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  • Writer's picturePride Power List


In 2013 we asked you, the LGBT community, to nominate those people who you feel have been most influential, not only in your own life, but also in those areas of the world where being gay is more difficult.

After receiving the nominations the list was adjudicated by a panel of esteemed judges who came up with the final rankings.

This list was published in an exclusive Guardian supplement on the day of the London's Pride parade, Saturday 29th June and was compiled by Square Peg Media, the leading diversity publishing and events company in the UK, in association with The Guardian newspaper.


1. Ellen DeGeneres – chatshow host

Multi Emmy award winning actor, writer and stand-up comedian, Ellen came out in 1997 and faced down criticism to reposition herself as the host of one of America's most successful chat shows, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres moved into the mainstream by hosting the Emmy Awards in 2001, the Academy Awards in 2006 and American Idol in 2010. In 2011, Hilary Clinton named her a special envoy for global Aids awareness. DeGeneres lives in Beverly Hills, California, and married her partner, the Australian actor Portia de Rossi, in 2008, when the ban was lifted on gay marriage. DeGeneres and De Rossi are ethical vegans.


2. Stephen Fry – polymath

Stephen Fry – actor, author, playwright, journalist, poet, screenwriter, TV presenter, film director, comedian and a director of Norwich City FC – is openly gay, and, together with Clare Balding, was named broadcaster of the year at the recent Out/G3 awards. This year, he is shooting a documentary for the BBC called Out There, about being gay around the world, which has taken him to North and South America, Africa, Asia and Russia to meet with gay men and women, and talk about what it means to be gay in different corners of the world. Fry has also made documentaries on HIV and Aids, and the reality of being gay in prison.


3. Jane Lynch – actor

It was as US TV comedy Glee's ruthless cheerleading squad leader Sue Sylvester that award-winning US actor, comedian and author Jane Lynch entered our affections. She has never shied away from her sexuality and is a vocal advocate for gay rights, marrying psychologist Lara Embry in 2010 (though recent reports suggest the pair may divorce). She is currently making her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie at the Palace Theatre, New York. Later this year she will host a new NBC game show, Hollywood Game Night, in which members of the public play party games with minor celebrities and compete for a cash prize.


4. Clare Balding – sports presenter

Cambridge-educated TV and radio presenter Clare Balding is at the top of her career. Having conquered thyroid cancer in 2011, she went on to front top-notch BBC coverage of the Olympics and Channel 4 coverage of the Paralympics in 2012, for which she was honoured with a special award at the 2013 Baftas and received an OBE in this year's Queen's birthday honours. The sports presenter, who was a leading amateur flat jockey before becoming a journalist, is out and proud. She formed a civil partnership with Radio 4 newsreader Alice Arnold in 2006. She told the Radio Times in an interview: "Personally, I'm a much better broadcaster for not hiding who I am. Not necessarily trumpeting it, but not hiding it."


5. Tim Cook – CEO Apple

Following Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple, one of the world's most valuable companies, was always going to be tough. But Cook is putting his stamp on the company. The son of a shipyard worker, he worked at Compaq and IBM before arriving at Apple to become Jobs's chief operating officer, and is credited with helping to turn a once-ailing company into the £500bn powerhouse it is today. Despite not publicly saying he is gay, Cook has topped Out magazine's power list of gay people for three years. He is currently defending Apple's use of tax loopholes in the Supreme Court.


6. Sir Elton John – musician

Singer-songwriter Elton John has been funnelling money into his Aids Foundation since 1992. Every year, he opens his house to hundreds of celebrities and invited guests for a ball to raise money for the foundation, and also holds post-Grammy and Oscar parties as fundraisers.

He has two sons with his civil partner David Furnish: Zachary, who was born in 2010; and Elijah, who was born in January. Both boys were born to the same surrogate mother in California. Recently, Elton John has been involved in campaigns for the legalisation of gay marriage in the UK.


7. Lord Alli – Labour peer and entrepreneur

Media entrepreneur, businessman and the youngest and first openly gay peer in the House of Lords, Waheed Alli works for gay rights at the highest levels. Having left school at 16, he went from being a £40-a-week researcher on a magazine to co-founding Planet 24, which went on to make some of Channel 4's best-known programmes. He was instrumental in getting the age of consent for gay sex lowered from 18 to 16, and in the repeal of Section 28, which forbade the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities. He is patron of Oxford Pride and campaigns globally for gay rights.


8. Tammy Baldwin – US politician

Tammy Baldwin, the Democratic senator for Wisconsin, has chosen to ignore those she calls "the naysayers, the cynics, and the keepers of the status quo; those who say 'you can't, you shouldn't, or you won't'". Her career is a perfect illustration of that philosophy. She's a fearless champion of equal rights, clean energy and universal healthcare, and is the first openly gay US senator. Along with Barney Frank, she established the Congressional LGBT Equality caucus in the US House of Representatives in June 2008, which works for the rights of LGBT people in the US and around the world.


9. Gok Wan – TV presenter

Few British TV personalities are as universally recognised and loved as Gok Wan. Shy and obese as a child, and now passionate about having a healthy body image, he found his calling in fashion styling. He is out, proud and unashamedly flamboyant. Earlier this year, he presented an episode of The Secret Millions in which he helped London charity Kids Company.


10. Sir Ian McKellen – actor

His roles in blockbuster films have made McKellen a global superstar. But he's also one of the most charismatic actors working in film, TV and theatre, rising from humble beginnings in Burnley to the heights of his profession. He came out in 1988 – during a Radio 3 discussion on Section 28 – and, from that moment, has brought all his star power to bear on the cause of equality, co-founding Stonewall and regularly speaking and writing on gay issues.


11. Peter Tatchell, campaigner

A lifelong LGBT activist and agitator for equal rights, Australian-born Peter Tatchell twice tried a citizen's arrest on Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe and was beaten up for his efforts. He received similar treatment from neo-Nazis when supporting the Gay Pride march in Moscow. He has stood as a candidate for the Labour and Green parties, and is the author of more than 3,000 articles and six books.

12. Martina Navratilova, former tennis player

Billie Jean King called her "the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player that ever lived". But Navratilova is also a shining exception in the world of competitive sport, where many sportsmen and women still feel unable to come out. Since 1981, she's been open about her lesbianism, and has spoken out repeatedly on behalf of LGBT rights.

13. Alan Carr, comedian

Hugely successful chatshow host and award-winning standup comedian.

14. Charlie Condou, actor

Father of two and champion of gay parenting, Condou is best known for his role in Coronation Street as Marcus Dent, ex-lover of Sean Tully, played by Antony Cotton. The programme carried the first soap story of same-sex parenting. Condou's real-life daughter and son divide their time between him and his partner, Cameron, and their mother, actor Catherine Kanter.

15. Michael Cashman, MEP

Recently voted MEP of the year for justice and fundamental rights by his peers, former actor Cashman, a co-founder of Stonewall, is best known for his role as Colin in EastEnders. He registered his civil partnership with Paul Cottingham in 2006 and was awarded a CBE for his equality work.

16. Graham Norton, TV presenter

Norton is an award-winning BBC presenter whose outrageous questioning style has endeared him to audiences.

17. Jane Hill, broadcast journalist

Always open about her sexual orientation, Hill has been a presenter and BBC newsreader for many years. She has worked on many high-profile stories, including the elections of Barack Obama. She has presented the European Diversity Awards since 2011.

18. Heather Peace, actor and singer

A British actor and musician, with roles in Casualty, Holby City, Coronation Street and Lip Service, Peace is a patron of Manchester Pride and the Diversity Role Models charity.

19. Jessie J, singer

Jessie J came out as bisexual in 2011. The singer-songwriter and judge on The Voice became the first UK female solo artist to achieve six top-10 singles from a single studio album, her debut Who Are You?

20. Sue Perkins, comedian and presenter

Perkins began her career as half of double-act Mel and Sue on Channel 4's daytime show Light Lunch. She has written for French and Saunders and Ab Fab, as well as countless radio series. In 2008, Perkins conducted the BBC's Concert Orchestra in Hyde Park during the Last Night of the Proms, after winning the BBC's Maestro competition.

21. Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, head of diversity and inclusion, Google EMEA

One of the most influential and innovative diversity professionals, he conceived Google's Legalise Love campaign, aimed at countries where homosexuality is illegal. He is a trustee of Kaleidoscope Trust and founder and chairman of the Inclusive Foundation.

22. Elio Di Rupo, PM, Belgium

As well as being an openly gay leader in the European Union, Di Rupo is the first Francophone to hold the post of Belgian prime minister, with predecessors being either of Walloon or Flemish descent. This represents a massive change in the country's history.

23. Anderson Cooper, broadcast journalist

The anchor of CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360° is, according to the New York Times, "the most prominent openly gay journalist on American TV". He came out last year, saying: "I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."

24. Mary Portas, retail expert and presenter

Portas is best known for her TV shows in which she helps struggling shops transform their fortunes. Her recent show, Mary Queen of the High Street, began last month on Channel 4. She lives with her children and civil partner, Grazia magazine fashion features editor Melanie Rickey.

25. Jodie Foster, actor

The Oscar-winning actor has two sons with ex-partner Cydney Bernard. She received a lifetime achievement award at this year's Golden Globes, saying of her sexuality: "I already did my coming out ... in 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." She thanked Bernard, with whom she split in 2008, calling her "my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life".

26. Anthony Watson, MD and CIO, Barclays

Alongside his demanding job in the City, Watson is chair of the European Diversity Awards, a member of the board of DGS plc and a trustee of the Inclusive Foundation, an LGBT youth charity. Watson is a driving force for diversity and inclusion across the UK and abroad.

27. Sarah Gilbert, actor

Best known for her role as the sarcastic middle child Darlene Connor in the American sitcom Rosanne, Gilbert came out as a lesbian in 2010 and this year announced her engagement to songwriter Linda Perry.

28. Samantha Ronson, DJ

The English-born DJ, who lives in California, has spun her discs at some of the highest-profile events across the globe, including private parties for Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Ellen DeGeneres and Natalie Portman.

29. Laura Doughty, deputy chief exec,

Stonewall Doughty has been instrumental in encouraging more lesbian involvement in Stonewall and was a driving force behind the organisation's hugely successful 2012 London bus marketing campaign, Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!

30. Tom Ford, fashion designer and film director

Feted for his success at Gucci, Ford went on to create his own Tom Ford label and directed the Oscar-nominated film A Single Man. He has a degree in architecture and has been with his partner, Richard Buckley, since 1986.

31. Lee Pearson, Paralympian equestrian

The openly gay equestrian, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita – a rare congenital disorder – is a 10-time Paralympic Games gold medallist and represented Britain in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. Last year, Pearson won gold in the team dressage event, silver in the championship dressage and bronze in the freestyle. He came out to his parents shortly before his 21st birthday.

32. Dr Christian Jessen, celebrity doctor

The huge success of Channel 4's intimate programmes Supersize vs Superskinny and Embarrassing Bodies has catapulted this 36-year-old doctor into the public eye. Alongside his TV shows, Jessen regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines, and has written a couple of books. He specialises in HIV and sexual health, having spent a couple of years working in Kenya and Uganda.

33. Chaz Bono, writer and musician

Bono, child of superstars Sonny and Cher, underwent gender reassignment in 2010 and is now a transgender advocate and campaigner against the US Defense of Marriage Act. The documentary Becoming Chaz followed his reassignment.

34. Chris Bryant, MPA Labour MP,

Bryant is shadow minister for borders and immigration. He and his partner, Jared Cranney, had the first civil partnership ceremony held in the Houses of Parliament.

35. Anna Grodzka, Polish politician

Publisher and film-maker Grodzka is a respected politician and Europe's first known transsexual MP. She underwent gender reassignment in 2010 and is a member of the progressive Palikot's Movement party in Poland.

36. Neil Patrick Harris, actor, director

Best known for his role in Doogie Howser MD, the Emmy-award-winning Harris has also directed a production of Martin Sherman's Rent. Harris lives with his partner, David Burtka, and their two children.

37. Angela Eagle, Labour MP

Shadow leader of the House of Commons, this well-respected Labour politician was the first openly gay woman in parliament when she came out in September 1998 and the first lesbian in a ministerial post.

38. Antony Cotton, actor

Through playing the gay character Sean Tully in Coronation Street and taking a pivotal role in a breakthrough gay-parenting storyline with fellow actor Charlie Condou, Cotton has done much to break down prejudice among the show's massive UK audience.

39. Tim Gill, founder of Quark

The American software entrepreneur and philanthropist is involved in advocacy for LGBT rights through his Gill Action Fund. His charity work concerns itself with ending prejudice and injustice against the gay community. Gill is married to Scott Miller and they live in Denver, Colorado.

40. Liz Sayce, CEO, Disability Rights UK

Sayce is one of the UK's foremost authorities on disability issues. She spent eight years as policy director of the mental health charity Mind and has published many books on mental health, disability and social inclusion.

41. Portia de Rossi, actor

Australian actress De Rossi, who rose to fame as the glamorous lawyer Nelle Porter in Ally McBeal, has just resurrected her role as the vapid blonde Lindsay Bluth Fünke in the American sitcom Arrested Development. The new series of the cult classic launched on Netflix last month.

42. Val McDermid, crime writer

The Scottish crime writer and broadcaster said this year that she wants Kelly Smith, her partner since 2004, to become her wife when gay marriage laws are passed. She formed a civil partnership with Smith two years ago. McDermid shares custody of her son with her former partner.

43. Zachary Quinto, actor and film producer

The actor who played Spock in the 2009 Star Trek and this year's sequel Star Trek Into Darkness has served as a fierce advocate for LGBT rights since coming out in 2011. He also campaigned for Barack Obama's re-election last year.

44. Stella Duffy, writer and performer

Novelist Duffy said in an interview with the Independent last year: "No one ever says 'He's a straight; she's a heterosexual', but I'm constantly being called 'a lesbian' and it's just not the most interesting thing about me." Duffy has been a vocal crusader for gay marriage and formed a civil partnership with the playwright Shelley Silas in 2004.

45. Nikolay Alexeyev, Russian

LGBT rights campaignerRussia is a difficult place to be openly gay and this year a bill is going through parliament banning the "promotion" of homosexuality. Alexeyev is the chief organiser of Moscow Pride, which gets banned in the city year after year. In 2010, he won the first ever case at the European Court of Human Rights on LGBT human rights violations in Russia.

46. Vincent Francois, regional group head of audit,

Société GénéraleFrancois has responsibility for activities spanning 10 countries. In 2010, he created Société Générale's first LGB network in the UK and has helped to revolutionise the diversity credentials at the company, where he sits on the UK diversity committee.

47. Jóhanna Siguroardóttir, PM, Iceland

Siguroardóttir is the world's first lesbian premier. She has two children from a previous marriage, but is now married to her female partner. Her government banned strip clubs and she is quoted as saying: "Nordic countries are leading the way on women's equality, recognising women as equal citizens rather than commodities for sale."

48. Craig Revel Horwood, TV personality

Strictly Come Dancing stalwart Revel Horwood has been a judge on all 10 series of the BBC dance show. He is openly bisexual and, this year, is choreographing a new musical version of the American sitcom Happy Days for a UK tour.

49. Russell Tovey, actor

Known as werewolf George Sands in the BBC supernatural drama Being Human, Tovey also played Steve in Him & Her and is currently in The Job Lot. As an openly gay actor, he said this year he is waiting for the right gay role to come along.

50. Lord John Browne, former CEO BP

Browne was outed by the Mail on Sunday in 2007. He has written about his own sexuality and coming out in general.

51. Ricky Martin, singer

Martin has sold more than 30m albums worldwide. The global superstar and father of twin boys – born via a surrogate mother – came out in 2010.

52. Russell T Davies, screenwriter/producer

Davies's groundbreaking, late-1990s drama, Queer as Folk, dramatised his experiences on the Manchester gay scene.

53. Rylan Clark, TV personality

The Essex singer has remained in the public eye since failing to win The X Factor last year. He is co-host of Big Brother's Bit On The Side.

54. Sue Sanders, LGBT rights activist

Sanders has fought oppression in the public and third sectors for more than 30 years. She implemented LGBT History Month, now in its ninth year.

55. Eileen Gallagher, television producer

Gallagher co-founded Shed Productions in 1998. The company is famous for making Waterloo Road.

56. Maureen Chadwick, screenwriter

Chadwick is co-founder of Shed Productions. She co-created Bad Girls.

57. Liz Bingham, managing partner, Ernst & Young

Bingham started her career straight from school and now she is seeking to put more women and diverse ethnicities in the boardroom. She was recently appointed president of R3 – the industry body for corporate restructuring professionals.

58. Claire Harvey, Paralympian volleyball player

Sportswoman and Team GB's Paralympian volleyball star, Harvey is also involved in the management of the Great Britain deaf women's football team.

59. Marguerite McLaughlin, CEO, Metro Centre

As CEO of leading equality and diversity charity Metro, Marguerite McLaughlin BEM, provides a range of services for the LGBT community and others across the south-east.

60. Maggi Hambling, artist

The creator of the 4m Scallop on Aldeburgh beach, Hambling was the first artist to be given a residency at the National Portrait Gallery.

61. Adam Lambert, singer

The first openly gay pop artist to launch a career on a major label in the US, Lambert has had a meteoric rise since the final of 2009's American Idol.

62. Ben Bradshaw, MP

The gay Labour MP, who is a practising Christian, has criticised the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for refusing to accept gay marriage.

63. Sophie Ward, actor

Ward became a gay hero in 1997 when she came out as a lesbian, left her husband and began a long-term relationship with writer Rena Brannan.

64. Paul Flowers, CEO Co-op

The Stonewall Workplace Equality index ranked the Co-op as the third-best organisation in the UK for LGBT people to work. Methodist minister Flowers is also a trustee of HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust.

65. Tim Hely Hutchinson, CEO, Hachette

Hutchinson is the younger son of the eighth Earl of Donoughmore and the CEO of the UK's largest publisher.

66. Amy Lamé, performer and writer

Amy Lamé, the woman behind the cult performance collective and club night Duckie, has turned her obsession with Morrissey and the Smiths into her latest one-woman show.

67. Margot James, MP

MP for Stourbridge, James is the first openly lesbian Tory MP in history.

68. Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris

Delanoë was one of the first major French politicians to announce that he was gay, during a 1998 TV interview. ­

69. Jason Collins, NBA player

Basketball player Jason Collins became the first openly gay professional athlete on a major American sports team when he came out in a Sports Illustrated piece this year.

70. Louie Spence, TV personality

Artistic director at Pineapple Dance Studios, Spence is a TV personality, choreographer and producer-director of musical theatre. His autobiography, Still Got It, Never Lost It, was published in 2011.

71. Harish Iyer, LGBT activist

This Indian activist has spoken frankly about his experience of childhood sexual abuse and his life has formed the basis of two films: I Am and Amen.

72. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, MD UK Black Pride

Founder and managing director of UK Black Pride, Opoku-Gyimah, or Lady Phyll as she is known, campaigns for equality in the workplace through her seat on the TUC race relations committee.

73. Suran Dickson, CEO Diversity Role Models

Dickson quit as a London school teacher in 2011 to set up Diversity Role Models, challenging homophobia by taking positive gay role models into schools.

74. Paul Burston, writer

Burston is editor of the gay section of London listings magazine Time Out and founder of gay literary event Polari.

75. Paul Reed, CEO BP

The CEO of integrated supply trading at BP, Reed has criticised the City for old-fashioned attitudes to LGBT staff.

76. Daniel Winterfeldt, Lawyer

US securities lawyer Winterfeldt is head of CMS's International Capital Markets group.

77. Sir Cameron Mackintosh, producer

Mackintosh is famous for turning musicals such as Les Misérables into global theatrical productions. Openly gay, he is patron of The Food Chain, a London HIV charity.

78. Ashley Steel, city adviser

Steel is a board member at management services company KPMG, where she is also a member of the board subgroup for diversity.

79. Alice Arnold, broadcaster

Broadcaster, presenter and Radio 4 newsreader, Arnold is civil partner of sports presenter Clare Balding.

80. Marai Larasi, CEO Imkaan

Director of black feminist organisation Imkaan, Larasi is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.

81. Mark McLane, MD, global head of diversity and inclusion, Barclays

American businessman McLane moved to the UK in 2011 with his partner Carlos, to lead Barclays' diversity programme. He didn't come out professionally until he was 32, but says it has since shaped his career.

82. Horse McDonald, musician

Earlier this year, the Scottish singer songwriter married her partner in her home town of Lanark, where she had faced anti-gay bullying growing up.

83. Julie Bindel, journalist

Feminist journalist and Guardian contributor Bindel is co-founder of the group Justice for Women, which opposes violence against women.

84. Fiona Shaw, actor

An actor who has starred in and directed many theatrical productions and screen dramas, Shaw is possibly best known for her role as Mrs Dursley in the Harry Potter films.

85. Andy Woodfield, partner PwC

Woodfield created the Glee at PwC network, an employee network for "gays, lesbians and everyone else".

86. Pratibha Parmar, film-maker

Known for her politically complex documentaries focusing on disenfranchised groups, Parmar's most recent film, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, is a feature-length documentary about the life and art of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Colour Purple.

87. Barney Frank, politician

The most prominent gay US politician, Frank was elected to the House of Representatives in 1980 and became the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out in 1987.

88. Andi Keeling, MD, women's markets, RBS

The male-dominated banking world put Keeling off being out at work; she now hopes she can be an inspiration to other gay women in the sector.

89. Neil Bentley, deputy director-general, CBI

Bentley represents the CBI nationally and internationally, and is a champion of boardroom diversity.

90. Omar Sharif Jr, actor

Elder grandson of the Lawrence of Arabia star, Omar Sharif Jr came out and left Egypt during the 2011 revolution, writing in the Advocate: "I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family and fear for myself … I am Egyptian, I am half Jewish, and I am gay." He now lives in Los Angeles.

91. Harry Derbidge, TV personality

Perhaps the most recognisable gay teenager in the country, Harry Derbidge has left The Only Way is Essex and opened a shop in Brentwood.

92. Jeff Holland, co-founder, Liongate Capital Management

Jeff Holland is managing director and co-founder of Liongate Capital Management, which has just sold a 55% stake of the company to US asset manager Principal Global Investors. He was named one of the top 40 hedge fund managers under 40.

93. Jonathan Harvey, playwright

Liverpool-born playwright Harvey had his first success with the gay-themed play Beautiful Thing, which became a 1996 film.

94. Lance Price, founder Kaleidoscope

The British writer, journalist and political commentator Lance Price launched the Kaleidoscope Trust in 2011 to campaign for equality for LGBT people across the world.

95. Diana King, singer

Jamaican reggae singer Diana King came out last year, posting to Facebook: "I am... woman ... mother ... aunt ... Jamaican ... American ... international artiste ... singer ... songwriter ... band leader ... friend ... lover ... entrepreneur ... goddess … and yes … I am a lesbian."

96. James Wharton, writer, ex-soldier

Wharton has written about being gay in the army.

97. Denise Marshall, CEO, Eaves

Marshall's charity, Eaves, helps victims of violence and sex trafficking. She returned her OBE in protest at the budget cuts.

98. Tim Sigsworth, Albert Kennedy Trust

Tim Sigsworth is chief executive of the Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps young LGBT people who have been made homeless or are living in a hostile environment.

99. Ceri Goddard, CEO, Fawcett Society

In her professional capacity, Goddard campaigns for the equality of women at all levels. She is also a trustee of the Equality and Diversity Forum.

100. Jane Czyzselska, editor of DIVA

As editor of DIVA, the biggest-selling magazine in Europe for lesbian and bisexual women, Czyzselska emphasises the community's diversity.



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