Prime Timers: A New Age for Activism

From authors and actors to artists and activists, these 25 LGBT prime timers are still on the front lines in the battle for equality and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.



Patricia Field, 72, Designer
Some people never lose their youthful zeal: 72-year-old Patricia Field is Exhibit A. The fuchsia-haired out designer, entrepreneur, and fashion icon became known to much of gay America in the late ’90s as the forward-thinking costume designer for HBO’s Sex and the City. She cemented her legend as the vision behind the eye-popping costumes worn by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt in 2005’s film of The Devil Wears Prada. Field was trendsetting, albeit on a smaller scale, long before that — she opened her first New York boutique in 1966. After her first job styling for TV, on the ’80s drama Crime Story, her taste was seen by film and TV viewers regularly, including on Spin City and, more recently, Ugly Betty and Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Field, a lover of interior design as well as clothes, gutted her longtime East Village house last year and turned it into a 4,000-square-foot flagship store for her own label. She then moved on to her next endeavor, the K Fashion Project, in which she helps young Korean manufacturers hook up with American retailers. A lover of travel, Field visited South Korea years ago and fell in love with Seoul.

“It’s an exciting place: it’s active, it’s young. It’s very up to date,” she told Upstart Business Journal. “I like that energy and I’m attracted to it.” It’s not hard to see why.


Clive Davis, 80, Music Producer
With his memoir this year, The Soundtrack of My Life, music great Clive Davis came out as bisexual and in a longtime relationship with a man. "Bisexuality is misunderstood; the adage is that you're either straight or gay or lying, but that's not my experience," he wrote. "To call me anything other than bisexual would be inaccurate." Davis has had one of the most storied careers of any music producer in the business, handling such talents as Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, and even Kelly Clarkson. Now he's chief creative officer for Sony Music.