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2005 Out100 Cover
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Nate Berkus' personal tragedy, Sharon Stone's HIV advocacy profiled in 2005

Reality TV star Will Wikle was also featured on the cover of the Out100 issue.

Designer Nate Berkus and reality TV star Will Wikle shared the cover of Out with longtime ally and activist Sharon Stone when 2005's Out100 issue hit the stands.

It was a big year for queer media. Queer as Folk aired its final episodes, gay horror soap Dante's Cover began its short-lived but well-loved run, and The L Word was still in the early throes of its chaotic reign. The film adaptation of Rent premiered, as did the beloved sapphic romcom Imagine Me & You, the unconventional but acclaimed Transamerica, and, of course, Brokeback Mountain.

Queer visibility was increasing, which made the division on LGBTQ+ rights even more noticeable. While Canada became the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage that year, Massachusetts' legalization the year prior had kicked off a backlash of states explicitly defining marriage as between a man and a woman that continued into 2005. The California legislature passed a bill that should have opened up marriage to same-sex couples, only to have it vetoed outright by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But those on the Out100 list continued to humanize LGBTQ+ stories to the greater public in every arena.

Berkus had already been appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show for a couple years when he sat down to share the devastating story of losing his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, during the 2004 Sri Lanka tsunami. The fact that the love that he lost was a man didn't stop his grief and his openness from touching millions of viewers, who had already grown fond of him through his appearances on the show.

Since then, Berkus has found new love in fellow designer Jeremiah Brent. The two were married in 2014 and share two children. They've also hosted several interior design reality shows together over the past decade, reflecting only a portion of the success Berkus has found in his career.

Out100 honoree Will Wikle was a fan favorite on Big Brother the previous year. Reality TV was still fairly new and novel, but LGBTQ+ contestants were already being included, even if the public response tended to be mixed. Wikle didn't make it all the way to the end — he placed 9th — but 2005 allowed him more opportunities to be in front of the camera, hosting a travel show for Logo called Round Trip Ticket and appearing on Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars.

Ultimately, he did exactly as he told Out in 2005 and continued to work in healthcare rather than pursue entertainment long term — although he did shoot an adult film with CockyBoys in 2016 called The Stillest Hour.

And then there's Stone. By 2005, the actress had more than solidified her reputation as an LGBTQ+ ally both on and off screen. She played Ellen DeGeneres's love interest in If These Walls Could Talk 2 in 2000 and broke the Guinness World Recordfor most expensive kiss sold at auction three years later when she talked a woman into spending $50,000 on a smooch. The pricey kiss benefited a charity that provided free meals for people with HIV and AIDS, reflecting Stone's longtime work as an activist in that sector.

In fact, she received the Harvard Foundation's Humanitarian Award in 2005 after championing research into AIDS for a decade, as well as the Peace Summit Award in 2013. More recently, she admitted that being outspoken about AIDS in the mid-1990s was so polarizing that it destroyed her career — not that she has any regrets.

"I stayed for 25 years until we had AIDS remedies being advertised on TV like we have aspirin,” Stone told Deadline in 2022. "I was threatened repeatedly, my life was threatened, and I decided I had to stick with it."

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
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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.