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The 2009 Out 100: Lee Daniels

Today's featured honoree from the 2009 "School Days"-themed Out 100 -- this year's celebration of the 100 gay, lesbian, and trans people who've impacted both queer and mainstream culture in the last 12 months -- is Lee Daniels.

If Daniels wins best director at this year's Oscars for the devastatingly beautiful Precious -- as he almost certainly will -- he will be the first gay African-American to take the honor. The producer of not-so-lightweight films like Monster's Ball and The Woodsman, Daniels is on his way to collecting a trophy case full of awards (the film has already won top prizes at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals) and securing himself a spot alongside directors like Alexander Payne and Ang Lee as a distinctive voice of his generation. The father of 13-year-old twins recognizes that he's shone light on some of the darkest reaches of contemporary society, but he won't rule out anything for the future. He just signed on to helm the big-screen adaptation of Miss Saigon.

We'll continue to roll out honorees from the 2009 Out 100 in the coming days with the full portfolio, shot by renowned photographer Jason Bell, to debut in stores and online in mid-November.

Previously > The 2009 Out 100: Neil Patrick Harris

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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