Representation is so important.
It is crucial that LGBTQ+ people growing up, or those in the process of acceptance at any age, get to see themselves reflected, thriving and happy, in the media they consume.
It’s so huge, in that process of self-acceptance and self-love we all go through, to know that being LGBTQ+ is not a barrier to reaching your aspirations. That you are valid and your potential for fabulousness is limitless.
While representation in media has certainly come a *checks notes* LOOOOOONG-ASS-MF-WAY, particularly in recent years, there is still so much work to be done, and so many among us we need to ensure are both heard and seen.
Here are some of your replies:
“Ru was the only openly gay person on TV that looked like me”
“A non-binary icon but also v vulnerable and relatable to me”
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (team)
“Taught me that gay is okay!”
Lil nas X
“A gay rapper who is talented, hot AND funny. What else can I say…”
“Ellen paved the way. She started the conversation for all of us and came out in front of millions, handling it with grace”
“Because she shows you don’t have to be gay, a lesbian, bi, trans or any LGBT identity to be an ally, and you can still have an AMAZING career and life in spite of probably pissing off some homophobes”
“For the blend of entertaining fake looks with genuine inspiring assertiveness”
“L is for LEGENDARY lol. Not gay but an icon and a champion of gay rights. Also she’s brilliantly camp as fu*k so an honorary gay”
“I guess because he’s an intellectual who was out before it was ‘cool'”
“Not LGBT herself but the first gay friends I bonded with was over a shared love for this iconic queen. Also ‘because of y0u, I’ve had some of the best years of my life at the LGBTQ community’ looool”
“Unquestionably one of the greatest icons of our LGBT generation. A trailblazer”
“He was THE heartthrob women loved and we got him on our team lol”
“Just literally everything about her”
“Gay when gay was uncool and he doesn’t give a fu*k”
“The strength he had and the precedents he set. He was the first”
“A lot of people probably ending up on this list wouldn’t exist without Madonna”
“Santana’s confidence in her queerness was everything I wanted to be”
Queer as Folk
“QAF UK guys were the first openly unapologetic gay men I saw on TV”
“As a shy, introverted, quiet teen, she was the loud voice I didn’t have”
Sir lan McKellan
“I mean, he’s a total legend. It’s Gandalf ffs. And he shows there is also Pride in ageing too”
“Just because he’s an athlete and to see him as a gay parent raising kids in the public eye is epic”
“There will never be another like him”
Megan thee Stallion
“She’s got great attitude and speaks on rap embracing the queer community”
He got so much sh*t off the press for being gay when I was growing up, but he was still proud. Always sent other people who came out flowers etc”
“Taught me it’s okay to be different if different is just me”
Drag Race (cast)
“Watching Drag Race with my family and seeing Drag on the TV gave me the confidence to get into it myself without feeling like a freak”
“First as a king of clothing and then for being a HIV advocate. A true legend”
“A fu*king KING and I stan, he changed so much for me”
The full list, as chosen by you, did actually go on and on (and on), so we can’t fit everyone in. But see below for some more names who were mentioned more than once.
And if any names were SHOCKINGLY missed, say it in the Insta comments..