The Greatest Gay Icons in Film

Who is the most famous gay icon in film? Jessica Alba has been embraced by the gay community for her beauty, talent and, humanitarian efforts. She supports gay rights and same-sex marriage and has been photographed partying at gay clubs. Many other famous actresses have become gay film icons include Judy Garland, Liza Minelli, and Barbra Streisand.

Several great film directors are gay icons as well. Precious director Lee Daniels is openly gay, as are Hairspray director John Waters, and Milk director Gus Van Sant.

Magic Mike actor Matthew Bomer publicly acknowledged that he was gay in 2012. He and his partner, Simon Halls, have three sons.

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Actor Ian McKellen is openly gay.  He is extremely active working to further gay rights all over the world.

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“Glee” actress Jane Lynch is openly gay and a big supporter of gay rights. She played one half of a hilarious lesbian couple in the comedy Best in Show.

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Jake Gyllenhaal became an instant gay icon for after playing the role of Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain. The media questioned Gyllenhaal’s sexuality after the film, and he said that people asking if he was gay was a “huge compliment.”

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Zac Efron was embraced as a teen idol by both men and women. He has been fully embraced by the gay community and he is “flattered” when people ask if he’s gay.

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Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto publicly came out in 2011. He supports several gay rights organizations.

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Ryan Reynolds is a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage. He appeared on the cover of the Advocate in 2007.

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James Franco seems to enjoy all of the rumors that float around regarding his sexuality. When asked about all the gay jokes that were directed at him during his Comedy Central Roast, Franco replied, “If that’s what they were going to make fun of me for, I was like, ‘Great! Bring on the gay jokes!’ because these aren’t insults at all. I don’t even care if people think I’m gay, so it was like, ‘Awesome!'” He has also played several gay characters in his films.

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Jodie Foster publicly came out in 2013 during her Golden Globes acceptance speech, saying, “I already did my coming out about 1,000 years ago back in the stone age, those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers, and then gradually and proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.”

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Heath Ledger became a gay icon after starring in the film Brokeback Mountain.

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Channing Tatum became a gay icon after starring in the male stripper movie Magic Mike. He is also a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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Julie Andrews became a gay icon with her classic portrayals of popular musical characters. When asked about her fan base, she said, “I’m that odd mixture of, on the one hand, being a gay icon and, on the other, having grandmas and parents grateful I’m around to be a babysitter for their kids.”

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Ryan Gosling is a gay icon for men of all sexual orientations. The Drive actor spawned the trend “gay for Gosling.” He supports gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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Meryl Streep has been an acting legend for decades, but she became a gay icon with her portrayal of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.

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Barbra Streisand has been supported by the gay community from the beginning of her career. As well, her son, Jason Gould, came out in 1991. Streisand said, “I would never wish for my son to be anything but what he is. He is bright, kind, sensitive, caring, and a very conscientious and good person.” She has been a strong supporter of gay marriage.

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The Advocate called Judy Garland “the Elvis of homosexuals.” The term “Friends of Dorothy” was developed after the release of The Wizard of Oz, in reference to the gay community. Many gay people related with Dorothy’s experience going from the black and white world of Kansas to the utopia that was Oz. The rainbow flag may have even been inspired by Garland’s song from the film, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Ben Affeck is a supporter of gay right and same-sex marriage. He has said, “I don’t think the government should be involved in any way in people’s bedrooms or lives. With so much hatred and unpleasantness in the world, why would you want to get in the way of people who love each other marrying each other?”

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Actress Jessica Lange has a huge gay fan base. When asked about them, she said “Some of my dearest friends in the world for a long, long time are gay men.” Lange also does a lot of work to help find a cure for AIDS.

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Rock Hudson was the first major film actor to have AIDS. Many people in the gay community related to Hudson’s struggle both publicly and privately.

When actor Nathan Lane was asked by a reporter if he was gay, he replied, “I’m 40, single, and work a lot in the musical theater. You do the math.” He supports several gay rights organizations including Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and The Trevor Project.

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Ashton Kutcher’s boyish good looks made him an instant gay icon. Rumor has it that his ex-wife Demi Moore was jealous of all of the attention that Kutcher was getting from other men. Kutcher is a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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The daughter of gay icon Judy Garland and bisexual filmmaker Vincente Minnelli, it is only natural that Liza Minnelli has a huge gay following.

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Mrs. Doubtfire actor and Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein is openly gay. He is also a strong supporter of gay rights.

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Actor/singer/drag queen Divine has been a fearless gay icon since the late 60s when he first met frequent collaborator John Waters. He toured the world performing empowering disco . He has appeared in classic cult films like Pink Flamingos and Hairspray.
Bette Davis is a classic gay icon. In Dark Victory, she played a secretive character that many closeted individuals could relate to.

Pink Flamingos director John Waters has been including characters in his films since the 60s. Waters is openly gay and a strong supporter of gay rights.

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Jared Leto has always been a popular crush, but he was propelled to the status of gay icon with his performance as Rayon, the HIV positive transvestite in The Dallas Buyers Club. He won a Golden Globe for his performance. Leto is a strong supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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Jessica Alba has been embraced by the gay community for her beauty, talent, and humanitarian efforts.  The Sin City actress supports gay rights and same-sex marriage. She has also been seen partying at gay clubs.

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Rosie O’Donnell publicly came out in 2002. She has since been a fierce advocate for gay rights, same-sex marriage, and gay adoption rights.

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Matthew McConaughey has been a common Hollywood crush since he first appeared on the big screen in Dazed and Confused.  He solidified his status as gay icon with his film The Dallas Buyers Club.

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Eyes Wide Shut actress Nicole Kidman has a huge gay fan base. When asked by the Advocate, how she would react if one of her kids told her that they were gay, Kidman replied, “I’d give them a huge hug and say, ‘What do you want from me? How can I help you? What do you need?'”

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Sean Penn became a gay icon when he portrayed Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to ever hold public office in California, in Milk. Penn received an Academy Award for his performance. In his acceptance speech he said, “I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

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Sarah Jessica Parker is beloved by the gay community for her cutting edge style and her acting choices.  She is especially popular for portraying Carrie Bradshaw in the “Sex and the City” TV show and films. She is also a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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Precious director Lee Daniels is openly gay. He says that he was never in the closet.  He told Arsenio Hall, “There was never a closet… My earliest memories were coming down the stairs in my mother’s high heels at six years old while my dad’s playing cards with the buddies.”

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Openly gay film maker Gus Van Sant directed the film Milk, about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician to hold office in California. He is bringing issues of equality to the public at large with his films. When asked if he has had problems being an openly gay director in Hollywood, he replied, “Not so far. There are probably things that I don’t see, but I think if you are a heterosexual filmmaker you’ll have problems as well. It depends on your work and how you get identified… If you are Oliver Stone, you might not be chosen by Miramax to direct The English Patient. It is more about that.”

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Hilary Swank became an instant gay icon for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. She won an Academy Award for her performance. She is a supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

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Out magazine called Johnny Knoxville “the gayest straight guy ever.” Knoxville starred in John Water’s film A Dirty Shame, and became obsessed with gay “bear” culture.  He attempted to get on the cover of American Grizzly and he even got a tattoo of bear to permanently pay tribute to “bears.”

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Chloe Sevigny has been a gay icon since she appeared in the indie film Kids. She was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Boys Don’t Cry. When asked about her gay following, she said, “A gay fan base is a very good fan base to have – is that a terrible thing to say? They’re very loyal. They’ll stick with you through the ups and downs because they’re not fair-weather fans. I love being a gay icon; I totally embrace it.”

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Megan Fox has developed a gay following who love her for her beauty and her candor. In 2009, Fox revealed that she is bisexual and she shared a kiss with her co-star Amanda Seyfried in the film Jennifer’s Body.

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Dreamgirls director Bill Condon is openly gay. He explored the spectrum of sexuality in his film Kinsey.

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