To celebrate Dublin Pride 2014, we take a look at some of the most fierce supporters of the LGBT community in the worlds of music, film, sport, fashion and comedy.
1. BEN COHEN
Ben Cohen deserves the number one spot on our list because he has gone beyond attending an event or making a positive remark about the LGBT community. Since his retirement from professional rugby, he has made campaigning for anti-gay bullying his full-time job. He founded the now famous Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation, often using his rugged good looks as seen in the video below to secure publicity and funding for a good cause. Cohen lost his own father to violence when he stood up for an employee who was being attacked.
2. BRAD PITT & ANGELINA JOLIE
Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced that they would not marry until it was legal for gay people to do the same. In 2009, Pitt donated $100,000 to fighting Proposition 8, the California law that made same-sex marriage illegal in the state, “Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Prop 8”, the 50 year-old hunk added.
3. JOSH HUTCHERSON
Josh Hutcherson is the youngest ever person to be honoured by GLAAD with the Vanguard Award for his work with the LGBT community, which includes the founding of Straight But Not Narrow, a campaign that is directed to young straight males by using comedy and their peers to positively influence their views on LGBT teens. The teen filmed this video for SBNN told SamaritanMag.com “The campaign hits close to home for me. I have a lot of gay friends in LA, my roommate was gay and I lost two uncles to AIDS when I was young, so it’s an important cause to my family”.
4. KATHY GRIFFIN
Kathy Griffin has been a supporter of the LGBT community long before it became fashionable. She uses her cutting humour to make her opinions heard, calling herself a “gaymaker”, after her former boyfriend turned gay and became a choreographer at Disneyworld. “As a woman and a feminist, I very much admire the way the LGBT community sticks together,” the 53 year-old comedian said. “In my experience, this is a smart group of people that knows how to be a real community and get things done.”
5. HUDSON TAYLOR (Wrestler)
The wrestler and Division 1 wrestling coach launched Athlete Ally, a non-profit organisation that aims to educate and empower straight allies in sports to speak out against homophobic and transphobia. Speaking about his decision to support gay rights, the “For a long time I was complacent, I sat silently as I heard homophobia used in the locker room day in and day out. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realised how degrading and demeaning that language is. As a captain of a wrestling team and an all-American, I had the power and the ability to do something about it, so I decided enough was enough, and I decided to speak out”.
Macklemore was the hip hop success story of 2013, with the release of his gay rights anthem Same Love together with Ryan Lewis taking the 2013 Video Music Awards by storm. Macklemore said in an interview recently, “I think that looking at the hip hop community, and holding myself accountable in the hip hop community, was what I cared about. That’s my community, that’s who I see oppressing gay people…homophobia is still rampant in that community and it just gets the co-sign”.
7. BEYONCE & JAY Z
In the midst of the US Supreme Court’s review of California’s Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, Beyonce spoke out about marriage using the medium of Instagram to deliver a handwritten letter that read, “If you like it you should be able to put a ring on it #WeWillUnite4MarriageEquality”. Her husband JAY Z, one of the gods of hip hop, expressed support for Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, “It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple…I think announcing support of gay marriage is the right thing to do, whether it costs Obama votes or not. It’s about people. It’s the right thing to do as a human being”.
8. SARAH BAREILLES
The girl who broke on the music scene with the infectious Love Song in 2007 has done a lot of good for the LGBT community – in 2013 she released Brave, a gay anthem she wrote with fun.’s Jack Antonoff. Bareille’s wrote the song about a close friend of hers who was fearful of coming out. Antonoff described the track as “A real civil rights anthem”, and it’s catchy as hell too!
9. ANNA WINTOUR
Possibly the most recognisable and feared name in both the fashion and publishing worlds, Vogue editor Anna Wintour stated her support for gay marriage by partaking in the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality. During the clip, Wintour eloquently states, “As far as I’m concerned, having the right to say ‘I do’ is as fundamental as the right to vote. The time is now, please join me in supporting marriage equality for all New Yorkers”. Wintour recently boycotted the Dorchester Collection group of elite hotels, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei who called for a law that would make anal sex punishable with death by stoning. The straight-talking editor told The New York Times, “While I am sensitive to the potential impact that this issue may have on the wonderful staff at Le Meurice, I cannot in good conscience stay there, nor can Vogue’s editors”.
10. SEAN AVERY
The New York Rangers hockey sensation came out in support of gay marriage when asked about what he’d do if there was a gay player in the locker room at a game, saying, “I’ll stand beside him in the dressing room while he tells his teammates he is gay. Maybe if Sean Avery is there, they would have less of a problem with it”. Avery has no issues revealing he is in touch with his feminine side, “I used to steal my sister’s dolls and dress them, at one point there was probably a question of whether I was going to be an athlete…or something else”. The 34 year-old athlete also revealed he has no problem being in the closet – the fashion closet that is – he has an “obsession” with women’s clothing, telling Men’s Vogue that those who tease his fashion fondness should, “Just know that you may get your ass kicked by a very expensive pair of shoes – and that they’ll probably match my belt”.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.