The phrase "gay icon" gets tossed around a lot, but what does that really mean? Welcome to Gay Iconography, a new feature where we present a proposed iconic figure or character and then ask you to weigh in with your thoughts. So far we've discussed Roseanne, Rickie Vasquez, Judy Garland and Donna Summer. While passionate comments poured in for and against each figure's iconic status, one recurring theme was the importance of gay icons that don't fit the typical "diva" mold, such as this week's selection.
Though far from a universal experience, there are few places more anxiety-inducing for young gay people than the gym class locker room. Athletics have a complicated association with homophobia that plays out on and off the field. That's started to change, as more athletes come out, and more people rally to combat the institutionalized hate-speech commonly found in athletics.
One of the faces at the forefront of this shift is Ben Cohen. Whether you know him from his 2003 Rugby World Cup win, his activism to end bullying or just his handsome, handsome face, he's risen to prominence as a loud, proud LGBT ally.
Learn more about Ben Cohen's work with the LGBT community and share your thoughts on his status as a gay icon, AFTER THE JUMP …