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The 15 most important and influential lesbians in the world

most influential lesbians cynthia nixon sarah paulson jodie foster

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    Women have had a very difficult time throughout their history, having to face the masculinity of society: salary gaps, co-responsibility, access to the labor market… But if we focus on one facet of that community, we know Needless to say, the LGTBQ collective has suffered years and years of oppression, enduring enormous difficulties until reaching a time like the current one in which, in a large part of the planet, lesbians can go out on the street, kiss and shake hands without problems.

    Until getting there, there has been repression, censorship and, above all, women who throughout this time have risen up against those repressive opinions, who celebrate without shame or qualms what they were and who fought for a better future. In addition, we must not lower our guard: aggressions, politicians incapable of admitting diversity, states where surprisingly laws are approved that reverse the rights of women and men… they show that there is still a long way to go and many concepts to settle.

    Although many think that the struggle for lesbian rights is something recent, it dates back more than 200 years. The British Anne Lister (1791-1840) is considered the pioneer of LGBT rights and the first modern lesbian, whose life is narrated in the HBO series ‘Gentleman’s Jack’, the nickname by which her fellow citizens called her to make fun of her. her. A landowner, diary writer, and mountain climber, she wore masculine clothing, traveled alone, and only associated with women. In fact, she settled down with Ann Walker, whom she ‘married’: the priest did not bless them, but the couple secretly shared vows and exchanged rings.

    We wanted to make a review in this list of some of the lesbian women who, throughout the last century and all that we have been in this, have become a benchmark in the visibility and normalization of their sexual orientation both in Spain and in the rest of the world. the rest of the world. Women from the scene such as Sarah Paulson, Hannah Gadsby or Cynthia Nixon, who have walked the red carpet giving lessons in inclusivity; soccer players like Mapi León, Megan Rapinoe or Vicky Losada, who have normalized same-sex relationships in sports or politicians like the mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot and the veteran Spanish activist Boti García.

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Billie Jean King was one of the first renowned openly gay athletes and has always been one of the great fighters for equality between men and women. She became the highest ranked female tennis player in 1967; In 1972 she won three Grand Slams in one year and, after being one of the founders of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), she defeated Bobby Riggs, a tennis player with an openly macho profile, in the famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’. Her life was brought to life in the 2017 film of the same name in which Emma Stone played King and Steve Carell played Riggs.

Sarah Paulson’s acting career now has more than 60 titles, since she made her debut in 1994 with a role in ‘Law and Order’. Among her best-known films are ‘Ocean’s 8’, ‘The Pentagon Files’ or ’12 Years a Slave’. She is one of Ryan Murphy’s muses, who has signed him for series like ‘Ratched’ and ‘American Horror Story’, in addition to ‘American Crime Story’, which won him an Emmy in 2016.

It was April 14, 1997. On that day, comedian Ellen DeGeneres came out loud and clear on the cover of ‘Time’ magazine: “Yes, I’m gay.” Weeks earlier, ABC executives had given her a resounding no when she had told them that, after four years of enormous success, it was time for her character on the sitcom ‘Ellen’ to also confess that she was a lesbian. . Easy jokes like Ellen Degenerada soon began to come out, but the truth is that after a few days, the actress filmed the episode in which her character also did ‘outing’. It was an event: 44 million Americans saw for the first time time a leading character in an American prime time series came out of the closet.

TV movies, small roles in series, cameos in movies… Despite the fact that Cynthia Nixon’s career (New York, 1966) began in 1980, she had to wait almost 20 years for her big screen role to arrive, that of Miranda Hobbes in ‘Sex and the City’, to become an actress recognized throughout the world. LGBT activist and 2018 candidate for governor of New York, she has been married since 2012 to Christine Marinoni, also an LGBT activist and one of the great defenders of American public education.

The defender of the Spanish National Team and FC Barcelona arrived at the Blaugrana club in 2017, from Atlético de Madrid. A year later he came out of the closet in an interview with ‘El Mundo’ in which he declared: “If now there are visible homosexuals even in the government, how can there not also be on soccer fields?” We have been able to see the Aragonese woman at the Madrid Pride festivities, openly positioning herself as a feminist and showing her discontent for playing in homophobic countries like Russia.

Lori Lightfoot is the mayor of Chicago, the third largest city in the United States. When she was elected in 2019, she became the first African-American woman to be a councilwoman and also the first lesbian to hold that position in her country. Her commitment to her women makes her star in gestures such as leading the Chicago Pride Parade or defining as a “horrible tragedy” the decision of the Supreme Court to repeal the right to abortion in the United States.

Actress, comedian, producer, monologuist… Wanda Sykes is one of the great figures of American television and cinema and, for this and many other reasons, she was one of the presenters of the 2022 Oscars. In addition to achieving recognition for Being one of the writers of ‘The Chris Rock Show’, she has been committed to the LGBT fight since she publicly came out in 2008. That same year she married the French Alex, with whom she has teenage twins.

Laura Pedro Albiol is one of the women making history in Spanish cinema; she is a true master of special effects. In her early thirties, she has already achieved two Goyas in her field; for ‘Superlópez’ and for ‘Way Down’ and recreating any type of scenario is almost, almost, child’s play for her. She had previously made Quim Gutiérrez’s superhero costume; Soon we will see her as head of visual effects for the HBO Max series ‘¡García!’ and from the film ‘The Snow Society’, in which Jota Bayona recreates the tragedy of the Andes in 1972.

Two Oscars, three BAFTAs, four Golden Globes… The career of the American actress Jodie Foster could be described in the hundreds of awards received, but it is better to remember her for her roles. She was Agent Starling in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’; the young prostitute Iris in ‘Taxi Driver’, the hysterical activist Penelope Longstreet in ‘A Wild God’ or, more recently, the tenacious defense attorney Nancy Hollander in ‘The Mauritanian’. At the Golden Globes, when he received the Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime Achievement Award, he publicly came out of the closet with a speech in which he burst out laughing: “I hope you are not disappointed that this is not a great exit speech I came out of the closet thousands of years ago, back in the Stone Age,” he said.

Vicky Losada (Terrassa, Barcelona, ​​1991) was the great pioneer, football legend, captain for years of Fútbol Club Barcelona and in charge of bringing the sport to the relevance and consolidation that it is beginning to enjoy at the moment. And she is also one of the most outstanding LGBTI activists in Spanish football, who one day decided to ‘come out of the closet’, put on pink shoes with rainbows and tell everyone that being a lesbian and being a footballer were two perfectly compatible identities.

As bright and intelligent as she is awkward, Hannah Gadsby is one of the best comedians of the moment, as she has shown in her monologues ‘Nanette’ and ‘Douglas’, both available on Netflix. In her memoir, ‘The ten steps to Nanette’ (Reservoir Books, 20.80 euros), she makes it clear that the road to fame has not been easy, quite the opposite. Because being a queer teenager in a country (Tasmania) where homosexuality was prohibited until 1997 is complicated, as are her itinerant jobs, or the late diagnosis of autism and ADHD. From there and from other experiences came what Gadsby is today, an influential and intelligent person… and also explosive.

Boti García Rodrigo is, possibly, the most recognized and longest-standing gay activist in our country. She is currently the head of the General Directorate of Sexual Diversity and LGTBI Rights, within the Ministry of Equality, and has previously held other most demanding positions: president of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB) and, previously, of the COGAM (LGTBI Collective of Madrid).

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were two of the pioneers for lesbian visibility in the United States. Both, a couple, decided in 1955 to found the organization Las Hijas de Bilitis (DOB), alluding to a poet from Lesbos who compiled erotic songs between women. DOB was the first lesbian association for women, which later merged with the National Organization for Women. Martin and Lyon also founded a small magazine, ‘The Ladder’, to build community and support among lesbians. Martin passed away in 2008 and Lyon in 2020, having worked for more than 50 years for LGBTI rights.

She is one of the most important soccer players in the world: she has accumulated 4 medals in the Soccer World Cups, 2 in the Olympics and in 2019 she won the Golden Ball, Golden Boot and MVP. But she is also one of the most important lesbian references in her country, not only in the sports field. She is married to Sue Bird, another glorious athlete, a member of the Women’s Basketball Team. She has 10 medals, 9 of them gold. She is the athlete with the most medals between the Olympic and world games.

When it was much more difficult than now to openly declare homosexuality, KD Lang decided to come out of the closet, becoming even more famous, mysterious and desired by the music ‘star system’. She ran in 1992 and was the spigot she needed in the career of the one they had called ‘the new Elvis’. She declared herself Pop Ambassador of the Gay Community and little by little things got out of her hands; so much so that she never missed a party. Over time, she decided to go into seclusion to avoid being “the professional lesbian.” Now, in addition to continuing to be a reference for the LGBT community, she continues to fight for other causes, such as racism, animalism, vegetarianism and respect for nature.

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