Since competing on American Idol, Kimberley Locke has performed at plenty of LGBT shindigs. “When I started, I asked my manager, ‘What attracts the gay community to a celebrity?’ ” recalls Locke, whose new album, Based on a True Story, hits stores this summer. “He said, ‘We like strong women.’ I thought, OK, I can accept that.”
After she was outed by a national magazine, Rauda Morcos, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, became the most visible lesbian in both that country and in Palestine, where the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas recently took power. Morcos, a 32-year-old Haifa resident, cofounded Aswat (“Voices” in Arabic) in 2003 as a safe space for Palestinian lesbian women to meet and empower themselves. This month the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is honoring her work.