What Defines A Gay Icon?

Carmen Miranda

When you think of a gay icon who comes into your mind?  Maybe Madonna or Judy Garland?  What defines a gay icon?  How does a person become elevated to gay icon status? 

According to Wikipedia a gay icon is as follows....

"A gay icon is a public figure (historical or current) who is embraced by many within lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.
Qualities of a gay icon often include glamour, flamboyance, strength through adversity, and androgyny in presentation. Such icons may be of any sexuality or gender; they may also be closeted or open with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Although most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, some have expressed opposition – advocating against a perceived "homosexual agenda".
Historical icons are typically elevated to such status because their sexual orientation remains a topic of great debate among historians. Modern gay icons, who are predominantly female entertainers, commonly garner a large following within LGBT communities over the course of their careers. The majority of gay icons fall into one of two categories: the tragic, sometimes martyred figure or the prominent pop culture idol."

There have been so many gay icons over the years.  Some are well known even in the straight community, others are a little less well known outside of the gay community. I think that it would interesting to look at some of them and just do a little history and examine why they are in fact huge gay icons. 

Stay tuned for "A Gay Icon A Day."  See how many you recognize, you might be surprised!

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