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Pink List 2013: A selection of the most influential LGBT names internationally


The Independent on Sunday Pink List celebrates the 101 most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain. But what about those who aren’t in Britain?

Whether in America, Jamaica, Russia, Lebanon or the Swedish third division, we salute those who provide inspiration and entertainment all over the world. So here, for the first time, is our list of some of the most influential internationals:

Orlando Cruz

The Puerto Rican boxer could make history on October 12 by becoming the first openly gay world champion. Here’s his interview with The Independent’s Steve Bunce.

Robbie Rogers @robbierogers

In February 2013 the former Leeds United player became the second professional male footballer in Britain to come out, after Justin Fashanu – he now plays for David Beckham’s old club LA Galaxy and next year will publish his autobiography with @PenguinUKBooks @PenguinUSA

Frank Ocean @FrankOceanNews

Since Ocean wrote an open letter last year about falling in love with a man, the hip hop industry - including Russell Simmons, Beyonce and Jay-Z - has been generally supportive. And his music has been pretty good, too.


The first Jamaican mainstream Jamaican music artist ever to come out as gay, in June last year, was honoured in December with the Out Music Awards’ Vanguard Award. “I am ... woman ... mother ... aunt ... Jamaican ... American ... international artiste ... singer ... songwriter ... band leader ... friend ... lover ... entrepreneur ... goddess! among other things and yes!!!… I am a lesbian”, she wrote.

Dan Savage @fakedansavage @ItGetsBetter

In 2010, the relationships columnist started the It Gets Better project aiming to prevent suicides among LGBT teens. Its 50,000 entries from people of all sexual orientations – including Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, Gareth Thomas, Lady Gaga and Kermit the Frog – have now received over 50 million views.

Chelsea Manning

The former US soldier was convicted under the espionage act in July for releasing classified documents, and at that point said that she had identified as female since childhood and wanted to be known as Chelsea and begin hormone treatment. Her story seems to have brought a noticeable change in the way that trans issues are discussed in the world’s media.

Anderson Cooper @andersoncooper

According to the New York Times, the CNN anchor is “the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television” since coming out in an open letter last summer[2012]. “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”, he wrote.

Lana Wachowski

Part of the world-beating directing, producing and screen-writing double act together with her brother, Andy, Wachowski’s most recent hit was the film of the “unfilmable” novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Julia Serano @JuliaSerano

The author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity and the new book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive neatly describes herself as “also a performer, musician, biologist, person, etc”.

Anton Hysen

The Swedish third division player is still the most high profile openly gay male footballer in Europe. He plays for Utsiktens BK, works part time as a construction worker, and won the seventh season of Sweden’s Let’s Dance.

Wentworth Miller

The Hollywood actor came out publicly in August this year when he turned down an invitation to the St Petersburg International Film Festival because he felt “deeply troubled” by the homophobia of the Russian government.

Hamed Sinno

The lead singer in the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila appeared on the cover of the French gay lifestyle magazine Têtu, and encourages his LGBT fans “to forge for themselves a sense of belonging to the region, in spite of the incredible repressing they have to live through.”

Chaz Bono

The only child of Sonny and Cher has always lived in the media spotlight, and chose to document his coming out journey in a book, Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (1998) and a 2011 documentary on his transition, Becoming Chaz.

Masha Gessen @mashagessen

The Russian journalist and author of a fearless biography of Vladimir Putin, The Man Without a Face, responded to news of Russian anti-“gay propaganda” legislation with a “pink triangle” campaign and protests. However, she recently wrote that she and her family must flee Russia for New York.