IoS Pink List 2012: International

They may not have made an influential contribution to life in Britain, but these international heroes and heroines are all at the top of a list somewhere. Here are this year's most impressive contributors to world LGBT harmony

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The Independent Online

Chaz Bono

American artist, writer and musician

The trans son of pop diva Cher, Chaz made an award-winning documentary about his gender transition and helped promote transgender visibility in the US with his appearance on last year's Dancing with the Stars.

Tim Cook

American CEO, Apple

Steve Jobs's successor is probably the most powerful gay business figure in the world and has steered the company towards ever greater profitability.

Anderson Cooper

US Journalist

The CNN news anchor came out earlier this year. "The tide of history only moves forward when everyone is fully visible," he said.

Orlando Cruz

Puerto Rican boxer

Last month, the 31-year-old became the first boxer to publicly declare himself gay. He said: "I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career."

Beth Ditto

American pop star

The fabulous disco-punk diva continues to inspire. This year, she has released a fifth album and a frank autobiography, Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir.

Diana King

Jamaican dancehall musician

The reggae-fusion singer-songwriter came out as lesbian in June this year — an especially courageous act given dancehall culture's endemic homophobia. She wrote on Facebook: "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."

Frank Ocean

American musician

The young R&B crooner made headlines the world over when he released an open letter about falling in love with a man on his Tumblr account. His subsequent debut album Channel Orange proved every bit as beautiful.

Frank Mugisha

Ugandan Activist

Mugisha is the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda and continues fearlessly to lead the fight for gay rights in the African country after the murder of fellow campaigner David Kato in 2011.

Johanna Sigurdardottir

Icelandic Prime Minister

Recently announced she will retire from politics next year after three years at the top, but she has sealed her place in history as the world's first openly gay head of state.

Lana Wachowski

US film director, screenwriter, producer

The co-director of The Matrix and the upcoming Cloud Atlas alongside her brother, Andy, is Hollywood's most prominent trans woman. Her profound, funny and moving speech at a recent awards ceremony drew widespread acclaim.