Search form

Scroll To Top
Janelle Monáe for Out100
Vault

2020 was a landmark year for singer, actor & queer icon Janelle Monáe

Wilson Cruz, Janaya Khan, and Joe Mantello also graced our Out100 covers.

Janelle Monáe was dancing on the cutting edge of music, art, and acting in 2020, and she continues pushing boundaries today. Four years later, Monáe has become an even bigger star in both music and film — building her own lane, completely dominating it, and establishing herself as a once-in-a-generation talent.

In 2022, Monáe starred in Glass Onion, the sequel to the hit mystery film Knives Out, where they played a surprise twin role and garnered widespread critical acclaim, once again leaving critics wondering (after Moonlight and Hidden Figures) why the actor still hasn't been nominated for an Oscar.

Monáe subsequently released their fourth studio album, The Age of Pleasure, in 2023. The project was dedicated to queer love, body acceptance, Black nonbinary identity, radical joy, and being a badass motherf*cker. The album featured instantly iconic queer anthems like "Lipstick Lover," "Float," and "Water Slide," and was nominated for two Grammys, including Album of the Year. That same year, Monáe was honored at the Soul Train Awards with the Spirit of Soul Award, which was renamed from the Lady of Soul Award to honor Monáe's nonbinary identity.

Wilson CruzWilson Cruz Saves the Worldwww.out.com

Monáe graced the cover with fellow trailblazer Wilson Cruz, who was in his third year playing Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery. In the series, he and Anthony Rapp played a couple and the patriarchs of a queer Star Trek chosen family that included a nonbinary human played by Blu Del Barrio, and a trans alien played by Ian Alexander. The fifth and final season of the show is being released in 2024.

Since making history as the breakout role of gay high school student Rickie Vasquez on My So-Called Life, Cruz has been helping make real schools safer and better for queer students. In fact, Cruz has continued to do the work as an activist, particularly for new generations of LGBTQ+ youth. In 2023, Cruz was announced as the new chair of GLSEN, an organization that works to make schools and communities safer and more welcoming places for queer youth and students.

Joe MantelloJoe Mantello Comes to Hollywoodwww.out.com

In 2020, acclaimed director Joe Mantello was on the Out100 cover for directing the film version of The Boys in the Band and for playing Edward Albee in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway. Since then, he's continued to work with Ryan Murphy (who produced The Boys in the Band) and become a recurring actor in Murphy's projects. Namely, Mantello has starred in Hollywood, The Watcher, American Horror Story: NYC, and Feud: Capote vs. The Swans.

Black Lives Matter Canada cofounder and activist Janaya Khan appeared on the Out100 cover in 2020. However, Khan has backed away from public life ever since.

janaya khanJanaya Khan is Building Bridgeswww.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!
None
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

Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.