Pop Culture

12 Gay Icons Who Identify As Straight

 Like a pencil... straight up to a point. 

There's an A at the end of LGBTQA for a reason, and that reason is allies! Because you don't have to be queer to love a mid-range Broadway belt and leotards. 

Ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between, I give you 12 gay icons who identify as straight. 

1. Diana Ross


Save the best for first! Diana Ross sang “I’m Coming Out” and everyone followed suit. When it comes to entertainment, Ross is The Boss. I am telling you, you’re gonna love this Dreamgirl. She’s inspired everyone who inspired you, and is one of the reasons we have RuPaul to enjoy. In conclusion, she taught us all how to 'survive,' and for that we are supremely thankful. 

2. Judy Garland

The original friend of Dorothy, Judy Garland has been called “The Elvis of Homosexuals,” and has said about her largely gay fanbase, “I couldn’t care less. I sing to people!” Loved for her heartfelt commitment to music and camp, Judy is a staple in the drag community. Speaking of the drag community… 

2. Michele Visage

RuPaul’s plus one extravaganza, Michele Visage knows more about being fabulous than any cisgendered woman I know. She tours with RuPaul’s Battle of the Seasons and holds her own when it comes to talent, tits and telling it like it is. Formerly the lead singer of S.O.U.L. S.E.D.U.C.T.I.O.N., she has been a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race since 2011. 

3. Madonna

Madonna went on record on The Ellen DeGeneres Show saying, “I wouldn't have a career without gay people.” Known for being openly sexual across the board, she has been an outspoken advocate for gay rights, spoke about the AIDS crisis before it was cool to do so and promoted her 2015 album Rebel Heart on the gay dating app, Grindr. 

4. Dolly Parton

The singer/songwriter Dolly Parton said it best when she said, “It’s a good thing I was a girl or I’d be a drag queen.” No one understands more is more like she does, and she’s been a vocal advocate for gay marraige. As someone who has struggled to be accepted, herself, she is a big believer in you do you, and it shows. 

6. Oprah

Despite ongoing rumors about her own sexuality, Oprah has vocally defended her sexuality and criticized others for trying to force a label on her female friendship. In a 2006 edition of O Magazine she said, "I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it – how can you be this close without it being sexual?” 

7. Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal's role as a gay man in Brokeback Mountain brought him to the top of gay icon lists in 2005, and he's happily stayed there ever since. The film was one of the first honest portrayals of a gay male relationship in the mainstream media. He said in a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "When the Supreme Court [issued a ruling] just a little while ago, I felt like we had been part, a little part and parcel of that movement," he said. "I was proud, you know? To me that's really a pretty incredible moment. We had to wait a little while for it."

8. Joan Rivers

One of the original allies, Joan Rivers has long been a vocal advocate for the LGBT community. When Paris is Burning - the seminal documentary on gay rights - was released in 1991, she had the cast and director on her daytime talk show. She also co-starred with Barbara Streisand in a play about a lesbian couple and kissed in 1960’s Greenwich Village. Yas, kween. 

9. Cher

We’re all born naked, and the rest is Cher. Cher is unapologetic from her glamazon wardrobe and public embrace of autotune, to her vocal support of her own trans child. She is oft-impersonated, but never replicated. This GLAAD Media Award winner is as gay-adjacent as it comes. *That's actually Chad Michaels in drag as Cher, but it counts. Trust. 

10. David Bowie

David Bowie was one of the original genderf*cks, and will go down in her-story for it. He came out as gay, then years later said it was a mistake and married two women. But none of that really matters compared to what he did for reshaping visual representations of what it means to be a rock star. Gender and sexual orientation aside, all of us are made of stardust. Ziggy Stardust, if we’re lucky. 

11. Kylie Minogue

Anyone who has seen the Broadway adaptation of Priscilla Queen of the Desert knows Kylie is queen. Kylie Minogue rose to gay-fame the same way most straight female pop stars do: glitter. With global gay following, Kylie believes you should sexercize your right to sexercise with the partner of your choice. 

12. Tina Turner

What’s love got to do with it? Tina Turner performed at the opening ceremony of the first ever Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982. Enough said.

[Getty Images]


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