Let me make it clear at the outset that the gay icons on this list are not all gay themselves. They are here because of the influence they have had on gay people and the inspiration they have offered with the lives they have lived and the activism they have performed. For the entire previous century (and perhaps human history) gay people have been a persecuted minority in the world, and the fear of ridicule and repression forced them into a narrow closet, with their sexuality a well guarded secret. These are the among the gay icons who have liberated them.
1. Martina Navratilova
Photo Credit: topnews.net.nz
She is not only one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but also one of the greatest gay icons. She came out with her lesbian sexuality in 1981 during the peak of her career, at a time when thousands of gay people were dealing with repression, silence and ridicule. In an age that was being hailed for its liberalism, she opened a can of worms, and took all the criticism and antagonism that came her way chest on. For the spirit with which she fought and held herself and her sexuality proudly, she will remain as one of the greatest icons for the gay community.