This year, when we published Out's Sixth Annual Power List—which ranked 65 LGBT people according to their political, social, economic, and overall cultural influence—we also asked our readers to let us know who they thought deserved to be included. Well, as you might have predicted, it seems to prove that TV and celebrity (rather than politics or behind-the-scenes hard workers) matter most to people, and the poll turned into a bit of a popularity contest. And who topped the list? It was a write-in candidate, and he won by a landslide:
As one commenter wrote: "Adam Lambert has far more followers than just those who discovered him on Idol. He has a large international fanbase and took the gutsy road with his honesty when he became well-known. He is an advocate for human rights, not just gay issues. Not to mention the killer voice." Although Out honored him in the 2011 Out100, it seems that wasn't enough for those Lambertinis.
Although there were desenters. Another voter wrote: "You guys have ruined the 'validity' of the poll. I love Adam too, but come on."
Although it seems that was enough to get him to top of the list with close to 2,000 people writing in his name to declare him the "Moster Powerful LGBT Person in America".
Following in a close second place was Ellen DeGeneres with many people championing her, along with Rachel Maddow. As someone named Nina wrote: "Rachel Maddow is not only Brilliant, but her ability to shoot down every Republican argument with FACTS garners immense respect..and strikes fear in the opposition. A better role model there is not." Anderson Cooper was the most contentious in Out's poll, with many contending that a glass closeted person, no matter how influential, should never been recognized as having power. But he still made it on to the reader's poll at No. 4. And Neil Patrick Harris, rounded out the list, although Dan Savage and Barney Frank were nipping at his heels.
Then there were the people who wrote in who vociferously asked, "Where is Chi Chi LaRue?" Yes, where is he indeed?
The top 5 from the Power List poll are:
1. Adam Lambert
2. Ellen DeGeneres
3. Rachel Maddow
4. Anderson Cooper
5. Neil Patrick Harris