Why Is Queen Latifah On Equality Forum’s List of LGBT History Month Icons?

We love her and all, but the last time we checked the rapper/actress never came out of the closet.

This week, the Equality Forum released its eighth-annual list of LGBT History Month icons, 31 gay role models who will be featured on LGBTHistoryMonth.com during the month of October. Lots of out-and-proud queer folks made the cut – from Anderson Cooper and Edward Albee to Tracy Chapman and Nathan Lane. There’s one inductee that has us scratching our heads, though: Queen Latifah. 

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all pretty sure Miss Queen is a lesbian, but she’s never come out of the closet. How on Earth did she make the cut on a list that purports to “teach our history, enhance self-esteem, provide inspiring role models and make a civil rights statement of the LGBT community’s impressive national and international contributions?” I reached out to the Equality Forum and was told that, “based on information available to the LGBT History Month selection committee at the time of the Icon selection process, Queen Latifah was expected to officially come out when her new talk show premieres in September. Now she has made it clear that is not going to happen. In the future, living LGBT History Month nominees will not be considered eligible if they are not out.”

Whether Queen Latifah will be pissed that she’s on the list or not, she can at least take comfort in the fact that she’s there with excellent company. Check out all 31 icons below, and tune into LGBTHistoryMonth.com in October, when one icon a day will be featured along with a video, bio and downloadable images and other educational resources.

1. Zackie Achmat – South African Activist

2. Edward Albee – Playwright

3. Gwen Araujo – Transgender Hero

4. Reinaldo Arenas – Cuban Author

5. Axel Axgil – Activist

6. Djuna Barnes – Author

7. Joseph Beam – Activist

8. Gad Beck – Holocaust Survivor

9. Joan Biren – Documentarian

10. Patrick Califia – Author

11. Mandy Carter – Activist

12. Willa Cather – Author

13. Tracy Chapman – Singer/Songwriter

14. Tim Cook – Apple CEO

15. Anderson Cooper – Journalist

16. Elio Di Rupo – Belgium Prime Minister

17. Martin Duberman – Historian

18. Tom of Finland – Artist

19. Brenda Howard – Mother of Pride

20. Nathan Lane – Actor

21. Queen Latifah – Entertainer

22. Simon Nkoli – South African Activist

23. Bruce Nugent – Author

24. Ma Rainey – Mother of the Blues

25. Sally Ride – National Hero

26. Marlon Riggs – Filmmaker

27. Vito Russo – Film Historian

28. Jose Sarria – Activist

29. George Takei – Actor

30. Jason Wu – Designer of Michelle Obama’s Gowns

31. John Lawrence & Tyron Garner – Won a Landmark Gay Rights Case

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