Over the centuries, no world has been more accepting of the LGBT community than the creative one. Some of the greatest writers of all time have been a part of the community…
Allen Ginsberg himself.
He unapologetically wrote one of the most controversial poems ever (Howl), resulting in an obscenity trial that changed the publishing industry – and the world – forever. He was gay, he didn’t hide that he was, but it was not the focus of his life or his work. It was, however, a huge influence on it and is part of what made it so great. Not only that, but he was with his partner, Peter Orlovsky, for over forty years.
Stephen Fry is an incredibly intelligent comedian, writer, actor, presenter, and national treasure. He went to jail as a teenager, but he’s a far different person now – he’s the president of mental health charity Mind, and has written several books on his life, as well as co-writing books with Hugh Laurie. In his books he talks about his struggles in life, explaining that despite his middle-class upbringing, he still struggled with some aspects of his life, particularly in the mid-nineties when he tried to commit suicide and it was finally discovered that he suffered from cyclothymia, a “mild” form of bipolar disorder. Since then he’s been a campaigner for both mental illness and gay rights.
He began his career writing for shows like Bones
, but is now showrunner on (and creator of) Drop Dead Diva
, which is currently filming its fourth season. He based the protagonist, Deb Dobkins/Jane Bingham on his grandmother, citing that even though she didn’t look like a supermodel, she acted like one, and she felt like one. The show helps to spread the message that his grandmother began, and whilst the show often has the light-hearted feel of a “chick flick”, it deals with serious issues and is far better written than most television shows out there now. The concept is original, the characters are original, and it deals with serious issues that most shows avoid or tiptoe over. It recently won a GLAAD Award for its episode “Prom”, where a student took her school to court for not allowing her to go to prom with her girlfriend. In another episode – “Queen of Mean” – a transgender woman is defended by two of the characters when the courts deny her access to her wife’s estate.
Carol Ann Duffy
Known throughout the UK for generations of students having to study her poetry for GCSE English Literature, if you’re not studying her work, it’s still enjoyable to read. She’s also the current poet laureate, so she must be doing something right…
Paul O’Grady, M.B.E.
He’s been in the entertainment industry a very long time, originally entering it as his transvestite alter ego Lily Savage. He’s had his own talk show for years, switching to ITV after Channel 4 wanted to change his crew and cut down on his budget. He refused to have his crew changed and their wages cut, and therefore left Channel 4 after several years, now having an evening show on ITV, where he can get away with far more than he could at teatime…
He was prosecuted for being gay, but he didn’t change himself to please the courts. He was gay, he knew it, the world knew it, and if they wanted to penalise them for it, he was going to fight. He ended up in jail because of it, and this is what led to his death, but he stuck to his morals and his work lives on, and he’s hailed as one of the greatest writers of all time.
He made superheroes cool again. Without him, there’d be no X-Men films. Can you imagine a word without Hugh Jackman as Wolverine? No, I thought not. Not only that, but if he hadn’t made superheroes cool again, that would most likely mean no Christian Bale as Batman, no Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield as Spiderman, no Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man…the film industry has a lot
to thank this man for. He’s also worked on House, Dirty, Sexy, Money
and Superman Returns
and is one of the most popular directors in Hollywood.
Pictured with Brooke Elliot in Drop Dead Diva.
She came out in 2002 at a benefit for Ovarian Cancer, wanting to bring attention to the issue of gay adoption. She has both foster and adoptive children, and disapproves of how some agency refuse to even consider gay or lesbian couples, and is an advocate for this cause, as well as many others.
Official Drop Dead Diva Website