Photography by JUCO
In our yearly portfolio, we capture the year's most entertaining, heroic, and compelling people, from all walks of life—including professional athletes, trans pioneers, actors, activists, designers, journalists, emerging musicians, artists, and dancers. For our special 20th anniversary OUT100, "On the Shoulders of Giants," all of the subjects reference pivotal moments in LGBT history. Our four collectible covers for 2014—featuring Sam Smith, Ellen Page, Zachary Quinto, and Samira Wiley—are no less inspiring
Sam Smith & Ellen Page
[click the covers for hi-res versions]
Sam Smith, Breakout of the Year
The Moment: October 14, 1977: Heroes, by David Bowie, is released.
In a business currently powered by hip-hop, EDM, and Katy Perry, no one would have thought within a matter of months 22-year-old English crooner Sam Smith would have defied expectations and emerged as one of 2014’s most promising new talents. The fact that his sexuality has become a mere footnote in his journey is mostly a testament to his undeniable gift – ultimately, it’s the songs that speak the loudest. “My main aim is to tell people how good its been for me so that, hopefully, gay men or parents with gay children can look at my story and think, Wow, that’s how it should be. That’s what we can work towards.”
Ellen Page, Entertainer of the Year
The Moment: November 14, 1930: Marlene Dietrich stars in Morocco, featuring the actress’s iconic tuxedo and Hollywood’s first on-screen female-to-female kiss.
On Valentine’s Day this year, the Oscar-nominated actress came out publicly while giving a gorgeously eloquent speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference. About actors being closeted in Hollywood, Page says, “No one’s ever been so direct as to say, ‘You’re gay, so we’re gonna hide it. But there’s an unspoken thing going on. [People] believe it’s the right thing to do for your career. They don’t realize it’s eroding your soul. It was eventually about me being like, Wait, why am I listening to that? At what point did I let those things become important?”
READ ELLEN PAGE'S STORY
Samira Wiley & Zachary Quinto
[click the covers for hi-res versions]
Samira Wiley, Ingenue of the Year
The Moment: December 21, 1934: Josephine Baker appears in Zouzou, becoming the first black woman to star in a major motion picture.
After nearly two decades in acting, Samira Wiley’s career was changed forever with her breakout role as Poussey Washington on the hit series Orange Is the New Black. Wiley has a positive outlook on her purpose as an actor and on her fans, some of whom have longed to see their lives, often marginalized by pop culture, reflected in characters like Poussey. “I grew up in the church,” she says, recalling something her parents, both Baptist pastors, instilled in her. “I have seen my parents inspire people and give them hope and faith most of my life. I feel like I’ve always wanted to have my work be some sort of ministry, because that’s what my parents do and that’s the only word I have for it.”
Zachary Quinto, Artist of the Year
The Moment: July 1890: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is first published as a serial in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine.
His rise and sheer ubiquity in Hollywood are reflective both of his strength as an actor and professional savvy, but also of the rapidly shifting currents of gay rights in American. And yet, while history is being written in the present, he urges us not to forget the past. “I think there’s a tremendous sense of complacency in the LGBT community,” he says, citing the rising number of HIV infections among adolescents. “AIDS has lost the edge of horror it possessed when it swept through the world in the ‘80s. Today’s generation sees it more as something to live with and something to be much less fearful of. And that comes with a sense of, dare I say, laziness.”