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Updated by Vaishnavi Kumar on Sep 28, 2017
Headline for 10 Inspiring LGBTQ People
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10 Inspiring LGBTQ People

These people have paved their way in the cut-throat world like no one else from the community. Here's a look at the most inspiring members of the LGBTQ community.

1

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. DeGeneres starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.

2

Alan Turing

Alan Turing

An English mathematician, logician and cryptographer, Alan Turing was responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer. Turing took his own life in 1954, two years after being outed as gay. Homosexuality was still a crime in Great Britain at the time, and Turing was convicted of “indecency.” He died from eating an apple laced with cyanide. He was only 41 years old.

3

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is an American actress and LGBT advocate. She became known for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix television series Orange Is the New Black, for which she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category. In 2015, she won a Daytime Emmy Award in Outstanding Special Class Special as Executive Producer for Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word. This made her the first openly transgender woman to win a Daytime Emmy as an Executive Producer; as well, The T Word is the first trans documentary to win a Daytime Emmy. Also in 2015, she became the first openly transgender person to have a wax figure of herself at Madame Tussauds.

4

Darren Walker

Darren Walker

Darren Walker is a nonprofit executive who serves as president of the Ford Foundation. Earlier in his career, Walker worked as a lawyer and as an investment banker. A streamlined strategy laid out in 2015 will reduce the foundation’s portfolio by 800 active grants, cutting initiatives on U.S. LGBT rights, to focus on seven areas: civic engagement and government; gender, racial, and ethnic justice; equitable development; inclusive economies; Internet freedom; youth opportunity and learning; and creativity and free expression.

5

Lana & Lilly Wachowski

Lana & Lilly Wachowski

Lilly Wachowski announced her “sex change shocker” in a humorous statement to the Windy City Times in March, introducing the Wachowski sisters to the world. Her sibling, Lana, came out as trans in 2012. Although the Wachowskis are best known for The Matrix franchise, their recent work includes the big-budget movies Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending. They’re currently in production on the second season of their Netflix original series, Sense8, co-starring trans actress and activist Jamie Clayton.

6

Harvey Levin

Harvey Levin

Harvey Robert Levin is an American television producer, lawyer, legal analyst, and celebrity reporter. He is the founder of celebrity news website TMZ.According to a recent New Yorker profile, paying tipsters for exclusive information, videos, and photos so that the hordes can witness celebrity shenanigans is what makes Levin the King of Scandal.

7

Megan Smith

Megan Smith

An advocate for computer science education, Smith, the chief technology officer of the United States and a 2015 GLAAD honoree, encourages women to fill the 500,000 tech jobs currently available. In line with Smith’s priorities, President Obama announced a $4 billon proposal in January that would increase access to computer instruction and resources for America’s youth.

8

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul Andre Charles, known professionally by the mononym RuPaul, is an American actor, drag queen, television personality, and singer/songwriter.

9

Ellen Page

Ellen Page

The after-effects of Ellen Page’s coming-out at last year’s Human Rights Campaign Time to Thrive conference have proven that an openly gay A-lister can still make a killing at the box office (her film X-Men: Days of Future Past grossed $748.1 million) while devoting herself to art house projects of LGBT interest.

10

Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt

The founder of Sirius radio is an attorney who specialized in space law, a futurist and roboticist, and the highest-paid woman CEO in the country, earning $38 million in 2013 from United Therapeutics, the company she started (while transitioning) to save her daughter from a rare fatal arterial disease. She and her wife, Bina, established Terasem, an organization that seeks immortality through technology.