Part 5: Our Hall of Fame

Any celebration of the The Advocate's founding in 1967 must honor the heroes for LGBT rights that we've covered for 45 years. With one honoree named per year, this is the final installment before a celebration Thursday in Los Angeles.



HEROES 2001 MARK BINGHAM MYCHAL JUDGE X 560 | ADVOCATE.COMThe gay romance told in Brokeback Mountain was so intimate it almost never got made. Agents pushed their actors away from the script. Common wisdom in Hollywood was homophobic and had always assumed roles like these could derail promising careers. That's why two up-and-coming young actors willing to play the roles of cowboys Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who were locked in a secret affair in the Wyoming mountains, were repeatedly called "brave."

The late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were both nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. The movie was a Best Picture nominee. All of them lost while Ang Lee won for Best Director and the screenplay and music took home Oscars.

It's a testament to what they accomplished, though, that the next time a gay romance comes along with two buzzed about young actors in the lead roles, it's unlikely the actors will be commended for their courage.
-Lucas Grindley