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Actor & heartthrob Jonathan Groff's career reached new heights in 2017
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Actor & heartthrob Jonathan Groff's career reached new heights in 2017

Lena Waithe, Chelsea Manning, and Shayne Oliver were also cover stars for the Out100.

Jonathan Groff, Lena Waithe, Chelsea Manning, and Shayne Oliver were the cover stars of the Out100 in 2017, which was a gigantic year for LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media despite this being Donald Trump's first year as U.S. President.

Films such as Call Me By Your Name, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, and God's Own Country left an indelible mark in pop culture. Moreover, we got shows like Riverdale, GLOW, Star Trek: Discovery, When We Rise, The Handmaid's Tale, Money Heist, Anne With an E, One Day at a Time, 13 Reasons Why, Harlots, and The Bold Type all premiering on TV and featuring queer characters from the very start. Considering the momentum that the conservative movement was experiencing under Trump's presidency, any and all visibility of the LGBTQ+ community was much needed.

OUT100: Jonathan Groff, Entertainer of the YearOUT100: Jonathan Groff, Entertainer of the Yearwww.out.com

Through his performances in Hamilton, Looking, Frozen, Glee, Spring Awakening, and The Normal Heart, Jonathan Groff's career reached a new peak in 2017 when he was cast to play the lead character of David Fincher's second-ever work on television, Mindhunter. It felt like a significant milestone for Groff to play a male lead who didn't necessarily have his sexuality (whatever it was) be the show's central focus. An out gay actor was cast to play a male protagonist on a big-budget, mainstream TV series — something that out LGBTQ+ actors are still struggling with to this day.

Groff, who came out in 2009, has generally kept a private personal life. But when it came to his work, the actor became unstoppable in the years that followed his inclusion on the 2017 Out100: from Hair to Little Shop of Horrors to Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway; from And Just Like That… to the Spring Awakening: Those You've Known documentary to Doctor Who; and from Frozen II to The Matrix Resurrections to Knock at the Cabin in film. We stan the Groff sauce!

OUT100: Lena Waithe, Artist of the YearOUT100: Lena Waithe, Artist of the Yearwww.out.com

Lena Waithe was born and raised in Chicago to a family of immigrants from Barbados. Over the years, she earned herself a degree in cinema and television arts from Columbia College Chicago and worked various jobs to become involved in showbiz. Even though Waithe didn't necessarily have to come out to the public as lesbian, she was featured in the 2017 Out100 right as her star was beginning to shine brighter. The following year, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by TIME as well.

Besides her standout roles on Master of None, Dear White People, and Westworld, Waithe has somehow found even more success and accolades as a producer and/or writer for projects like The Chi, Queen & Slim, Twenties, Boomerang, Them, and Ain't No Mo'. In fact, Waithe won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing — Comedy Series in 2017 for her work in the eighth episode ("Thanksgiving") of Master of None season 2.

Chelsea ManningOUT100: Chelsea Manning, Newsmaker of the Year Photography: Roger Erickson

As a United States Army soldier, Chelsea Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of classified and/or sensitive documents via WikiLeaks, which led to her imprisonment in 2013 for violating the Espionage Act. That same year, Manning identified herself as a trans woman in a statement that clearly stated her name, gender, and pronouns. However, due to the crimes she had just been convicted of, certain publications continued to deadname and misgender Manning for some time.

Over the years, LGBTQ+ organizations and outlets advocated for Manning to be identified as a trans woman and for her request to receive gender transition surgery to be granted. Manning was only released from prison when, in 2017, outgoing President Barack Obama commuted her sentence. In the years that followed, Manning was able to continue her gender-affirming care and began a career as a public speaker.

Shayne OliverOUT100: Shayne Oliver, Stylemaker of the Year Photography: Roger Erickson

Shayne Oliver entered the Out100 for his work as a New York-based fashion designer and creative director. Most notably, he cofounded the fashion brand Hood By Air in 2006 and became one of the most popular and influential out gay Black designers around the globe.

Oliver took a hiatus from Hood By Air around 2017, but eventually returned in 2020 with a complete relaunch for the company that included none other than Naomi Campbell in its first marketing campaign post-rebranding.

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

Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.