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2007 Out100 Cover: Jennifer Hudson, Bryan Batt
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Vault

2007 was Jennifer Hudson's breakout year, while Bryan Batt queered 'Mad Men'

Mary-Louise Parker, Bill T. Jones, and Thom Browne also shared the cover of the Out100 issue.

The year 2007 continued to see progress being made with LGBTQ+ inclusion. In August, the first presidential debate centering around LGBTQ+ rights aired on Logo, and featured six Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama. This would, of course, eventually lead to an Obama presidency, during which same-sex marriage would finally be made legal in the United States.

How far we had come was underscored by movies and television also growing more inclusive of LGBTQ+ characters in stories that looked to the past. With the premiere of Mad Men that summer, Out cover star Bryan Batt brought Salvatore Romano, a closeted gay man, to our screens. Batt had spent the 1990s as an out gay actor on and off Broadway, including a role in an acclaimed AIDS-centric comedy from Paul Rudnick, "Jeffrey." Since appearing on the Out100 list, he's continued working in film and TV, and married his longtime partner, Tom Cianfichi, in 2014.

Another actor on the December cover was Mary-Louise Parker, fresh off the third season of Weeds. A staunch ally to the LGBTQ+ community, she already had roles in queer staples Fried Green Tomatoes and Saved! under her belt by 2007. A decade later, she would go on to be a part of "When We Rise," a miniseries chronicling the gay rights movement, and in 2016, she was honored with an Ally Award by the LGBT Center of New York.

Just a couple years after her surprise elimination from American Idol, Jennifer Hudson hit the screen with Dreamgirls, earning herself an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Following this success, she released her debut album in 2008, which won a Grammy for Best R&B Album. Hudson continued to build her career, starring in the revival of The Color Purple on Broadway, launching The Jennifer Hudson Show, and doing what so few have managed — achieving EGOT status in 2022 after adding an Emmy and a Tony Award to her ever-growing list of accolades.

Spring Awakening debuted on Broadway in 2006, ultimately nabbing choreographer Bill T. Jones a Tony himself the next year. Jones had been a highly influential figure in modern dance for decades, and had settled down in New York after spending the 1970s touring and performing provocative pieces with his late partner, Arnie Zane. Some of his most well-known work centered around identity, sexuality, censorship, and grappling with the AIDS epidemic. His work has been considered so important that Jones became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2010.

The final Out cover star from 2007 was Thom Browne, a designer who was already challenging traditional gender norms in fashion by the mid-aughts. In fact, David Bowie himself wore one of Browne's suits during a televised performance at Radio City Music Hall in 2005, just after the designer's first ever menswear runway show in New York City.

2007 was the year he debuted his collection with Brooks Brothers, a small hint of the success that would come in the years that followed. In 2023, Browne was named among TIME's list of 100 most influential people.

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

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.