The word ‘gay’ currently refers to people, not exclusively male, whose practices and cultures are associated with homosexuality. Famous gay celebrities belong to both sexes, male and female and those with a reassigned gender. Although the prevalence of homosexuality is traceable to the period as old as the Roman Empire and the Ming Dynasty, its legal recognition came as late as the 20th century. Gay marriage, which is a marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or gender identity, was first recognized legally in Denmark in 1989. Currently, 11 countries allow same-sex marriage. These countries include: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden. A few other countries allow it conditionally only in cases of gender reassignment therapy. The majority of countries, however, do not allow it and consider it unethical and illegal. Legalizing gay marriages or homosexuality is perhaps the greatest compromise in the greatest controversy of the 20th century. People having an attraction for their own sex are, more than ever, confident, united, and not only feeling proud of their practice, but quite a few famous celebrities are ‘openly gay’ having no hesitation whatsoever in declaring their sex identity as gay.
1. David Geffen
David Geffen was born to Abraham Geffen and Batya Volovskaya in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. on February 21, 1943. He is one of the richest persons of the entertainment industry with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion. Unlike the closet LGBT (Unidentified Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgenders), Geffen is openly gay. He was on the top of Out magazine’s 2007 list of the ‘Fifty Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America.’ He is an ambitious collector of American artists’ works including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. The New York Times reported that Geffen sold Pollock’s 1948 Painting #5 for $140 million. He received the Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
2. Anderson Cooper
Anderson Hayes Cooper was born to Wyatt Emory Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt in New York City, New York, U.S. on June 3, 1967. He is best known as a primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360. Cooper is an affirmed gay. According to the New York Times, Cooper is ‘the most prominent, openly gay journalist on American Television.’ Out magazine ranked him next only to David Geffen on the list of the ‘Fifty Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America.’ He allowed Andrew Sullivan to publish an e-mail wherein he stated, ‘The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.’ Cooper has shown his inclination to marry Benjamin Maisani, the French gay bar owner in New York.
3. Adam Lambert
Adam Mitchel Lambert, better known as Adam Lambert, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 29, 1982. He is a renowned musician, singer, songwriter, and actor. According to The Times Lambert is the first openly gay pop artist. He is ranked #5 in the LA Times list of the ‘Top 120 American Idol Contestants.’ In an interview with U.K. news magazine Pressparty, Lambert said, ‘I consider myself a post-gay man working in a pre-gay industry.’ He is considered a role model for the LGBT Community and was honored with an Equality Idol Award in August, 2011.
4. Tyra Sanchez
James Rose IV, better known by his stage name Tyra Sanchez, is an American drag queen, a man who dresses like a woman for entertainment. He was born in Gainesville, Florida, USA on April 22, 1988. Rose is single and openly gay. He has one son, Jeremiah, whom he co-parents with his mother. Jeremiah played a role in the music video song Hey Jane wherein Sanchez played a single, transgender prostitute having two children. Gwinnett County police discovered a small quantity of marijuana in his car and arrested him, but he was soon released after he posted the required bond.
5. Charles Busch
Charles Louis Busch, better known as Charles Busch, was born in New York City, New York, U.S. on August 23, 1954. He is best known as a female impersonator or drag queen. He is an openly gay playwright and actor. He is best known for his play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife which ran for 777 performances on Broadway. Busch won a Tony nomination for Best Play for this play. His play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom ran for five years in New York City and is considered one of the longest-running plays on Broadway.
6. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris was born to Sheila and Ron Harris in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. on June 15, 1973. He received his early education at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque. He graduated in 1991. Harris is openly gay, coming out in November, 2006 saying, ”¦am quite proud to say that I am a very content, gay man living my life to the fullest and feel most fortunate to be working with the wonderful people in the business I love.’ He is married to Burtka and, through a surrogate mother, has a son Gideon Scott and a daughter Harper Grace. He was listed as one of the ‘100 Most Influential People’ by Time magazine and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.
7. Rosie O’Donnell
Rosie O’Donnell was born in Commack, New York, U.S. on March 21, 1962. She is a famous LGBT activist celebrity. She is openly gay and came out proclaiming, ‘I’m a dyke. I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing’¦people are confused, they’re shocked, like it is a big revelation to somebody.’ She raised her voice in favor of adoption by gays as the state law did not allow it. Florida has a ban on adoption by gay or bisexual people.
8. Portia de Rossi
Amanda Lee Rogers, better known as Portia de Rossi, was born to Margaret and Barry Rogers in Horsham, Victoria, Australia on January 31, 1973. She is best known for her performance in the TV series Ally McBeal and sitcom Arrested Development. She was married to DeGeneres in August, 2008, when same-sex marriage became legal in California. She ranked #24 in Maxim’s ‘100 Sexiest Women’ list in 2004, #69 in Stuff’s ‘100 Sexiest Women,’ and #31 on Femme Fatales ‘Sexiest Women’ list of 2003. People magazine named her as one of the 100 most beautiful people.
9. Klaus Wowereit
Klaus Wowereit was born in Berlin, Germany on October 1, 1953. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party and had been Mayor of Berlin. He is a German politician of high renown and came out prior to the 2001 elections for mayor, saying, ‘Ich Bin Schwul, und das ist auch gut so’ meaning ‘I am gay, and that is a good thing.’ He came out prior to the election as a preventive measure against the probable sensational and fictitious writings about him. His proclamation was received with a silent pause of surprise followed by spontaneous loud applause and hearty cheering.
10. Drew Blyth Barrymore
Drew Blyth Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, U.S. on February 22, 1975. She was the most recognized child actress of Hollywood. Reportedly, she said in 2004, ‘A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally, I love it.’ She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and appeared on the cover of the 2007 People magazine’s ‘100 Most Beautiful’ issue and was nominated Ambassador Against Hunger for the UN’s World Food Program. She is also a recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Famous gay celebrities are distinguished from other celebrities in that on one hand they are loved so dearly by their fans, while on the other hand they are looked down upon by many others. They remain on the horns of dilemma, and this is why many do not dare come out of the closet. Gays are not supported by any religious body, nor do they outnumber the opposition, yet they survive on account of the persistence and pride shown by the famous, openly gay celebrities.