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Out100: The Activists Who Shaped 2013

Out100: The Activists Who Shaped 2013


The LGBT lawyers, doctors, activists, thinkers, and homecoming queens who changed the world.

Every year, The Advocate's sister publication Out honors the 100 most compelling LGBT people of the year, with an issue packed with gorgeous photos and brilliant write-ups. This year is no different. Here we excerpt some of the list's thought leaders and advocates.
(SLIDESHOW: See the complete Out100 List)


Edie Windsor
Out100: Lifetime Achievement
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

When the Supreme Court decision ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional was announced on June 26 this year, Windsor was at the apartment of her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, to receive a congratulatory phone call from President Obama. And then she went to the Stonewall Inn to celebrate. This time, in contrast to 1969, the whole city was there to join the celebration, testament to the distance we have traveled. "The next generation is so far advanced over us," Windsor says. "I love that a lot of younger people now come out that would never have come out in the old days. Of course, they are born into a community already. They just have to discover it, whereas we were still building it."

Photographed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on September 12, 2013


Brian Sims
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

Pennsylvania was the largest U.S. state never to elect an out LGBT legislator, until Sims changed that. A Democratic representative in the state's General Assembly, he says his dream is simple: "Pennsylvania doesn't have a single LGBT civil rights law, and I want to ensure we're protecting all our citizens."

Photographed at Fast Ashley's Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on September 5, 2013


Cassidy Lynn Campbell
Homecoming Queen
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

Campbell, 16, documented her gender transition on YouTube, then entered the race for homecoming queen at her high school in Orange County, Calif., to make a point. And she won. Despite some vicious responses after the story hit the national media this year, Campbell told the Los Angeles Times, "I realized it's bigger than me. I'm doing this for the kids who can't be themselves."

Photographed at Milk Studios in Los Angeles on October 8, 2013


Chad Griffin
Leader and Political Strategist
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

Griffin was appointed president of the Human Rights Campaign in 2012, but by then the political consultant, fundraiser, and former White House staffer had already become an avatar of LGBT equality. In 2009, he co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights to organize, publicize, and fund the lawsuit against Proposition 8.

Photographed at Fast Ashley's Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on October 2, 2013


Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Dustin Lance Black, Jeff Zarrillo, & Paul Katami
Prop 8 Victors
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

When California voters rejected marriage equality, passing Proposition 8 in 2008, they set the stage for one of the most compelling equality battles in history. With the backing of the American Foundation for Equal Rights -- of which screenwriter and director Black (middle) is an eloquent board member -- two LGBT couples, Perry (far left) and Stier (second from left) and Zarrillo (second from right) and Katami (far right), challenged the constitutionality of Prop. 8 in district court and won. After proponents for the proposition challenged the ruling, the case ran all the way up to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the appeal on June 26 of this year, setting the stage for same-sex marriages to resume in the most populous state in the Union. The story of that struggle is immortalized in 8, a play by Black that reenacts the initial Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, a powerful reminder that we're writing our social and political history even as we're still living it.

Photographed at Milk Studios in Los Angeles on August 7, 2013


Janet Mock
Advocate and Author
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

After coming out as a transgender woman in a 2011 Marie Claire essay -- her first act of trans advocacy -- Mock launched #GirlsLikeUs, a wildly successful Twitter campaign that works to empower trans women. In June, she joined the Arcus Foundation's board of directors and is currently touring the nation to talk about her experience and speak out against transphobia. Her memoir, Redefining Realness, will be published in February.

Photographed at Fast Ashley's Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on October 2, 2013


Greg Bourke, David Knapp, and Pascal Tessier
Boy Scouts of America
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

This trio embodies the contradictory state of the Boy Scouts of America's gay policy: Knapp (middle) is a former district executive who was kicked out in 1993 when the organization learned he was gay; Bourke (left), who has two kids with his partner of 31 years, was an associate scoutmaster but is now forced to limit his involvement with his son's troop; and Tessier (right), who came out in 8th grade, can stay active only until he turns 18.

Photographed at Fast Ashley's Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on September 5, 2013


Roberta Kaplan and Hilary Rosen
Attorney, U.S. v. Windsor and Pr SUPREMO
Photography by Danielle Levitt

Out on Roberta Kaplan:

When Edie Windsor contacted Kaplan, a partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, several gay rights groups had already declined to represent her in what would become a landmark case leading to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Kaplan took fewer than five seconds to decide yes. "I was pretty confident that we would win," she says. "I would have to say I was certainly thrilled, and perhaps a little bit surprised, by the breadth of the decision by Justice Kennedy -- I think it mentions the dignity of gay people and their relationships something like 10 times in 26 pages."

Out on Hilary Rosen:

A self-described "strong, progressive Democrat" whose mother was the first woman to be elected to her city council, Rosen developed her activist credentials during the AIDS crisis, when she deliberately outed herself to members of Congress in an effort to win AIDS funding. It was her good fortune (and ours, too) that her company, SKDKnickerbocker, was chosen by Edie Windsor's legal team to run the PR machine behind the challenge to DOMA.

Photographed at Dune Studios in New York City on September 16, 2013


J.R. Badian, Harper Jean Tobin, & Diego Sanchez
Businessman, Policy Makers
Photography by Danielle Levitt

Out on Businessman J.R. Badian, MasterCard V.P. of digital marketing and social media:

Badian has been at the forefront of making Mastercard LGBT-inclusive: "The greater the acceptance the greater the diversity, the greater the innovation, the greater the growth."

Out on policy maker Harper Jean Tobin:

In her four years as the director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality, Tobin (center) has fought to improve the quality of life of transgender people, from expanding health care and revising passport policies to protecting transgender prisoners.

Out on policy maker Diego Sanchez:

Sanchez (top right) made history when he was appointed senior policy advisor to former Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly trans legislative member on Capitol Hill. The Augusta, Ga., native has since become the national policy director of PFLAG.

Photographed at Fast Ashley, Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on October 2, 2013


Sir Ian McKellen
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

After coming out in 1988 in protest against Britain, Section 28, which sought to prevent schools from promoting the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family lifestyle, he co-founded Stonewall, an LGBT lobby group in the United Kingdom, and has been a vocal advocate for gay rights ever since. "Coming out is the best thing to fuel social change," he says. "People can only be cruel and horrible to gay people if they think that they don't know any." Of the roles he feels the most affinity for, McKellen settles on James Whale, the gay Hollywood director of the 1930s whom he played in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters, and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Photographed at his home in New York City on October 2, 2013


Antony Osso, Chris Mason Johnson, Audrey Smaltz & Gail Marquis
The Devotion Project

Photography by Danielle Levitt

Antony Osso, Audrey Smaltz & Gail Marquis
Disappointed by the lack of positive gay representation in the media, Osso (second from left) launched The Devotion Project, a series of short films that capture the lives of six LGBT couples and families. Newlyweds Smaltz (far left) and Marquis (third from left) were subjects of Osso's film series.

Out on Director Chris Mason Johnson:

"I was a nerdy little kid watching old movies on TV, memorizing who the directors were and figuring out what the camera was doing," says Johnson (far right), who was able to put all that research to spectacular use in his sophomore movie, Test, a tender and touching meditation on the AIDS crisis set in San Francisco in 1985.

Photographed at Dune Studios in New York City on September 16, 2013


Demetre Costas Daskalakis
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

As a child, the 3-year-old Daskalakis would subject visitors to a blood pressure test with his Fisher-Price doctor's kit. Now, as the director of HIV services at Manhattan, Mount Sinai hospital, he leads efforts to vaccinate gay men for meningitis. "Health care is a human right," he says. "We're just catching up."

Photographed at Fast Ashley, Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on August 9, 2013


Walter Naegle
Photography by Danielle Levitt

From Out:

After using the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington to lobby for the overdue recognition of his late partner, Bayard Rustin -- who organized the landmark event -- Naegle (above, right) got President Obama to posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "If Bayard were alive today," he says, "he would be very impressed at the pace with which change has occurred in the LGBT community."

Naegle photographed at Dune Studios in New York City on September 16, 2013

(SLIDESHOW: See the complete Out100 List)

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