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Ronan Farrow for Out100
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Vault

In 2019, the LGBTQ+ community revisited its past & paved the way for its future

Jeremy O. Harris, Sam Smith, Young M.A, and Nicolas Ghesquière were also honored as Out100 cover stars.

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, giving us an opportunity to reflect on how far society had come in accepting the LGBTQ+ community, and how far we still have to go. In mainstream media, it certainly seemed like strides were being made. Billy Porter became the first out, gay, Black man to win an Emmy for his role in Pose. Lil Nas X casually came out as gay on social media after releasing two hit singles, but before he dropped his debut album. And since its premiere, HBO's Euphoria became an instant hit while being a queer- and trans-inclusive TV series with critical acclaim.

On the other hand, trans rights had become a hot-button issue in the Trump administration that was still in full effect in 2019. Some states moved toward inclusivity of trans and nonbinary identities, while other state-level politicians fought tooth and nail to make life impossible for trans people who didn't conform to traditional gender norms. This was also the year when Trump's ban on transgender people from serving in the military finally went into effect.

Sam Smith on the cover of Out100.The Out100 Evolution of the Year: Mx. Sam Smithwww.out.com

Five LGBTQ+ trailblazers were highlighted in the 2019 Out100, starting with Sam Smith, who became one of the most famous nonbinary celebrities after disclosing their gender identity that year. The singer, who had previously come out as a gay man, went on to declare that they felt "just as much woman as I am man."

Smith, who had already won a few Academy and Grammy Awards by then, added another Grammy to their list of accolades with the 2023 hit song "Unholy" featuring Kim Petras. As an artist, Smith courted both controversy and praise as they expressed their gender identity in subsequent music videos — though it was clear to anyone paying attention that they had become far more comfortable with themself in the process.

Young M.A - Rapper of the YearYoung M.A - Rapper of the Yearwww.out.com

Another musician who topped the Out100 list in 2019 was Young M.A, becoming one of the few out LGBTQ+ rappers to grace the cover of the publication at the time. Despite frequently rejecting labels, the "OOOUUU" rapper had always been open about her sexuality, and fans grew to appreciate her confident, "no-f*cks-to-give" attitude, which she referenced in the lyrics of "Quarantine Party."

While Young M.A's first official single was released in 2016, it wasn't until 2019 that she dropped her debut album. In the years that followed, the rapper released a second LP, starred in the final season of Mr. Robot, and embarked on the path to sobriety in 2021.

Jeremy O. Harris - Showman of the YearJeremy O. Harris - Showman of the Yearwww.out.com

Jeremy O. Harris broke out as a playwright in 2019 when his stage production Slave Play made its Broadway debut. Despite the polarizing reception that it received, Slave Play broke records with 12 Tony Award nominations.

In the following years, Harris continued to work on stage productions, screenwriting (Zola, Euphoria), and even acting (Emily in Paris). As of 2024, Harris' documentary about his play, Slave Play. Not a Movie. A Play.,made its streaming debut on HBO and Max.

Nicolas Ghesquiere - Designer of the YearNicolas Ghesquiere - Designer of the Yearwww.out.com

Fashion designer Nicolas Ghesquière also made the Out100 list after speaking out against Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault, after appearing alongside Donald Trump at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for one of the brand's factories. Despite that risky career move, Ghesquière remains the artistic director of women's collections for Louis Vuitton to this day, with his contract being renewed for five more years in 2023.

Rounding out 2019's cover stars was Ronan Farrow, who became an investigative voice commanding the world's attention following his 2017 foray into the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Those investigations led to a story by Farrow in The New Yorker that won a Pulitzer Prize. By 2019, he had pursued similar investigations into other powerful men and published a book, Catch and Kill, about the resistance and cover-ups he encountered during that investigative process. The book was adapted into an HBO docuseries in 2021, the same year Farrow turned his efforts to investigating the travesty of Britney Spears' nearly 14-year-long conservatorship.

A triptych of Ronan Farrow, Young M.A, and Nicolas Ghesquiere.Welcome to the 2019 Out100www.out.com

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

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.