The Gay-List: Staff Picks and Final Call for Voting!

Folks, tomorrow is your last chance to cast your votes for the
, which is our reader poll to determine the top 50 favorite gay and bisexual
male celebrities. The poll closes at midnight Friday and nearly 30,000 name votes have already been cast.

Last week we told you who the early Gay-List front runners
were. Today we thought we’d ask the staff here at to identify their favorite gay/bi celebrities. You can tell a lot about a person by the people they admire….


Brent Hartinger’s Picks…

Neil Patrick Harris
For all the praise he’s gotten for coming and being out, I
still don’t think it represents his true importance: what he risked and what
he’s achieved. He’s our “Ellen.”

Barney Frank
What I said about Harris? It’s also true of Frank.

Cheyenne Jackson
is a little like Jesus — he died so that Neil Patrick Harris and other out
celebrities could live. I’m still hoping he gets the break-out hit role he

Dan Savage
The guy knows how to make a point in savvy, media-friendly
sound-bites. He’s also brilliant.

Gore Vidal
I disagree with some
of what he says, but when you’ve been taking on homophobes since the 1940s, you
have my undying respect. Talk about being vindicated!

Elton John
Mock him all you want, but the guy started it all. Bonus
points: unlike a lot of newly out celebrities, he’s never said, “Oh, I was
never in the closet!”

Jonathan Groff
Coming out so early in his career, and without the life-long
financial support of hit TV show? This guy has courage the rest of us can only
dream about.

RuPaul Charles
One of the most interesting things about Drag
is how it proves, everyone week, that no one has what RuPaul has.
The man simply has “it” — and he’s legitimized the sub-culture of
drag in a way I would’ve thought impossible even three years ago.

Armistead Maupin
Literally one of the first people to put “gay” in
mainstream, popular entertainment — and in a way that was not, in any way,
watered down. Again, despite all the accolades, still not given the credit he

Sir Ian McKellen
The man came out in 1988 — and immediately went to work
changing the U.K.’s
laws. His later career, with its Oscar nominations and box office smashes, is
exactly what I wish for.

Davis Mallory

Dan Choi
I admire a man who puts his entire life and energy into a
cause, even getting arrested for it. I think he played a huge part in getting
DADT repealed this year. He’s a huge role model for me.

Dan Savage

His “It Gets Better” campaign spread like wildfire
with everyone and their mom using the “bully” buzz word. Hopefully
real change will come from this.


Dustin Lance Black
For writing and producing the bio-pic Milk and spreading Harvey Milk’s message that coming out to your
family, friends and coworkers so that gay doesn’t seem so foreign is very
empowering and a way to see real change.

Adam Lambert
His in-your-face sexuality combined with huge
success is testimony that living in the closet while being in the entertainment
industry is not the way to go anymore.

Fred Karger

Fred Karger
An openly gay Republican presidential candidate. Now that’s

Chris Colfer
An amazing role model for kids struggling with coming out at
the high school age. He is having such an enormous impact in America right
now with this younger generation ,and he’s doing an excellent job at being that

Ricky Martin
Even though he did take a long time to come out, at least he
did. And by all counts he seems to be spreading a message of love and acceptance
for the gay community during every interview he can get.

Neil Patrick Harris
Even though he comes across as somewhat arrogant at times, I
think he’s proving that being an “out” actor does not mean you’ll be
out of work.

Tom Ford
His movie A Single Man showed what true love
between two men looks like.

Marc Jacobs
It was refreshing to flip through the tabloids and find
pictures of a same-sex couple on the beach for a change.


Dennis Ayers

Andrew Sullivan
I might take some flack for this since he can be a polarizing figure in the gay community, but over the last decade I have learned a great deal about politics, economics, philosphy, religion and, yes, even Trig Palin birth conspiracy theories via his blog.

I might disagree with him about lots of things, but I am in awe of his intellect, and he always makes me think.His willingness to reexamine his beliefs and evolve encourages his readers to do the same. He’s an essential daily read for me.    

Dan Savage
I loved him before the “It Gets Better” campaign, and even more after. I wish he were always the go to gay guy for cable channels looking for a talking head to discuss gay issues. This man simply never loses a debate. 

David Sedaris
He’s a literary alchemist– able to turn the most mundane human interactions into comedy gold. He makes me want to be a better writer.  

Neil Patrick Harris
More than anything I love the fact that he’s a magic enthusiast. Anyone who can find the kitschy joy in The Magic Castle is okay in my book.

Billy Porter
An incredible, incredible singer.  

Chris Colfer
This kid just can do no wrong. Such a talented actor. He is most definitely the best thing about Glee. Without him I think the show would have jumped the shark a long time ago.  

Adam Lambert
I was slow to warm up to him (count me as a Kris Allen fan), but I’ve really liked how he’s handled himself since American Idol.

Big fan. Ever since he put the beatdown on “Uncle Milty,” who so richly deserved it. 

Matthew Mitcham
I’ve got a total crush on him. He’s adorable. 

Tom Ford
I thought his movie A Single Man was visually stunning and totally underrated. Colin Firth should have won the Oscar for that. At least he was wise enough to thank Ford in part for winning this year. Ford is a genius. And sexy too!

Ed Kennedy


Because he was forced out, but embraced it. He doesn’t shy
away from a gay role, or a difficult gay role that can make a statement.

Neil Patrick Harris
We have only begun to see what he’ll do for the community
simply by living his life. He has the career that Chad Allen should have had.

Sir Ian McKellen
He’s first. He helped found Stonewall. He’s gay, elder, and
dating, and he’s on good terms with his exes. And he takes activism as part and
parcel of his life.

Joel Burns
His tearful speech took the country by storm. He went from
local politician to national public figure effortlessly, but genuinely.

Gareth Thomas
Someone had to step out first. Alfie had the juice to do it,
but wasn’t afraid to spend the capital.

Russell Tovey

There’s something just so “bloke” about him. He
bounces from art galleries to charity events to playing a slob to stripping off
as a werewolf. Nobody has ever questioned his ability to play straight. In
History Boys, he was one of the few characters that was totally straight. He
embraces his ears, and his nudity, and holds nothing back on Twitter, which is
more unique than one would think.

Sir Elton John
The man can be infuriating at times, and woefully
disconnected from the common man, but he’s always been unabashedly
himself, even if himself was wearing a Donald Duck costume. And I don’t care
what anyone says, Lady Gaga isn’t the new Madonna, she’s the new Elton John.

Chris Colfer
So young, so together. He’s so easy to relate to, he will
change the world.

Barney Frank
He called a woman a dining room table at a public event. Who
else could/would say that?

Larry Kramer
I may not always agree with the old crank, but I can’t deny
he’s changed the world, and he firmly believes what he says.



Alan Cumming
Owen Pallett
Russell Tovey
Neil Patrick Harris
Dan Bucatinsky
Seth Rudetsky
Jeffery Self
Jack Plotnick
Casey Spooner


Lyle Masaki

Joel Burns

In a year full of depressing news, it was pretty amazing to
see his motivating speech go viral.

Sir Ian McKellen
He’s been out for a long time and he’s never shy from
discussing issues that affect GLBT people. 

Neil Patrick Harris
This year, NPH finally brought one of my dreams to life when
he and Kelly Ripa spent the opening of Live discussing how they celebrated
David’s birthday. It was the first time I saw a gay man discuss everyday life
with his partner on daytime television.

George Takei
With his good humor, charm and his geek iconhood, Takei has
been an amazing ambassador who has gotten the chance to speak to a wide variety
of groups.

Dan Savage
While I certainly have my issues with him, it’s undeniable
that he’s changed the national dialogue with the “It gets better”
campaign and he’s a solid spokesperson on TV.

Thomas Roberts
In the past year, he’s been back to anchoring a news hour
every day, just as a number of gay issues have come to prominence. He’s been
demonstrating how an out gay anchor can bring his perspective to the news
without going from reporting to commentary.

Chris Colfer
Being out at such an early part of his career is courageous
(see also Adam Lambert and Jonathan Groff) and being part of a hit drama like Glee
gives him a chance to represent gay youth to the country.

Dan Choi
As the most public face of a movement that refused to sit
back and wait quietly while gay allies find their courage, he’s been a part of
a challenge to how GLBT groups try to create change.

RuPaul Charles
Thanks to his show, Ru is getting a new audience to
understand drag, an art form that hasn’t been in the public eye for a long

 Jesse Tyler Ferguson
As part of a traditional family sitcom, he’s doing plenty to
show audiences that gay-couples face a lot of the same challenges every other
household faces.

Michael Jensen

Dan Savage

Barney Frank

Matthew Mitcham

Paris Barclay

Gareth Thomas

Michael Cunningham

Dustin Lance Black

Bob Greenblatt

Ian McKellen

John Barrowman

Most of my choices are probably pretty self evident as to why I chose them, but
I’d wager most readers don’t recognize the name Bob Greenblatt. He’s the former president of Showtime and was
responsible for making that network one of the most GLBT friendly channels on
television with shows like The L Word, United States of Tara, Weeds
and others. (He was also an executive producer on HBO’s Six
Feet Under

Bob Greenblatt

Greenblatt recently became NBC’s new chairman and will no
doubt help NBC improve on their fairly dismal GLBT representations having
already ordered pilots for gay-inclusive series like Smash and Playboy.



Clive Barker

His “Books of Blood” made me the person I am

Neil Patrick Harris
Still breaking boundaries

Sir Ian Mckellen
He’s Gandolf and Magneto. Get over it.

Matthew Mitcham
Only 23, and a trailblazer

Rob Halford
Metal God

David Sedaris
Because i want to be Amy’s brother, too.

Russell Tovey

Adorable, with talent yet untapped.

Sir Elton John
Reaches new levels of cranky, but his legacy can’t be denied

Gareth Thomas

Like Matthew, another trailblazer

Chuck Panozzo
Co-founder and bass player for Styx.
He helped provide a large part of the soundtrack of my youth.

Steven Frank

Cheyenne Jackson
If I could vote for him 1000 times, I would.

Dan Savage
He articulates the perfect arguments I wish I could form when faced with homophobic imbeciles.

Yigit Pura/Zac Young/Dale Levitski
Gay Top Chefs all so lovable I can’t pick just one.

Tony Kushner
Angels in America was fundamental to my coming out.

William Finn
I’m a huge musical theater queen, so my whole list is going to be pretty musical-based. But Finn’s shows (most famously Falsettos) — which never shirk away from overtly gay content — particularly leave me a blubbering mess.

Alec Mapa

The man behind the funniest stand-up act I’ve ever
seen (Sample line, “Gay parents are just like other parents. Except we
parent through sarcasm.”), and the only gay I know who managed to take
on and utterly charm the Hasslebot.

Jonathan Groff
See self-outing as a musical queen above. Before Glee, I fell for Groff live on stage in Spring Awakening and Hair.

John Barrowman
Not only for being my beloved Captain Jack, but for moments like this.

Neil Patrick Harris
For showing that we gay dads aren’t any less fab.

Stephen McCauley
He’s the novelist equivalent of William Finn. I feel like his books speak directly to me.



We hope you enjoyed our staff picks for the AfterElton Gay-List! Just a reminder that voting closes Friday evening at midnight. If you haven’t submitted your 10 picks already make sure and do so here.

Also, remember our sister site is also running a poll to find the top 50 Lesbian and Bisexual Female celebrities. Please feel free to vote in that one as well!

We’ll be announcing the final rankings on Monday, March 14th.