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Robert Gant, Rosie O'Donnell & more ushered in an era of gay success in 2002
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Robert Gant, Rosie O'Donnell & more ushered in an era of gay success in 2002

Cherry Jones, Ian McKellen, Aneesa Ferreira, and Peter Som also graced our Out100 cover.

Only two years after coming out in an interview with The Advocate, Robert Gant became an Out100 star. Known mostly for his work on Queer As Folk as Professor Ben Bruckner, the first gay character to be legally wed on American television.

After the show's end in 2005, Gant went on to tell the stories of gay characters in other major television shows. He portrayed the first gay spy in the film Kiss Me Deadly, made appearances on shows like Friends, Melrose Place, Criminal Minds, Popular, and many many more.

In more recent years, Gant has continued his acting legacy. Playing characters on major series such as Netflix's 13 Reasons Why and The CW's Supergirl. Gant now spends his time writing, acting and coaching, while continuing to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2002, television saw the debut of several influential shows that featured LGBTQ+ characters and themes. The Wire, an HBO series known for its gritty portrayal of Baltimore's criminal world, included the character Omar Little, a gay stick-up man played by Michael K. Williams. Omar's portrayal challenged stereotypes and became one of the most memorable characters in TV history.

Six Feet Under, another HBO series, continued to push boundaries with its exploration of sexuality, including the character David Fisher, a gay funeral director struggling with his identity and relationships. The show’s approach to LGBTQ+ issues gained critical acclaim and helped to normalize queer characters in TV.

The same year, the talk show world was taken by storm when Rosie O'Donnell came out as a lesbian at an NYC stand-up comedy show. She would later go on to do a one-on-one interview about her coming out with Diane Sawyer.

In film, The Hours featured Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep in a story that intertwines the lives of three women connected by Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway." The film dealt with themes of sexuality and identity, with Streep's character, Clarissa Vaughan, being a lesbian. The film brought attention to the complex realities of LGBTQ+ lives.

In music, LGBTQ+ artists continued to make waves. Tegan and Sara, an indie rock duo composed of identical twin sisters who are both openly gay, released their album If It Was You. Their music and visibility contributed to the presence of queer voices in the music scene.

2002 was a pivotal year for LGBTQ+ media, characterized by groundbreaking television series, impactful films, and influential music that provided representation and visibility.

See All 2023's Most Impactful and Influential LGBTQ+ People
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Step into the Out100 Vault & celebrate 30 years of history-making LGBTQ+ folks!
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Step into the Out100 Vault & celebrate 30 years of history-making LGBTQ+ folks!

It's been 30 years since the annual Out100 list started highlighting the best and brightest of the community. To honor that milestone, let's take a look back at the many LGBTQ+ people who have changed the world.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Out100, Out’s storied annual list of LGBTQ+ people who have changed culture — and the world.

In celebration of this milestone, we are so proud to launch the official Out100 Vault, which highlights the Out100 covers from our archive as well as fresh essays and insights from past honorees.

The preservation of the LGBTQ+ past has never been more important, as the recent right-wing attempts at queer book bans and censorship demonstrate. For over three decades, Out has fought against mainstream erasure, telling the stories of the artists, warriors, and changemakers who made our history and our movement. Looking to the future, we hope you find inspiration from them in the ongoing fight for visibility and equality.

And if you, or someone you know, deserve to be on this list, please let us know through the Reader’s Choice submission page. Your stories and accomplishments need to be heard, and Out as always is here to tell them.

Sincerely,


Daniel Reynolds

Editor in chief, Out Magazine

Raffy Ermac

Editor in chief, Out.com

See All 2023's Most Impactful and Influential LGBTQ+ People
Artists
Disruptors
Educators
Groundbreakers
Innovators
Storytellers

Gabriella Angelina

Gabriella Angelina is an entertainment journalist with a unique perspective on the world of TV and film. With a motto of "Don't watch me, watch TV," she has become known for her insightful and often humorous critiques of the latest in entertainment.

Follow her on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Gabriella Angelina is an entertainment journalist with a unique perspective on the world of TV and film. With a motto of "Don't watch me, watch TV," she has become known for her insightful and often humorous critiques of the latest in entertainment.

Follow her on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.