBTQ equal rights according to a podcast from Making Gay History. Ellen paved the way for actors that are gay and other famous gay stars.

Here’s a list of famous gay actors and actress, influencers, and gay TV actors.

Gay Actors

Jack Dylan Grazer Instagram
Jack Dylan Grazer gay actor behind Pixar’s Luca came out on Instagram Live as bisexual in July 2021. (image source: Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia Creative Commons)
  • Dan Amboyer (actor)
  • Jonathan Bailey (openly gay actor from Bridgerton)
  • Michael Barrymore (actor)
  • Jim J. Bullock (openly gay actor and 90s tv host)
  • Rick Cosnett (actor)
  • Anderson Cooper (tv journalist)
  • Wilson Cruz (part of Star Trek TV’s first gay couple along with Anthony Rapp). Cruz plays Dr. Hugh Culber.
  • Benjamin Daimary (first openly gay Indian actor)
  • Asia Kate Dillon (nonbinary actor)
  • Divine (actor)
  • Jack Dillon Grazer (actor)
  • Harvey Guillén (gay actor from the acclaimed FX comedy series What We Do in the Shadows)
  • Sean Hayes (actor from Will & Grace and new spy series Q-Force where he is the first ever queer agent in the field)
  • Tab Hunter (actor)
  • Kadiff kirwan (gay actor who plays a homophobic polce officer in I May Destory You)
  • Dan Levy (actor)
  • Kristian Nairn (actor)
  • Billy Porter (actor)
  • DJ Qualls (actor)
  • Anthony Rapp (part of Star Trek TV’s first gay couple along with Wilson Cruz). Rapp plays Lt. Paul Stamets.
  • Robin Roberts (broadcaster)
  • RuPaul (actor)
  • Jaden Smith (actor)

Gay TV Personalities

These stars who are gay are well-known for their presence on TV:

  • J. Alexander (tv personality)
  • Lance Bass (former NSYNC star and tv host) Is Lance Bass gay? Yes, openly. And he told Yahoo! he would “love to host an LGBTQ version of The Bachelor.”
is lance bass gay
Lance Bass Famous Gay Entertainer at the 2nd Annual QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE philanthropic pageant to benefit UNESCO Education for Children in Need Foundation, presented by founder Joyce Giraud and Infinity Films at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills California on March 16, 2014 (image source: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com)
  • Bobby Berk (tv personality)
  • Andy Cohen (tv host)
  • Ellen DeGeneres (tv host)
  • Don Lemon (tv journalist)
  • Rachel Maddow (tv host)
  • Antonio Porowski (tv personality)
  • Phillip Schofield (TV host)
  • Colton Underwood (tv personality)
  • Jonathan Van Ness (tv personality)

Gay Actresses List

  • Drew Barrymore (actress)
  • Laverne Cox (actress)
  • Beanie Feldstein (actress)
  • Sara Gilbert (actress)
  • Jameela Jamil (LGBTQ actresses)
  • Stacy London (LGBTQ actresses)
  • Tanya Saracho (actress)
  • Kristen Stewart (actress)
  • Tessa Thompson (actress)

This list is dynamic and I will keep adding more of the most popular gay actors and actresses.

Famous LGBT Instagram Influencers, LGBT YouTubers & Tik Tok LGBT Stars

Here are some famous gay celebrities that may not be on TV, but they are LGBT Instagram influencers, LGBT YouTubers, and Tik Tok LGBT sensations making a name on social media:

LGBT Instagram Influencers

  • Bre and Laci, @theladiesvan (adventurous teachers and LGBT Instagram Influencers)
  • Jenny Bruso, @jennybruso (LGBT Instagram Influencer, founder of @UnlikelyHikers and self-identified “white, queer, fat femme taking body liberation outdoors”)
  • Deg Xit’an Dené/Sugpiaq, @go_barefoot (an Indigenous, semi-nomadic, and queer-identifying fisherwoman and LGBT Influencer)
  • Gay Pride Apparel, @gayprideapparel (LGBTQ+ fashion account)
  • @goldengreengirl (climate change champion and LGBT Influencer)
  • @happykamper (Travel LGBT Instagram Influencers)
  • Isaias Hernandez, @queerbrownvegan (popular amongst eco-minded LGBT Instagram influencers)
  • @jaunting.jay (Well-known amongst LGBT Instagram Influencers focused on veganism, pansexuality, and other forms of queerness)
  • Joey Jay, @joeyjayisgay (the first drag queen from Phoenix to compete on “RuPaul’s Drag Race)
  • Scotty Kirby, AKA @scottykirbyphoto (drag, portrait and fashion photographer)
  • Mikah Meyer, @mikahmey (Known for being a queer pioneer, role model, and one of the most popular LGBT Instagram Influencers)
  • Malori and Ashley, @malleyinlove (Ashley and Malori, an LGBTQ couple that met on Bumble two years ago)
  • @Pattiegonia (photographer, gay civil rights activist, and LGBT Influencer)
  • One.n.ten, @onentenphx a (nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to serving and assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth)
  • Piper M’Shay, @pipermshay  (Ariana Grande drag queen)
  • Pınar Yaku Sinopoulos-Lloyd, @queerquechua (self-proclaimed “trans-Indigenous mutant,” “multi-species futurist,” and “neurodivergent psychonaut”)
  • @QueersforClimateJustice (LGBT Instagram Influencers and environmentalists)
  • Nikki Smith, @nikkik_smith (photographer, climber, writer, trans activist, and ambassador for Mountain Hardwear)
  • Diné Pride, @navajo_nation_pride  (the largest Indigenous LGBTQIA+ Pride Celebration in the country)
  • Tempest DuJour, @tempestdujour drag queen and famous LGBT designer)
  • Rose Montoya, @rosalynnemontoya (LGBT model, actor, makeup artist, and public speaker)
  • Shaun Blokker, @shaunt (Beachbody star and one of the most well-known LGBT influencers)

LGBT YouTubers

  • Nikkie de Jager (gay YouTube star)
  • Ricky Dillon (gay YouTube star)
  • Gigi Gorgeous (YouTube LGBT personality)
  • Erin Eden, @transending7 (mountaineer and popular LGBT Instagram Influencer)
  • Tyler Oakley (gay YouTube personality)
  • Josh Rimer (gay YouTube personality)

Tik Tok LGBT Influencers

  • Astrud Elizabeth Aurelia, @astrudaurelia (LGBT musician and singer/songwriter)
  • Cas Davis, @uppercasma (Tik Tok LGBT influencer)
  • The Coyle Twins (drag queens and Tik Tok LGBT influencers)
  • Nikita Dragun (trans model and Tik Tok LGBT star)
  • Pink Neinu (make-up artist and Tik Tok LGBT influencer)
  • Steven Sutton (Tik Tok LGBT influencer)
  • Towabird (Tik Tok LGBT influencer)
  • Martha Wubbles (fashion model and Tik Tok LGBT influencer)

Famous Gay Comedians

most famous gay actors and famous gay comedians
On the list of LGBTQ celebrities is Bowen Yang, one of the most famous gay comedians (source: Vanity Fair)

SNL star Bowen Yang opened up to the Huffington Post in January 2020 about his experience with “gay conversion” therapy before he embraced his sexuality.

These famous gay comedians make people laugh and some are also activists for LGBTQ+ rights.

  • Stephen K. Amos (comedian)
  • Simon Amstell (comedian)
  • Joel Kim Booster (stand-up comedian/actor)
  • Margaret Cho (stand-up comedian/actor)
  • Billy Eichner (comedian)
  • Fortune Feimster (comedian)
  • Liz Feldman (comedian)
  • Hannah Gadsby (comedian)
  • Sam Jay (comedian)
  • Kate McKinnon (comedian/actor)
  • Flame Monroe (drag queen comedian)
  • Tig Notaro (stand-up comic)
  • Wanda Sykes (comedian/actress)
  • Josh Thomas (comedian)
  • Julio Torres (comedian)
  • Jaboukie Young-White (comedian)
  • Bowen Yang (comedian/actor)

Famous Gay Musicians

lesbian actors and singers
LOS ANGELES – MARCH 14: Halsey attends the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography) Halsey is one of the most well-known
famous people that are gay.

In 2015, Halsey told Billboard she is “bisexual, bi-polar and an inconvenient woman.”

Here are some other famous gay music artists and famous lgbt musicians. They are rappers and singer-songwriters from around the world.

Famous Gay Rappers

  • Kevin Abstract (rapper)
  • Babydaddy (rapper)
  • Azealia Banks (rapper)
  • Tyler, The Creator (rapper)
Famous Gay Singer | Lil Nas X
Famous Gay Singer Lil Nas X backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards 2019 (image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons — Fabebk)
  • Lil Nas X (rapper) — Lil Nas X’s real name is Montero Lamar Hill. He’s known for his shocking videos (Montero (Call Me By Your Name), Industry Baby, “Satan shoes” (which reportedly contains a drop of his own blood.). He also shared a picture of himself in September 2021 showing a “baby bump” and suggesting he’s pregnant.
  • Bugz Gutta ( Born William Bailey) an up-and-coming New York MC, a proudly out black gay man

Famous Gay Singers

  • Gaye Adegbalola (singer)
  • David Archuleta (one of “American Idol’s” most famous gay singers and runner-ups)
  • Bille Joe Armstrong (singer-songwriter)
  • Mel B (singer)
  • Andy Bell (famous gay singer from Erasure)
  • Stormé DeLarverie (singer)
  • Halsey (singer-songwriter)
  • Hayden Joseph (famous gay singer of country music anthem Backwoods Bougie)
  • Elton John (singer)
  • Adam Lambert (openly gay singer who did a collaboration with Queen)
  • Demi Lovato (pop singer)
demi lovato famous gay celebrities
Demi Lovato one of the most famous gay celebrities won “celebrity of the year” in 2021.
  • Ricky Martin (solo singer (Livin’ La Vida Loca”) and one of the gay Menudo members)
  • T.J. Osborne (singer)
  • Ben Platt (singer/actor)
  • Jannelle Monáe (singer-songwriter)
  • Freddie Mercury (singer-songwriter)
  • Jake Wesley Rogers (gay singer from Nashville, TN)
  • Anne-Marie Rose Nicholson (singer-songwriter)
  • JoJo Siwa (singer, dancer, and one of the youngest LGBTQ influencers)
JoJo Siwa famous gay singer, influencer, and YouTube star (image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons)
  • Sam Smith (singer)
  • Neil Tennant (famous gay singer from Pet Shop Boys). After many asking the question are the Pet Shop Boys Gay? Tennant came out to Attitude Magazine in 1994.
  • Justin Tranter (gay singer-songwriter)
  • Brendon Urie (singer)

Famous Gay Drummers

  • Hayley Cramer (drummer)

Hayley told Blabbermouth.net this about gender orientation and being a role model for women:

“I’m predominantly known as a female. I present myself as a female. But there’s a huge part of me that feels I should have been born a man. And now we’re touching on the subject of me being in a band with a bunch of men, and me being the gay female. And it works. It works because if I close my eyes, I’m neither male or female.”

source: POP EVIL’s HAYLEY CRAMER: ‘If I Didn’t Have My Drumming Ability… I May Have Made The Transition To A Man’

Are Dan and Shay Gay?

Many fans speculated that country duo Dan and Shay are gay. But they are not. Country Fancast says:

“Dan and Shay are not gay and they are certainly not a couple.   This would be surprising news to their wives if this rumor were true.”

source: DAN AND SHAY ANSWERS TO STRANGE QUESTIONS AND RUMORS

Was Liberace gay?

People also speculated that Liberace was gay. Here’s what we found on Wikipedia about the question:

“In a 2011 interview, actress and close friend Betty White stated that Liberace was indeed gay and that she was often used as a beard by his managers to counter public rumors of the musician’s homosexuality.”

source: Wikipedia

Famous Gay Athletes

famous gay athletes
One of the most famous gay athletes, International Soccer Star, Thomas Beattie (source: The Advocate)

English footballer, Thomas Beattie is among other famous gay professional athletes coming out and speaking out. He told the Advocate in June 2020, “The LGBTQ+ community doesn’t have much representation in the world of professional football.”

This list of notable gay athletes includes Olympians, wrestlers, soccer players, track and field stars, skiers, and more.

  • Daniel Arcos (basketball player)
  • Thomas Beattie (soccer player)
  • Billy Bean (LGBT athlete and Major League Baseball’s first inclusion ambassador)
  • Glenn Burke (first openly gay MLB player)
  • Jason Collins (basketball player/coach)
  • Levi Davis (rugby star)
  • Dennis Finnegan (track and field star)
  • Alex Johnson (World Cup Gold Medalist and LGBTQI+ activist)
  • Chris Kelley (rugby star)
  • Haylie McCleney (softball player)
  • Tegan Nox (professional wrestler)
  • Hig Roberts (alpine skier)
  • Zach Sullivan (ice hockey player)
  • Markus Thormeyer (swimmer)

Famous Gay Olympians

  • Nicola Adams (Olympic boxer)
  • Jason Brown (Olympic figure skater)
  • Caitlyn Jenner (Olympic-decathlete, TV personality and gubernatorial candidate for California (to unseat Gavin Newsom in a recall)
  • Karin Büttner-Janz (Olympic gymnast)
  • Gus Kenworthy (Olympic freestyle skier, actor & YouTuber)
  • Marian Lay (Olympic swimmer)
  • Margorie Larbey (historical gay Olympian & LGBT youth rights activist)
  • Gail Marquis (1st Black queer Olympian and medallist with the USA women’s basketball team of 1976)
  • Susan McGreivy (Olympic swimmer)
  • Violette Morrris (historical gay Olympian)
  • Helen Stephens (Olympic sprinter)
  • Sam Stosur (Olympic boxer)
  • Chelsea Wolfe (Olympic BMX’er)
  • Ireen Wüst (the most decorated queer Olympian)

Famous Gay Football Players

  • Carl Nassib (first active player in the National Football League to share that he’s gay)
carl nassib Famous gay football players
Carl Nassib of Las Vegas Raiders (source: Instagram @carlnassib)

Carl Nassib is the first of famous gay football players to come out while actively playing the sport. Here are some tweets of support I saw on BuzzFeed after his announcement:

  • Dorien Bryant (Heisman Winner)
  • Scott Cooper (college football star)
  • Mason Darrow (college football star)
  • Wade Davis (former NFL player)
  • Mitchell Eby (college football star)
  • Scott Frantz (college football star)
  • Ed Gallagher (college football star)
  • Alan Gendreau (college football star)
  • My-King Johnson (college football star)
  • Kwame Harris (former NFL player)
  • Dave Kopay (former NFL player)
  • Kyle Kurziolek (college football star)
  • Theodore Lisoski (semi-pro football player)
  • Eric Lueshen (college football star)
  • Darrion McAlister (college football star)
  • Ray McDonald (former NFL player)
  • Conner Mertens (college football star)
  • Ryan O’Callaghan (former NFL player)
  • Wyatt Pertuset (college football star)
  • Ryan Russell (pro football player)
  • Michael Sam (former NFL player)
  • Chip Sarafin (college football star)
  • Roy Simmons (former NFL player)
  • Brian Sims (college football star)
  • Jerry Smith (former NFL player)
  • Brad Thorson (free agent & gay rugby player)
  • Esera Tualo (former NFL player)

I focused the above list on professional gay athletes but look forward to adding amateur ones too. I’m also working on a lesbian athletes list.

Famous Gay Models [and Designers]

top 10 gay actors and models
Cara Delevingne, English Model (source: Wikipedia, Gage Skidmore)

Supermodel Cara Delevingne is open about her pansexuality. She told Independent in June 2020 that:

“However one defines themselves, whether it’s ‘they’ or ‘he’ or ‘she,’ I fall in love with the person — and that’s that. I’m attracted to the person.”

Here’s a list of famous gay models and famous gay fashion designers.

Famous Gay Models

  • Cassandra Bankson (model)
  • Adonis Bosso (model)
  • Cara Delevingne (model)
  • Lottie Moss (model)
  • Maya Noir (model)
  • Devin-Norelle (nonbinary model)
  • Hanne Gaby Odiele (model)
  • Tatiana Ringsby (model)
  • Hunter Schafer (model)
  • B. Hawk Snipes (model)

Famous Gay Fashion Designers

  • Tom Ford (fashion designer)
  • Tan France (fashion designer)
  • Roy “Halston” Frowick (fashion designer)
  • Michael Kors (fashion designer)
  • Raf Simons (fashion designer)

Famous LGBT People of Color

best gay actors
One of the most famous gay black actors, Wanda Sykes, TV Personality (source: Wikipedia, Greg Hernandez)

Wanda Sykes, is one of the most famous LGBT people of color. She’s also an activist for LGBT rights. Here’s a link to the Wanda Sykes gay commercial titled “That’s So Gay“, from 2008. The ad campaign’s message was the think before you speak, and not use the word “gay” loosely.

The famous gay people in the list below might already be listed earlier in this article, but we wanted to do a special section for famous LGBT people of color. WSTB also named a few of these famous LGBT people of color in their list of “10 prominent Black pioneers.”

  • Kylar Broadus (entrepreneur)
  • Laverne Cox (actress)
  • Wilson Cruz (actor)
  • Wade Davis (former NFL player)
  • Andrea Jenkins (politician)
  • Marsha P. Johnson (LGBTQ+ activist)
  • Frank Ocean (singer-songwriter)
  • Ron Oden (California Politician)
  • Dennis Rodman (NBA player)
  • Bayard Rustin (LGBTQ+ activist)
  • E. Denise Simmons (Mayor of Massachusetts)
  • Lilly Singh (YouTuber personality)
  • Amandla Stenberg (actress)
  • Wanda Sykes (comedian/actress)
  • Lena Waithe (screenwriter)

Famous Gay Artists

top 10 gay celebrities
Gilbert Baker pride flag designer and artist (source: Wikipedia, Gareth Watkins)

This is a list of famous gay artists including painters, photographers, and sculptors. I also listed Gilbert Baker pride flag designer.

  • Gilbert Baker (artist)
  • Joan Biren (photographer)
  • Rosa Bonheur (sculptor/painter)
  • Bronzino (painter)
  • Cathy Cade (photographer)
  • Tammy Rae Carland (photographer/video artist)
  • Liz Collins (contemporary artist)
  • Enrico Corte (contemporary artist)
  • Leonardo da Vinci (painter/sculptor)
  • Electrosexual (electronic artist)
  • Richard Fung (video artist)
  • Harmony Hammond (artist)
  • David Hockney (painter)
  • Derek Jarman (artist)
  • Kiss and Tell collective (performance artist)
  • Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (portrait artist)
  • Kate Millett (artist and activist)
  • Allyson Mitchell (sculptor)
  • Catherine Sue Opie (fine-art photographer)
  • Maria E. Piñeres (artist)
  • Jill Posener (photographer)
  • Tim Tate (artist)
  • Mickalene Thomas (visual artist)
  • Andy Warhol (painter)
  • Del LaGrace Volcano (genderqueer artist)

People Yearn to Know if Someone Famous “is gay”

As part of my research, I was amazed to discover the amount of Google traffic there is of people wondering if a famous person is gay. Here are some examples of the most popular queries:

  • Is Pete Buttigieg gay? (8,700 queries/month)
  • Is Sam Smith gay? (9,400 queries/month)
  • Is Lil Nas X gay? (7,100 queries/month)
  • Is Dan Levy gay? (6,000 queries/month)
  • Is Anderson Cooper gay? (4,800 queries/month)
  • Is Elsa gay? (4,600 queries/month) (yes, this is THE Elsa from the Frozen movie series)
  • Is Don Lemon gay? (queries/month 4,400)
  • Is Kate McKinnon gay? (4,100 queries/month)
  • Is Elton John gay? (3,200 queries/month)
  • Is Dennis Rodman gay? (3,000 queries/month)
  • Is Kristen Stewart gay? (2,600 queries/month)
  • Is Andy Cohen gay? (1,800 queries/month)
  • Is Halsey gay? (1,700 queries/month)
  • Is Lil Nas gay? (1,300 queries/month)
  • Is Mary Trump gay? (1,100 queries/month)
  • Is RuPal Gay (800 queries/month)

The list of gay celebrities with Google queries is MUCH larger if you include the questions about people who are NOT gay (such as Tom Selleck, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Tom Holland, and Eminem).

I like to think that many of these searches are from gay people trying to get the courage to come out. That’s another reason to celebrate this list.

Do you know other famous LGBT People I missed?

My list of the most influential gay people is by no means complete. For example, there are many famous people who were gay throughout history, like Alexander the Great, that I found hard to confirm.

Please let me know if you find other LGBT famous people and I will be glad to add them to this growing list! Just ping me at Heather@Ongig.com.

If you enjoyed this list, you might also want to check out 150 Famous Transgender People. And a final thanks goes to…

Sources for my Research on Famous Gay People

  1. 43 LGBTQ Influencers That Are Changing The Internet (by Meg Ten Eyck)
  2. 14 LGBTQ+ Innovators, Inventors and Scientists who changed the world (by Idea to Value)
  3. Who tops the ‘Out’ Power 50 list of LGBTQ influencers? (by Lorena Blas)
  4. 6 Important LGBTQ Scientists Who Left a Mark on STEM Fields (by Orlando Science Center)
  5. Famous LGBT people: Historical icons who you didn’t know were queer (by Josh Jackman)
  6. 50 celebrities you might not know are LGTBQ+ (by Jacob Osborn)
  7. 29 LGBTQ Figures From History You Need To Know About (by Attitude)
  8. List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people (by Wikipedia)
  9. Pride: 10 prominent Black pioneers (by David Belleville)
  10. Here are all the celebrities who came out as LGBTQ+ in 2020 (by Sam Damshenas)
  11. 31 celebrities who are openly proud about being LGBTQ (by Callie Ahlgrim)
  12. The 50 Most Powerful LGBTQ Players in Hollywood (by Michael O’Connell and Degen Pener)
  13. Making Gay History The Podcast (by MakingGayHistory.com)
  14. 11 LGBTQ stand-up comedians you should be watching (by Claudia Willen)
  15. Bowen Yang Opens Up About His Experience In ‘Gay Conversion’ Therapy (by Curtis M. Wong)
  16. Art-Pop Singer Halsey on Being Bipolar, Bisexual and an ‘Inconvenient Woman’ (by Chris Martins)
  17. 29 LGBTQ FIGURES FROM HISTORY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT (by Attitude)
  18. Thomas Beattie, International Soccer Star, Comes Out as Gay (by David Artavia)
  19. Pride Month: 8 inspiring LGBTQI politicians (by Avin Houro)
  20. Andrew Gillum: ‘I don’t identify as gay, but I do identify as bisexual’ (by Kirby Wilson)
  21. CARA DELEVINGNE SAYS SHE IDENTIFIES AS PANSEXUAL: ‘I’M ATTRACTED TO THE PERSON’ (by Olivia Petter)
  22. The 23 most powerful LGBTQ+ people in tech (by Paige Leskin)
  23. The ABCs of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ (by Ben Wiseman)
  24. List of LGBT artists (by Wikipedia)
  25. Pete Buttigieg becomes first openly gay person confirmed to US cabinet (by The Guardian)
  26. Jaden Smith confirms Tyler, the Creator is his boyfriend (by Sam Danshenas)
  27. Mary L. Trump on her life as an openly gay member of the First Family (by Rob Phelps)
  28. Former ‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood: ‘I’m gay’ (by Chloe Melas)
  29. Bumble’s Head of Product Design to Join Twitter (by Katie Deighton)
  30. Karine Jean-Pierre Makes History with Her First White House Press Briefing (by Virginia Chamlee)
  31. Pop singer Demi Lovato comes out as non-binary (by Ben Beaumont-Thomas)
  32. Top 10 Celebrities You Didnt Know Were Gay (by Gunsel Merkez)
  33. These 71 Celebrities Came Out in 2020 (by Raffy Ermac)
  34. Young, Gifted, Black, and Queer: 10 LGBTQ+ Celebs Paving the Way (by Kit Stone)
  35. How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV (by Emily Nussbaum)
  36. Interesting Facts about Frank Kameny, American gay rights pioneer (by Raessa Sayyad)
  37. JoJo Siwa recounts her coming out story, and the stars who reached out to her after (by Rachel Yang)
  38. Ricky Martin Is ‘Disappointed’ by His Lack of Acting Offers: ‘If It’s Because I’m Gay, That’s Sad’ (by Jason Sheeler)
  39. 10 new LGBTQ books to celebrate Pride Month: Gay ‘Great Gatsby,’ ‘Queer Bible,’ more (by Barbara VanDenburgh)
  40. Celebrate Pride Month: Meet Arizona’s most well-known LGBTQ Instagram influencers (by KiMi Robinson)
  41. Top LGBT TikTok Influencers to follow in 2021 (by SociallyPowerful.com)
  42. World Cup Gold Medalist and LGBTQI+ Activist Alex Johnson Partners With Athletic Brewing to Create Limited-Release Blood Orange IPA, Rainbow Wall (by StreetInsider)
  43. 14 Inspiring Eco-Minded LGBTQ Folx to Follow on Instagram (by Katie O’Reilly)
  44. MLB names Bean its first Ambassador for Inclusion (by Alyson Footer)
  45. A’s to honor first openly gay MLB player, Oakland native Glenn Burke (by Shyana Rubin)
  46. ‘AMERICAN IDOL’S’ DAVID ARCHULETACOMES OUT AS LGBTQ+ FOR PRIDE Seeks Religious Acceptance (by TMZ)
  47. The pandemic hit LGBTQ youth hard. Many turned to TikTok (by Malavika Kannan)
  48. Warriors’ Welts on Nassib coming out: ‘The spotlight is coming, and it’s going to be really, really bright’ (by Christina Kahrl)
  49. 28 Football Players Who Came Out of the Closet (by Out.com)
  50. Pixar’s Luca LGBT revelation: everything you need to know about Jack Dylan Grazer, who just came out as bisexual on Instagram (by Umesh Bhagchandani)
  51. Champion Figure Skater Jason Brown Comes Out in Inspirational Post (by Donald Padgett)
  52. Gus Kenworthy Wikipedia
  53. The History of LGBTQ Women in the Olympics (by Sally)
  54. DAN AND SHAY ANSWERS TO STRANGE QUESTIONS AND RUMORS (by Steve)
  55. Out Artists Make a Statement at Lollapalooza 2021 (by Jerry Nunn)
  56. DaBaby steps: is hip-hop finally conquering homophobia? (by Kyle Mullin)
  57. ‘Q-Force’: Sean Hayes on bringing ‘gay James Bond’ to Netflix with animated spy comedy (by Patrick Ryan)
  58. Country’s Hayden Joseph Honors Tradition (And His Truth) With A Joyous Queer Anthem (by Curtis M. Wong)
  59. Lance Bass wants to host LGBTQ version of The Bachelor (by Yahoo! Life)
  60. I May Destroy You’s Michaela Coel On Telling The Story Of Her Personal Trauma On Screen: “It Wasn’t A Very Conscious And Marked Decision” (by Antonia Blyth)
  61. Erasure’s Andy Bell opens up about finding love in laid-back Tampa (by Jay Cridlin)
  62. ATTITUDE ARCHIVE | NEIL TENNANT’S 1994 COMING OUT INTERVIEW (by Attitude Magazine)
  63. ‘Bridgerton’ Showrunner on How He Referenced Period Pieces to Create “Fresh and Unexpected” Drama Series (by Mikey O’Connell)
  64. Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Coupledom (by Dawn Ennis)
  65. Harvey Guillén: from funny house to vampire familiar (by Jim Provenzano)
  66. From A Shy Kid To India’s First Openly Gay Actor, Benjamin Daimary’s Story Is One-Of-Its-Kind (by Tashafi Nazir)
  67. Demi Lovato wins Celebrity of the Year at star-studded LGBT Awards (by Geo TV)

Why I wrote this?

Ongig is on a mission to eliminate boring and biased job descriptions. Our Text Analyzer solution helps you avoid words that are exclusionary to famous LGBT people (or non-famous!).

by in Diversity and Inclusion

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