5 celebrity LGBT allies who’ve stood up for us
While music celebrity Katy Perry was recently honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, there are a whole lot of celebrity LGBT allies out there who have used their high-profile platforms to fight for us.
As comedienne Kathie Griffin– who was given the Vanguard Award last month for her role as LGBT ally– put it: ” I think people that believe in any kind of nuanced thought, who can handle a thought, know that, yeah, a celebrity can actually provide a real service for a cause.”
“Celebrities sort of apologize all the time, but we’re voting citizens like anybody else,” Griffin said.
Likewise, Matthew Todd– writing for The Guardian— spoke on the importance of LGBT allies.
“It’s clear LGBT people making their voices heard made the biggest impact on the progression of equality, but straight allies were crucial, too. From TV producers including gay characters on shows and public figures such as the glorious agony aunt Claire Rayner demanding “we need to change this fucking stupid law” to the mainstream celebrities at fundraisers and in the gay press – they all helped change public opinion,” Todd pointed out.
With that in mind, here are five celebrity LGBT allies who’ve made queer equality their advocacy:
Celebrity LGBT allies #1: Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway is a recipient of the HRC’s Ally Award in 2008 and has consistently spoken up on LGBT acceptance. She also has a brother who is gay.
As she once famously stated: “There are people who have said that I’m being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption– basically of gay rights– but with all due respect, I humbly dissent.”
“I’m not being brave; I’m being a decent human being. And I don’t think I should receive an award for that or for merely stating what I believe to be true: that love is a human experience, not a political statement,” she declared.
Celebrity LGBT allies #2: Daniel Radcliffe
Another recipient of the Celebrity Straight Ally Award, this one given by the British LGBT Awards, was Daniel Radcliffe in 2015.
He was also honored with the Hero Award by the Trevor Project for being an inspiration to LGBT teens.
When he received the award, he said: “It’s sad that an award for this needs to exist. It is odd and bizarre that I am essentially getting an award for displaying basic human decency in a sort of high-profile way.”
“I feel like a wonderful thing about our future will be that there will be nothing remarkable a straight actor saying that he supports gay rights,” Radcliffe added.
Celebrity LGBT allies #3: Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox is an iconic singer-songwriter as one half of the 1980s group Eurhythmics to a solo artist. However, she’s also an avid supporter of LGBT rights.
She was included by Out Magazine in their list of Top 100 Most Influential People in Gay Culture.
“One day we’ll get rid of this word ‘gay,’ because it’s irrelevant. Of course it’s terribly relevant when you are trying to create a campaign,” she once said.
“During a human rights movement, it’s terribly important to have labels and to have platforms that are very identifiable, but ultimately we should just be fine with everybody no matter what our sexual orientation is,” she added.
Celebrity LGBT allies #4: Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington, the star of the Scandal TV series, was also honored with the Vanguard Award in 2015.
“We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation, and by that I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives,” Washington said.
“We need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera. We have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is, until we are no longer ‘first’ and ‘exceptions’ and ‘rare’ and ‘unique’,” she said.
Celebrity LGBT allies #5: Patrick Stewart
Lastly, British Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart is known for being a Star Trek captain and a mutant. However, he’s also regarded as an LGBT ally, being a close friend of gay actor Sir Ian McKellen.
Because of his closeness with McKellen, Stewart said “this is a very distinctive honor that I’ve been awarded” when he was mistakenly thought of being gay.
There are only five among the many celebrity LGBT allies. Who are your favorites? Sound off in the comments below.
If you want to read more about Katy Perry’s transformation into an LGBT ally, check out this month’s latest issue of Lesbian News.