Photo illustrations by Mario Wagner
39. Nick Denton
CEO, Gawker Media, 46
Fashion Designer/Creative Director, 50
After more than 25 years in fashion, the skirt-wearing designer is still an industry darling. On top of overseeing his own label and the fashion lines of luxury giant Louis Vuitton, in 2013, the unweary Jacobs added a revamp of Diet Coke’s image to his portfolio (including a commercial with him shirtless) and made his movie debut in the Hollywood thriller Disconnect.
Film and Theater Producer, 54
In 2012, Rudin became the first producer to have won all four major entertainment awards, clinching a Grammy win for the cast recording of The Book of Mormon. He plans to adapt the award-winning musical to the big screen, building off his Oscar momentum from cinematic titans like The Social Network.
These three statesmen are the real deal in the new gay-friendly climate on Capitol Hill.
A freshman congressman, Takano (D-California) joined the House this term as its first openly gay, non-white member. Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) won re-election this November in a heated race. A co-chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Polis (D-Colorado) cosponsored and helped pass a version of the Violence Against Women Act, updated to protect LGBT women.
The indefatigable Harris has hosted the Tony Awards three times, received two People’s Choice awards for Favorite TV Comedy Actor, and signed a book deal for a tell-all memoir, set to be released in 2014. When he’s not having fun producing and acting in his own web series or collaborating on other side projects, he’s bringing home $200,000 per episode on the longest bedtime story of all time, How I Met Your Mother, to his adorable family, David Burtka and twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace.
Chairman and Senior Executive, IAC/InterActiveCorp, 71
Shuttering the print edition of Newsweek this past year wasn’t necessarily a high point for Diller, but he forged ahead with a promising e-publishing venture (partnering with Scott Rudin, ex-Picador executive Frances Coady, and the Atavist’s Evan Ratliff) set to challenge Amazon, who currently reports 65% of all e-book sales. Diller also invested $20 million in Aereo, a browser- and tablet-supported TV platform that severely undercuts the traditional cable model and will expand to dozens of major U.S. cities this year.
10. Frank Ocean
Senator, 51 She shattered a glass ceiling when she became the first openly gay senator elected in U.S. history. Although a junior senator, Baldwin previously served as a congresswoman representing Wisconsin from 1993–2013. Asked on the campaign trail what it would mean for her to win, Baldwin replied, “When you’re not in the room, the conversation is about you. When you’re in the room, the conversation is with you.”
9. Tammy Baldwin
She shattered a glass ceiling when she became the first openly gay senator elected in U.S. history. Although a junior senator, Baldwin previously served as a congresswoman representing Wisconsin from 1993–2013. Asked on the campaign trail what it would mean for her to win, Baldwin replied, “When you’re not in the room, the conversation is about you. When you’re in the room, the conversation is with you.”
Journalist/TV Personality/Author, 45
Although his daytime talk show, Anderson Live, was cancelled after its second season, Coop hasn’t curbed his drive for media ubiquity. After publicly coming out last year via Andrew Sullivan’s blog, Cooper could finally let it all hang out (and he did, with Kathy Griffin during their annual New Year’s Eve lovefest). He remains anchor of the Emmy-winning Anderson Cooper 360, which has strong ratings despite CNN’s slump, and is a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes. He was also awarded the Vito Russo Award at the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards.
Adding another primetime sitcom, NBC’s The New Normal, to his growing roster, the TV mogul continues to broadcast some of the most progressive entertainment around to millions of Americans each week (read "Murphy's Honor" here). Aside from his relatively subversive cultural influence, Murphy continues to build his a cappella empire (Forbes listed FOX’s Glee as one of the top five most profitable TV shows last year by ad revenue) and is working on a much-anticipated adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart for HBO.
Talk Show Host/Producer/Spokesperson, 55
It’s hard to believe that it ever seemed exceptional to have a lesbian hosting a daytime TV show, but Ellen was a pioneer whose sheer force of charisma, wit, and charm has earned her an enduring place in the affections of America. In March she posted her own public brief to the Supreme Court to strike down California’s gay marriage ban, writing that she and her wife, Portia de Rossi were “just trying to find happiness in the bodies and minds we were given, like everyone else.” Amen, sister.
CEO, Apple, 52
When Cook took charge of the tech giant in late 2011, many regarded the enigmatic successor with skepticism. But over the past year, the CEO has guided Apple through significant upgrades on all of the company’s product lines and led the brand’s market share to increase to 20% of all money spent on U.S. consumer technology, up 2% from 2011. And did we mention Cook sat next to Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address?