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Jim Parsons for the Out100
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In 2013, Jim Parsons & other pioneers pushed a new wave LGBTQ+ talent

Lee Daniels, Wentworth Miller, and Edith Windsor were also cover stars for the Out100.

2013 marked a significant turning point for LGBTQ+ rights. While Russia was cracking down on freedoms, France, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Brazil all legalized same-sex marriage, whereas England and Wales followed suit just one year later. Strides on a global scale were also made regarding adoption for same-sex couples. Furthermore, Exodus International — regarded as the most well-known religious group leading conversion therapy efforts — shut down after 37 years.

In the United States, a new wave of states legalized same-sex marriage and civil unions. But most importantly, a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down, leading to federal recognition of legally performed marriages, regardless of the gender of the people involved.

Gay Marriage Advocate Edith Windsor Dies at 88Gay Marriage Advocate Edith Windsor Dies at 88www.out.com

One of the key figures we have to thank for such a momentous ruling was Edith Windsor, who appeared as a cover star on the 2013 Out100. Windsor had been with her wife, Thea Spyer, for 44 years prior to Spyer's death in 2009. The couple had a domestic partnership in New York but got married in Canada, where doing so was legal. Because the U.S. still didn't recognize their union, however, Windsor faced a tax bill of over $350,000 when she inherited Spyer's estate — a burden that would have been lessened for a spouse who was legally recognized. The lawsuit she filed in New York against the federal government escalated until arguments were heard by the Supreme Court, which led to DOMA's partial demise.

Windsor had already been granted several awards related to her activism in the years between that initial lawsuit and the SCOTUS ruling. She received many more honors throughout 2013 and beyond, such as finishing as the runner-up for TIME's Person of the Year, after Pope Francis. After re-marrying in 2016 (in celebration of same-sex marriage having been legalized across the U.S.), Windsor unfortunately passed away in 2017 at age 88.

Lee DanielsLee Daniels www.out.com

The three other cover stars for the 2013 Out100 all represented the growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ creatives in Hollywood. Namely, Lee Daniels had found success as a film director for nearly a decade at that point, and 2009's Precious further evidenced his status as an awards contender in the entertainment industry.

Daniels subsequently directed and produced The Butler in 2013, which topped the box office and was nominated for a slew of awards. Not long after that, he found even more success on television, creating shows like Empire and the reboot of The Wonder Years, among other projects. A longtime activist, Daniels was honored by The Foundation for AIDS Research in 2018 with the Award of Courage.

Jim ParsonsJim Parsonswww.out.com

Jim Parsons quietly came out as gay during the height of his success on The Big Bang Theory in 2012. At that point, Parsons had been with his partner, Todd Spiewak, for a decade — which led to their marriage in 2017. Despite already having a lengthy theater resume and a number of roles in film and TV, The Big Bang Theory was Parson's big mainstream break, garnering him various nominations and awards. In fact, his performance as Sheldon Cooper earned Parsons his third Emmy in 2013.

The next year, Parsons reprised the role that had marked his Broadway debut — Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart — in Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of the play about the start of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s. Since then, the actor has continued to find success in all mediums, appearing in productions like The Boys in the Band, Spoiler Alert, Hollywood, and Our Town.

Wentworth MillerWentworth Millerwww.out.com

It was Russia's push for anti-LGBTQ+ laws that led Wentworth Miller to come out as gay, which was disclosed in an open letter regarding his decision not to attend the Saint Petersburg International Film Festival. Since discussing his sexuality, the Prison Break star has become an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and mental health, due in part to his own struggles with depression.

Miller also shut the door on playing straight characters as of 2020, later elaborating on his desire to have more LGBTQ+ characters in media that do more than "servicing straightness." The actor explained, "It's so important queer audiences — queer kids — see stories that don't center suffering. See us empowered, in positions of authority, moving through the world with purpose, confidence, dignity. It makes it easier to imagine those things are available to us in real life too."

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.