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Out Names 50 Most Powerful Gays and Lesbians in America


OUT magazine has released its second annual "Power" issue, ranking the 50 most influential gays and lesbians in America. They write: "The rankings were determined by scoring each candidate on these criteria: (1) political clout; (2) pop-cultural resonance; (3) individual wealth; and (4) current personal profile."

At least one of them has never officially come out of the closet.

Check out who made the list, AFTER THE JUMP...

50. Kelly Bush
49. Benny Medina
48. Brian Swardstrom
47. Susan Arnold
46. Martina Navratilova
45. Jonathan Burnham
44. Bob Greenblatt
43. Adam Rose
42. Bryan Lourd
41. Carolyn Strauss
40. Christine Vachon
39. Jon Stryker
38. Lorri L. Jean
37. Simon Halls & Stephen Huvane
36. Annie Leibovitz
35. Randy Lovely
34. Craig Zadan & Neil Meron
33. Jim Nelson
32. Jeremy Bernard & Rufus Gifford
31. Rosie O'Donnell
30. Sheila Kuehl
29. Adam Moss
28. Tim Gunn
27. Jasper Johns
26. Fred Hochberg
25. Tom Ford
24. Suze Orman
23. Anthony Romero
22. Nick Denton
21. Nate Berkus
20. Andrew Sullivan
19. Greg Berlanti
18. Christine Quinn
17. Martha Nelson
16. Perez Hilton
15. Brian Graden
14. Rich Ross
13. Jodie Foster
12. The New York Times Gay Mafia
11. Scott Rudin
10. Peter Thiel
9. Marc Jacobs
8. Joe Solmonese
7. Jann Wenner
6. Andrew Tobias
5. Tim Gill
4. David Geffen
3. Anderson Cooper
2. Barney Frank
1. Ellen DeGeneres

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  1. The first thing I did when I saw this post was laugh out loud, for three reasons 1) the fact that there are three straight white guys on the cover 2) the fact that OUT will now do whatever it takes to create press including naming Anderson & Jodie (hahaha) to the gay list. No one's noticing OUT! 3) The fact that the commentators actually take OUT seriously. Uh, it's too funny.

    Posted by: junior | Apr 7, 2008 11:54:10 AM

  2. Nick Denton considered more powerful then Benny Medina, Tom Ford, and Rosie O'Donnell?

    Is Out trying to score some points with Gawker?

    Posted by: JP | Apr 7, 2008 11:54:53 AM

  3. In light of the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I can't help but read this list with surprise and sadness.

    THIS is the BEST our community has to offer?

    All this so called "power" yet so little of it aimed at making our country a more just, equitable and fair place for gay Americans like them.

    Where is the gay community's nation-wide MLK JR.? Where are 2008's Harvey Milk and Frank Kameny (a living legend and HERO of the gay community since the 1950’s)?

    Unfortunately I know exactly where they went. They got INCORPORATED into organizations like HRC and just like ALL major, faceless corporations they became ALL about making money and selling a product. They have been sucked into the very system that they should be fighting against leaving them unwilling to call out legislators and other elected officials (whom they have befriended) when they are less than fully supportive of full gay equality; ESPECIALLY when those legislators are Democrats.

    This list is a sad testament, not only because of who is on the list but also because of who ISN'T on it.

    DERRICK, you are absolutely right. There is a distinct lack of color in this list.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 7, 2008 11:57:13 AM

  4. Is there even one Black person on this racist list? Keith Boykin should be in the top 10.

    Posted by: Javier | Apr 7, 2008 12:20:06 PM

  5. BS!

    For all of the reasons listed by others who have posted already.

    BS! sums up Out's list

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Apr 7, 2008 12:43:11 PM

  6. Javier, yes, Benny Medina is black and he manages Mariah f-ing Carey so you know he has SO MUCH power.

    The only thing I agree with is calling out Anderson and Jodie. This puts them in a spot to either admit through silence, or publicly refute. There is no way that inclusion on the list goes unnoticed by them, or their team of handlers (like Kelly Bush, Simon Halls and Steven Huvane)

    Posted by: Dan B | Apr 7, 2008 12:53:59 PM

  7. Ethan, I assume the guys on the cover are there because Berlanti is gay, and made their careers with his hit TV shows...

    Posted by: Toby | Apr 7, 2008 12:55:52 PM

  8. If Perez Hilton is one of the most powerful gay people, it's no wonder homophobia exists. He is a walking example of every gay stereotype gone awry.

    Posted by: Larry | Apr 7, 2008 1:06:56 PM

  9. Dan B:
    Out put Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster on the list last year. It was the infamous cover featuring two models holding pictures of Anderson and Jodie over their faces.

    And they sorta have responded. Jodie Foster publicly thanked her partner for the first time last year... Out columnist Michael Musto suggests that the Out cover was the reason for this.

    And Out asked Anderson Cooper if he'd pose for this year's cover. His publicist responded: "Thanks for thinking of Anderson for this issue but we are going to pass."

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 7, 2008 1:07:07 PM

  10. If they're not out, what are they doing on OUT's list of "50 most powerful gays and lesbians in America?"

    Posted by: queendru | Apr 7, 2008 1:08:22 PM

  11. I'm surprised Anderson's publicist made ANY kind of statement about the Out issue - usually they stay mum on anything connected to his "rumored" gayness.

    Posted by: Nate | Apr 7, 2008 1:22:09 PM

  12. To paraphrase Kanye (should he be on the list? ):


    But seriously, the list is a reflection of the power in the LGT community. Are there any non-white Executive Directors of national organizations (besides Alexander Robinson of the National BLACK Justice Coalition)? There's only ONE Black out state legislator (guy from CT who came out a few months ago) and maybe two Latino out state legislators (Jennifer Veiga in CO and ???).

    Posted by: Mad Professsah | Apr 7, 2008 2:13:12 PM

  13. Yes, it is reprehensible that the list is waaaaaaaaaaay too white...and the inclusion of closet cases like Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster is laughable when there are so many out GLBT power brokers...but the most egregious omission of all is one that no one has yet mentioned: the fact that Andy Towle is nowhere on that list!

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 7, 2008 3:14:24 PM

  14. Since it's inception Out has struggled with issues of inclusiveness and diversity - you would be shocked and then saddened to hear some of the arguments that have been made against including people of color on the Cover and in the magazine itself - especially in its fashion stories - under the banner of "increasing sales". GQ and even Men's Vogue have somehow mangaged to find a balance yet Out - which is meant to be an "umbrella" magazine - always falls short of the mark.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Apr 7, 2008 3:40:20 PM

  15. They would have named the magazine White-Out but BIC Corporation would have sued them for trademark infringement.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 7, 2008 5:18:27 PM



    Posted by: banjiboi | Apr 7, 2008 5:23:21 PM

  17. Oh for Kreyest's sake - STOP YOUR WHINING!

    Geezus H. Kreyest - all you people can do is moan and complain!

    No wonder people think we're frivolous and vapid!

    Posted by: Tynkyr Belle | Apr 7, 2008 6:04:25 PM

  18. What about Andy Towle??

    Posted by: john | Apr 8, 2008 12:50:45 AM

  19. This looks more like the MTV/Bravo list. Pretty lame list of wanna-be's. Perez Hilton? Come on, are you kidding? Hardly relevant. There are multi-billionaires and top artists and authors noticeably absent from the list. Where is Michelangelo Signorile? Barry Diller? Tony Kushner? Edward Albee? Who wrote this article --- a teenager? Speaks volumes about the magazine --- a real lightweight tabloid, in need of an editor.

    Posted by: Richard | Apr 8, 2008 1:27:52 AM

  20. Jasper Johns is still alive?

    David Ehrenstein-- About two or three years ago there was a profile of Rauschenberg in the New Yorker by their art critic Peter Schedjal in which Rauschenberg, and others around him, openly speak of the relationship between him and Johns. In fact, I remember there being a part in the article where it spoke of their dislike of Warhol was based on being "too swishy."

    Posted by: phil | Apr 8, 2008 2:45:14 AM

  21. The List is a subjective power list, not a list of people who are worthy or wonderful (obviously: Rudin? Hilton?). It’s a Power list, not a Best list. This isn’t the Out 100 list, which IS a list of the notable and worthy. You may notice the reason that Out 100 is more diverse is precisely because power is still a largely white phenomenon in the U.S. Look at Congress. But worthiness is another matter. (But still, Lovely is Native American, Media is Black, Romero & Perez are Latino.) There are business leaders and politicians on the list, but most gay people who truly wield power in are in entertainment. There aren’t a lot of gay Fortune 500 CEOs (or Black, Latin, or Asians for that matter). These people aren’t compared with other LGBTs but are compared with the society at large. That’s a BIG difference.

    Posted by: Johnny | Apr 8, 2008 12:49:43 PM

  22. Johnny,
    How are the offices there at Out magazine? Are they nice? Do you have a window?

    Posted by: crispy | Apr 8, 2008 1:01:05 PM

  23. So, Johnny, how is Marc Jacobs among the top 10 most powerful LGBTs? He sells expensive clothing, mainly to straight women. What kind of power does that provide?

    And Tim Gunn hosts a popular TV show. Does that really make him powerful, or just visible?

    More to the point, I read many different forms of media pretty much every waking minute, yet I don't recognize at least half these names. So these people are powerful only in very small circles. Believe me, it's not a matter of me not being well informed about developments in the gay community, as well as the straight.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 8, 2008 1:56:44 PM

  24. Out's lists are much more often than not
    just crap. So is the rest of the magazine.
    When it reached 90% advertisements, I
    cancelled. Hmmmm, I think there's a trend
    here, they just got dumped by their parent
    company (which also publishes the expensive
    pamphlet The Advocate, who also got dumped)
    They'll both be a bit more psychotic until
    the new drugs kick in.

    Posted by: brokebackbob | Apr 12, 2008 7:52:38 PM

  25. What? No Drag Queens??? Where is Ru Paul? This is a sad state of affairs if this is all they have to offer. Maybe I should cancel my subscription!

    Posted by: QueenZafrona | Apr 13, 2008 7:05:07 AM

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