Ellen DeGeneres & Other Fave Women Rule Out's 8th Annual Power 50
Who are the most influential LGBT voices in American culture? Out's list of 50 not only answers the question, but provides 49+ other examples of inspiring, history-making LGBT artists, actvisits, and heroes. The diverse group is worth checking out in whole, but here are ten of the ladies who inspire us the most.
1. Ellen Degeneres (#1): Coming in at number one, no one would contest the Academy Award-hosting, Twitter-crashing, always-dancing Ellen we've all come to know and love. She made a massive waves in LGBT presence on TV by coming out, and still continues to encourage acceptance, love, and equality today. We're always looking forward to what she'll do next, and are never let down by her kindness, kookiness, and inspiraton.
2. Ellen Page (#29): The Coming Out of Ellen Page this February became a national news story, and the young Academy Award nominated actress' sexuality skyrocketed to the front page of every website. Since then, the news has calmed down a bit, but the positive impression she made on society remains. Her graceful speech at an HRC brought us to tears, she pridefully presented Laverne Cox with an honor at the GLAAD Media Awards just this month, and at the same time continues to move forward with her successful and lauded film career. Her several upcoming projects, including playing Julianne Moore's partner in the true story-based Freeheld, look completely amazing, not to mention her flirtation with Kate Mara has become out favorite thing about Twitter. Here's to another wonderful year for Ellen Page!
3. Robin Roberts (10): There's hardly an American in the world who wouldn't recognize Robin Roberts, anchor on Good Morning America for almost 10 years. It's the highest rated morning news program on televsion, and Robin's positive, courageous attitude in the face of a cancer diagnosis and open-ness with her path to recovery showed a bravery and humanity we don't often see in the media. Robin is also the face of the National Bone Marrow Donor Program's Be the Match Registry, so she's also literally helping save lives. That there was any negative reaction at all when she thanked her girlfriend of 10 years, Amber Leigh, in a facebook post celebrating 100 days after a bone marrow transplant is horrifying, but her unwavering grace and honesty proved that love and support always win.
4. Jane Lynch (#20): The tv/film/stage star may play one of TV scariest characters on Glee, but she's one of our favorite people in real life. While not working in entertainment or on Broadway (she played Miss Hannigan in the most recent Annie Revival), she's an activist for women and LGBT rights, as well as a supporter of the Beyonce-backed, "Ban Bossy," a campaign to boost girls' self-esteem. She's a hilarious comedian, host to Hollywood Game Night and New Years Eve with Carson Daly, and true Jane-of-all-trades who never fails to impress us, probably while making us laugh our heads off.
5. Rachel Maddow (#3): With the most-watched show on the network, Out calls Rachel Maddow the "Reigning Queen of MSNBC." The go-to deliverer of no-holds-barred news, Rachel is never shy to share her well-research, eloquently stated, and often powerfully unpopular opinions on stories few other programs will touch. The author of several novels (most recently "Drift," available now), countless awards and accolades, and a constant prescense on lists such as these, Rachel is an unstobbable force who just keeps rising to the top.
6. Megan Ellison (#41): It's no secret there's a shocking lack of equality in the film business, but producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures Megan Ellison doesn't let that stand in her way. This year, Megan produced not one, but two films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards; Her and American Hustle. She also Academy Award nominees Zero Dark Thirty and The Master to name ust a small selection of her other works, and has what looks like several Terminator films coming up on her roster as well. She's quickly and quietly become the entertainment industry's biggest names, and certainly someone to trust with the future of film.
7. Brittney Griner (#31): Even if you're not a fan of basketball, Houston native Brittney Griner- who plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury- is a woman to be aware of. But aside from being one of America's most successful athletes, she's also a powerful force in the LGBT community. She came out as a lesbian in high school, but her college Baylor University had a strict policy denouncing homosexuality. She charged through her four years, leading her team to record-breaking victories and herself to an astounding post-college career, and now she's speaking out about her issues with Texas-based University's system in her new memoir, In My Skin. And she's only 23 years old.
8. Annise Parker (#21): Houston certainly has a lot to be proud of! Mayor of Houston Annise Parker has the challenge of overseeing one of the most major cities in one of the most conservative states in America, but her success in office is proof that change is certainly on its way on a much larger political scale. Her marriage to longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in January of this year was celebrated by the state, and it's even rumored she has plans to run for a higher office in 2018.
9. Tammy Baldwin (#4): U.S. Senator for Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin has changed lives and provided a powerful example of a government who cares about its citizens. Last month she introduced the Fair Employment Protection Act, which works to rid the workplace of harassment, and she's also responsible for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, which seeks to end gender and sexuality discrimination in the workplace. Thanks to Tammy, America is becoming a more safe, more accesible country for everyone.
10. Runners Up: Out.com released a "Power List Radar" of 8 names to watch out for, and while we're a little surprise trans activists Laverne Cox and Janet Mock didn't make the original Power 50, we're glad they're being recognized for all the work they've done in the media! Not to mention we cannot wait for Laverne to grace our Netflix accounts again when Orange is the New Black returns in June. Thanks for the amazing work, ladies, and thanks to Out.com for compiling such an awesome list of inspiring folks!