The Out100 has been honoring history makers in the LGBTQ+ community for decades, and in that time, sadly, some of the honorees have passed away.
It’s not just the hottest young singers, actors, and models who are featured on the list. It also includes legends in the community, longtime activists, history makers, and influential figures in our community’s past and present. Even after they pass away, we can still honor them by looking back at these lists — and their achievements.
Though they are sadly no longer with us, here’s a look at 10 late LGBTQ+ legends who have been featured on the Out100 and whose legacies will live on for generations to come!
1. Terrence McNally
McNally, who passed away in March 2020, was a Tony-winning playwright and screenwriter known for plays and musicals like Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, Ragtime, The Full Monty, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. He received a 2019 Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.
2. Edie Windsor
Edith “Edie” Windsor is an LGBTQ+ rights icon. In 2013, she was the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor, which is considered one of the landmark legal victories in the movement for same-sex marriage in the United States. When her wife, Thea Spyer died, Windsor was required to pay federal estate taxes on her inheritance because the Defense of Marriage Act stated that the term “spouse” only applied to marriages between a man and a woman, and therefore she wasn’t covered by spousal deductions. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that that law was unconstitutional as a “deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
SOPHIE was one of the greatest musicians and producers of the modern era who sadly had her life cut short when she passed away at the age of 34 after an accidental fall. As a pioneer of the hyperpop genre, she’s influenced artists like Kim Petras, Charli XCX, Madonna, 100 gecs, Rina Sawayama, and Billie Eilish. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2018, becoming one of the first out trans women nominated for a Grammy.
4. André Leon Talley
Fashion icon André Leon Talley was a fashion journalist, stylist, creative director, and editor-at-large for the American edition of Vogue magazine, where he helped shape popular culture from the ’80s until he left in 2013. He also styled Barack and Michelle Obama during their time in the White House and was a judge for America’s Next Top Model. He passed away in 2022.
5. Larry Kramer
Lary Kramer was a great screenwriter, novelist, and playwright, but he was also one of the greatest AIDS activists to ever live. Aside from writing films like Women in Love and plays like The Normal Heart, Kramer co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), two of the largest and most influential organizations helping people living with AIDS in the 1980s. He passed away in 2020.
6. Leslie Jordan
Leslie Jordan is one of the most beloved and dearly missed comedians and actors of his generation. Known for playing Berverley Leslie on Will & Grace and starring in other shows like American Horror Story and Call Me Kat, Jordan is remembered for his charming and uplifting spirit. He passed away in October 2022.
7. Robina Asti
Asti was a Navy pilot in World War II before becoming a flight instructor. In 1976, she began hormone replacement therapy and came out as a transgender woman. After her husband died in 2012, Asti was denied Social Security benefits on account of her being transgender. She successfully challenged the ruling and now, the government allows trans people to receive Social Security survivor benefits like other Americans. Asti died in 2021 at the age of 99.
8. Aimee Stephens
Stephens worked as a funeral director in 2013 when she publicly transitioned and told her bosses she would start wearing appropriate women’s business attire at work. After being fired, she started a legal case arguing that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. She won her case in a historic moment for LGBTQ+ americans. She passed away in 2020.
9. Monica Roberts
Monica Roberts will always be one of the biggest and most revered figures in trans journalism. In 2004 she started writing TransGriot as a newspaper for Louisville-based LGBTQ+ newspaper The Letter before founding the TransGriot blog in 2006. For years, she was one of the only journalists chronicling the history of Black trans people in America and was often the first to correctly identify transgender victims of murder in the press. Her influence on how the media writes about trans people cannot be overstated. She passed away in 2020.
10. Tab Hunter
Actor, singer, producer, and author Tab Hunter was a classic Hollywood heartthrob in the ’50s and ’60s, starring in movies like Damn Yankees. He also became a popular singer as well, releasing the number-one hit “Young Love” in 1957. He publicly came out in his 2005 memoir and had a spouse of over 35 years, film producer Allan Glaser. He died in 2018.