OUT Magazine has released their annual “Power 50,” which ranks “the most influential LGBT voices in American culture.” And in no surprise or tragedy, Ellen DeGeneres was #1 because she is absolutely the epitome of that criteria. Just behind her? Apple CEO Tim Cook, political commentary Rachel Maddow and US Senator Tammy Baldwin. Which make up a fine top 4, and one that is refreshingly 75% women.
Beyond that, the list is pretty standard group of LGBT celebrities, including Andy Cohen, Neil Patrick Harris, Bryan Singer, Jane Lynch, Don Lemon, Robin Roberts, Ellen Page (who went from closeted to “power lesbian” in just a few weeks!), Ryan Murphy, Anderson Cooper and Tom Ford.
But there’s definitely some odd, problematic omissions. The press release is quick to brag about its inclusion of professional sports player Michael Sam (no. 9) and billionaire Jennifer Pritzker (no. 23), who is the first transgender woman to ever make the Power 50. But why isn’t NBA player Jason Collins here? While recent college graduate Sam is likely to join him, Collins remains the first and only publicly gay athlete to play in any of the four major professional sports leagues.
Even more confusing is why Laverne Cox — the “Orange is the New Black” star and trans activist who has become an extraordinarily important and influential voice for the trans community — is not on the list. Especially since RuPaul Charles — in the midst of some controversy over the debatable transphobia of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” — is.
Either way, both lists and the idea of “power” are extraordinarily subjective, so getting all up in any serious tizzy is something of a waste of time. But feel free to browse OUT’s selections here, and look out for these fun tidbits I personally didn’t know: a) Megan Ellison is publicly bisexual? I had no idea. b) I also didn’t know that the women who played Lena Dunham’s GQ boss in this past season of “Girls” is the openly gay head of J. Crew?