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Prominent American LGBTQI+ People

David Geffen

David Lawrence Geffen was born in February 21, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York from Immigrant parents and is an American business magnate, producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist.

After finishing high school in Brooklyn, David attended the University of Texas at Austin for a semester, and then Brooklyn College, before again dropping out. He then moved to Los Angeles, California to find his way in the entertainment business. He attended Santa Monica College (then known as Santa Monica City College) in Santa Monica, California, but soon left. Geffen attributed his challenges in school to dyslexia.

After a short lived experience as an actor for small roles, he became a talent agent and later expanded his profession to starting multiple record companies. Some of his record companies are: Asylum Records and Geffen Records. Among the artists that he worked with are the EaglesJoni MitchellBob Dylan and Judee Sill. Geffen has an estimated net worth of $6 billion, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry.

Geffen has developed a reputation as a prominent philanthropist for his publicized support of medical research, AIDS organizations, the arts and theatre. According to multiple reliable sources, Geffen has pledged to give whatever money he makes from now on to charity.

David Geffen is also very active in political and social arena and also collecting American arts. Several books and TV shows or documentaries were also written or done about David’s works and life.

David has received several honors and titles, including: Ahmet Ertegun Award in 2010 from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at the 53rd Grammy Awards in February 2011.

In May 2007, Out magazine ranked Geffen first in its list of the fifty “Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”.

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker

Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, born James Nicholas Pritzker in 1950 in Chicago, Illinois, is a billionaire investor and philanthropist, and a member of the Pritzker family.

Pritzker enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 8, 1974. She graduated with a BA in History in May 1979 from Loyola University of Chicago. While serving in the army Pritzker received several honors, medals and badges, including Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal .

Jennifer is the founder or chairman of several businesses, including a successful private equity fund. She also holds numerous real estates and properties in Chicago.

By creating several foundations and NGOs, Pritzker has been devoted to civic applications of inherited and accrued wealth, including through significant donations. In August 2013, Pritzker released a statement to individuals associated with two business and philanthropic organizations that subsequently received wide media coverage, indicating the change from “J.N.” to “Jennifer Natalya” as reflecting her being a transgender woman.

In 2016 she is ranked 374 in Forbes Magazine 400 Billionaires’ list of US and ranked 1067 in the world. She is the only transgender member of this list.

Jennifer lives in Chicago and has a daughter and two sons from her previous marriages.

Eric Fanning

Eric Kenneth Fanning was born in 1968 and is the United States Secretary of the Army.

Eric was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and received his B.A. in history from Dartmouth College in 1990. His interest in government and politics began when he participated in the 1988 New Hampshire primary contest.

Eric Fanning has spent most of the preceding 25 years in government service. In the 1990s, he was on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee and later a special assistant in the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense. He later served as associate director of political affairs at the White House.

He served as deputy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy beginning in July 2009. From June 2013 until January 2016 Eric fanning served as, the deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism,  Acting Secretary of the Air Force , Under Secretary of the Air Force  and Acting Under Secretary of the Army and Chief Management Officer.

On November 3rd 2015 President Barack Obama nominated Fanning as United States Secretary of the Army. After a prolonged process, the United States Senate confirmed Fanning’s nomination on May 17th, 2016, on a unanimous voice vote. Fanning became the 22nd Secretary of the Army, the largest service branch of the U.S. military, and the first openly gay head of any service in the U.S. military. He is also the highest ranking openly gay member of the Department of Defense. Following Senate approval, Fanning thanked his boyfriend Ben Masri-Cohen for his “patience at home” during the confirmation process.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Marie Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, was born on October 28, 1949 and is an American television personality and retired athletic champion.

After graduating from high school Jenner earned a football scholarship and attended college in Iowa, but was forced to stop playing football and switch to the decathlon because of a knee injury. Jenner debuted in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa in 1970, placing fifth. Jenner graduated from College in 1973 with a degree in physical education. After graduating he married his first wife of three and moved to California. Jenner was the American champion in the men’s decathlon event in 1974, and was featured on the cover of Track & Field Newss August 1974 issue.

In 1976, Jenner broke several records and won the gold medal for decathlon at the Montreal Summer Olympics. After that medal, Bruce Jenner became a household name and families became very familiar with him, not only because of his record, which remained unbroken for several years, but also because of the commercial adds he participated in.  After his sport career was over, not only he appeared in some TV series, he also became a public motivational speaker. Later and a few years after he got married to his third wife, Chris Jenner, he appeared on the reality television program Keeping Up with the Kardashians and through that show he stayed in the American public eyes.

For years Bruce was under media scrutiny and his plastic surgeries were always topic of gossip press and TV programs. In early 2015 in a TV interview with Dyane Sawyer, Bruce announced that while his immediate family knew about some of his personal wishes and desires, he had always kept it a secret that he felt his body was wrong and deep in his soul he was a woman.  In the same interview while talking about his struggles in his personal and private life, he announced that soon he will transition to a woman and start living his true life as a woman in his mid-60s. The announcement was major breaking news and received a wide range of positive and negative reactions. After transition, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner), introduced herself to the public through an article in Vanity Fair. Caitlyn for the most part was received positively by the American people and famous figures, including President Obama. However some were skeptical of the authenticity of Caitlyn and her motives. Soon after the magazine article, Caitlyn received the Arthur Ash Award, an award that is presented annually to individuals whose contributions “transcend sports”. This was her first public appearance as a woman. Since her transition, Caitlynn has become an advocate for transgender issues and challenges and most commentators believe that because of her being a public figure and her financial means, she can play a major role in shining light on the transgender issues and challenges in the American society.

Since her transition, Caitlynn has been the major character of a new reality TV show called I Am Cait. In this TV show she tells the story of her transition, how she fit in the new life style and how she faces the challenges and obstacles.

Caitlynn’s 10 children and step children and his three ex-wives have been supportive of her transition and she lives in Malibu California.

Randy Berry

Randy W. Berry is the U.S. State Department’s first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons.

Mr. Berry was born in 1965 and was raised on a family cattle ranch in rural southern Colorado. He is a graduate, and now serves on the Board of Directors, of Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kansas), and was a Rotary Scholar at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1993, Berry worked as an international training manager for America West Airlines in Phoenix, Arizona.

He arrived in his new post on April 13, 2015. In this position he is acting on behalf of the U.S. government to improve the Human Rights of LGBT persons across the world. Prior to serving as the Special Envoy, he had served as the United States Consul General in Amsterdam since 2012. He was United States Consul General in Auckland, New Zealand from 2009 to 2012, and prior to that, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal from 2007 to 2009.

Randy’s career with the State Department has also taken him to postings in Bangladesh, Egypt, Uganda (twice), and South Africa, as well as Washington DC. He holds a State Department Superior Honor Award and speaks Spanish and Arabic.

Randy lives in Washington DC with his husband, an attorney, and their two young children.

Kate Brown

Katherine “Kate” Brown was born on June 21, 1960 and is the 38th and current governor of the U.S. state of Oregon. Brown, a Democrat and an attorney, was born in Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain, where her father was serving in the United States Air Force, but was raised in Minnesota. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Conservation with a certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado in 1981 and a J.D. degree and certificate in Environmental Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in 1985. Brown has taught at Portland State University, and practiced family and juvenile law. She was a family law attorney with Youth, Rights and Justice (formerly the Juvenile Rights Project), a non-profit corporation in Portland, Oregon, providing legal services to children and families with both defense and advocacy programs. Brown became a representative at the Oregon House of Representatives in 1991.

In 1998 she was elected Senate Democratic Leader and in 2004, senators made her the first woman to serve as Oregon’s Senate Majority Leader. On May 20, 2008, Brown won the election for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State; and, on November 5, she won the general election against the Republican candidate. During her term as Secretary of State Brown paid a lot of attention to performing rigorous performance audits, cracking down on fraud, implementation of online voter registration and some other major initiatives.

In 2009, the Aspen Institute named Brown as one of 24 “Rising Stars” in American politics. On February 13, 2015, and after the former governor of Oregon resigned amid a public corruption scandal; Brown became the second female Governor of Oregon, after Barbara Roberts and the country’s first openly bisexual statewide officeholder and first openly bisexual governor. In November 2016, she was elected as governor of Oregon.

Brown lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband Dan Little.

Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes was born on November 26, 1983 and is an American entrepreneur who co-founded and served as spokesman for the online social directory and networking site Facebook, with Harvard roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Marcos Mercado, and Andrew McCollum.

Hughes grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, as the only child of Arlen “Ray” Hughes, a paper salesman, and Brenda Hughes, a public-school teacher. He was raised as an evangelical Lutheran and is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

During his freshman year at Harvard, Hughes met and was unofficially recruited by Zuckerberg, who at the time was still working in the early stages of Facebook. For the next two years, Hughes was unofficially responsible for beta testing and product suggestions. It was Hughes’s idea to open Facebook to other schools, which eventually led to opening Facebook to the outside world. As a result of that, Hughes became the de facto Facebook spokesperson. In 2004, Hughes, Zuckerberg and Moskovitz travelled to Palo Alto during their summer break. After the summer break, while Zuckerberg and Moskovitz decided to remain in Palo Alto, Hughes decided to return to Harvard to continue his studies. In 2006, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in history and literature. He then relocated to Palo Alto to rejoin Zuckerberg and Moskovitz and became involved in Facebook again. In 2007, he left Facebook to volunteer with the Obama campaign.

Hughes was involved in online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on My.BarackObama.com, the campaign’s online social networking website. He is also an invitee of the Bilderberg Group and attended the Swiss 2011 Bilderberg conference at the Suvretta House in St. Moritz, Switzerland. In March 2012, he purchased a majority stake in The New Republic Magazine. He is now the Publisher and Executive Chairman, and formerly served as Editor-in-Chief, of the magazine.

Hughes is married to Sean Eldridge, Political Director of Freedom to Marry. Hughes and Eldridge announced their engagement in January 2011 at a reception in support of Freedom to Marry. They married on June 30, 2012.

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King was born on November 22, 1943 and is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles, and 11 mixed doubles titles.

King was born in Long Beach, California, into a conservative religious family. After graduating from high school, she attended California State University, Los Angeles. She learned her tennis on the free public courts in Long Beach.

King often represented the United States in the Cup and the Wightman Cup. She was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups. For three years, King was the United States’ captain in the Federation Cup.

Not only King was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987, she also has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. King was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

In 2008, King published the book Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes.

In December 2013, US President Barack Obama appointed King and openly gay hockey player Caitlin Cahow to represent the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

King has residences in New York and Chicago with her life partner, Ilana Kloss.

James Hormel

James Catherwood Hormel was born on January 1, 1933 and is an American philanthropist and a former United States Ambassador to Luxembourg; appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999. Hormel was the first openly LGBT person to serve as a U.S. Ambassador and is a noted LGBT activist.

Hormel was born in Austin, Minnesota. He earned a B.A. in history (1955) from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania and a law degree (1958) from the University of Chicago Law School where he later served as dean of students and director of admissions. In 1981 he was one of the founders of the Human Rights Campaign. He was a member of the 1995 United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the 1996 U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, and the boards of directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Hormel funded the creation of James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library in 1995. It is the gateway to collections documenting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history and culture, with a special emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hormel was appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999 and became the first openly gay man to represent the United States as an ambassador.

Hormel has five children, fourteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He lives in San Francisco, California with his partner, Michael P. Nguyen.

Victoria Kolakowski 

Victoria Kolakowski was born Michael Kolakowski on August 29, 1961, in Queens, New York and is an American lawyer.

She was the first person in her family to attend college. Kolakowski graduated from New College of Florida in Sarasota, Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences in 1982. She earned a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University in 1987 and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of New Orleans in 1990. Kolakowski graduated from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a juris doctor in 1989 as Michael Kolakowski. She began her transition during her last semester of law school. Kolakowski underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1991.

Before she started serving as Alameda County Superior Court in 2011, she worked as administrative law judge in California and was co-chair of the Bay Area Transgender Law Association from 1996 to 2000.  In 2011 she became judge of the Alameda County Superior Court and was the first openly transgender person to serve as a trial judge in the United States.

In June 2008 Victoria married her long term partner Cynthia Laird, news editor of the Bay Area Reporter.

Tom Ford

Thomas Carlyle “Tom” Ford was born on August 27, 1961 and is an American fashion designer and film director. He gained international fame for his turnaround of Gucci and the creation of the Tom Ford label before directing the Oscar-nominated film A Single Man.

Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas and was raised there, in Houston Texas and in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He graduated from high school in 1979.Later he moved to New York City to study art history at New York University. Ford dropped out of NYU after a year, preferring to concentrate on acting in television commercials. Ford then began studying interior architecture at Parsons The New School for Design. Before his last year at New School, Ford spent a year and a half in Paris, where he worked as an intern in Chloé’s press office. Though his work primarily involved sending clothes out on photo shoots, it triggered his love of fashion.

He started his work in fashion from 1986 with working in fashion magazines and with some famous fashion designers like Mark Jacobs.   In 1990 Ford, who was at the time an unknown designer, was hired as The House of Gucci’s chief women’s ready-to-wear designer. Ford’s role at Gucci rapidly expanded; he was designing menswear within six months, and shoes soon after that. When Gucci acquired the house of Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) in 1999, Ford was named creative director of that label as well. In April 2004, Ford parted ways with the Gucci group. By 1999, the house of Gucci, which had been almost bankrupt when Ford joined, was valued at about $4.3 billion. When Ford left in 2004, Gucci Group was valued at $10 billion. In March 2005, Ford announced the launch of his film production company, Fade to Black. In 2009 he made his directorial debut with A Single Man, based on the novel of the same name. In 2009 A Single Man was nominated for top award the Golden Lion at 66th Venice International Film Festival. Colin Firth, the main character, won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.

In 2006 Ford launched a line of menswear, beauty, eyewear, and accessories under his own name Tom Ford. Today Tom Ford is a worldwide well known luxury and high-end brand in men and women clothing, shoes and accessories.

Ford is married to Richard Buckley, a journalist and former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International; they have been in a relationship since meeting in 1986. The couple has a son, Alexander John Buckley Ford, born in September 2012.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Anne Maddow was born on April 1, 1973 and is an American television host, political commentator, and author. She hosts a nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC.

Maddow was born in Castro Valley, California and in a Catholic family. She was a competitive athlete at high school in volleyball, basketball, and swimming. Rachel attended Stanford University and while a freshman, she was outed by the college newspaper. Maddow earned a degree in public policy at Stanford in 1994. She began her postgraduate study in 1995 at Lincoln College, Oxford. In 2001, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in politics at Oxford University. Her thesis is titled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons.

Maddow’s first radio hosting job was in Holyoke, Massachusetts on “The Dave in the Morning Show”. She left the show in March 2004 to join the new Air America. Her last Air America show was on January 21, 2010, two weeks before its owners filed for bankruptcy. In June 2005, Maddow became a regular panelist on the MSNBC show Tucker. In January 2008, Maddow became an MSNBC political analyst and was a regular panelist on MSNBC’s Race for the White House with David Gregory. In August 2008, MSNBC announced The Rachel Maddow Show would be aired at the 9 p.m. slot and she has hosted this show until today. Maddow is the first openly gay anchor to host a major prime-time news program in the United States.

Maddow lives in Manhattan and western Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula. The couple met in 1999, when Mikula hired Maddow to do yard work at her home. Maddow was working on her doctoral dissertation at the time.

John Berry

Morrell John Berry was born on February 10, 1959 and is the United States Ambassador to Australia. Berry was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, to parents who worked for the federal government. He completed degrees at the University of Maryland, College Park and Syracuse University and worked in local government and as a legislative aide in state government from 1982 to 1985. From 1985 to 1994, he worked as legislative director for U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer. Berry was appointed Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget at the U.S. Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration, serving from 1997 to 2001. At the Interior Department, Berry worked to create a complaint procedure for employees who experience discrimination because of their sexual orientation, to expand relocation benefits and counseling services to domestic partners of employees, to establish a liaison to gay and lesbian workers, and to eliminate discriminatory provisions of the National Park Service’s law enforcement standards. In 2000, Berry became director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Berry was appointed from October 1, 2005, to serve as director of the National Zoo. The Berry Bastion, an Antarctic mountain, was named in his honor. In 2009, he was nominated by President Barack Obama as director of the United States Office of Personnel Management. Berry took office after being confirmed by the United States Senate in April 2009. In June 2013, President Obama nominated Berry to be the US ambassador to Australia, the first openly gay U.S. ambassador to a G-20 nation. On August 1, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed Berry by unanimous consent. Before being appointed as ambassador to Australia Berry lived in Washington, D.C. On August 10, 2013, he married Curtis Yee, his partner for 17 years, at St Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington.

Brittney Griner

Brittney Yevette Griner was born on October 18, 1990 and is an American professional basketball player currently playing for Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She played college basketball at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She was the first NCAA basketball player ever to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In 2012 she was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. In 2012 she received the Best Female Athlete ESPY Award.

In an interview with on April 17, 2013, Griner publicly came out as lesbian and also revealed that she was bullied as a child and that she is very passionate about working with children in order to bring attention to the issue of bullying, particularly against LGBT people.  On August 14, 2014, Griner announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson. They were married on May 8, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Michael Alan Sam, Jr.

Michael Alan Sam, Jr. was born on January 7, 1990 in Galveston Texas and is an American football defensive end. Out of high school, Sam received scholarship offers from Arizona State University, Colorado State University, and the University of Houston, but Sam accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Missouri. He played college football at Missouri and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After completing his college football career, Sam publicly came out as gay. He became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. After being drafted by the Rams, Sam’s emotional reaction to his draft was broadcast live on television, during which he kissed his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano. Reported to have been dating Sam for several months, Cammisano is fellow alum of the University of Missouri who had been a member of the school’s swim team. In January 2015, it was announced that Sam and Cammisano were engaged to be married.

Annise Danette Parker 

Annise Danette Parker was born on May 17, 1956 and is an American politician, who has been elected Houston Mayor three times, serving since January 2, 2010. She also served as an at-large member of the Houston City Council from 1998 to 2003 and city controller from 2004 to 2010.

Parker was born in Houston. After high school she began attending Rice University in 1974, working several jobs to pay for her room and board. She graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, psychology and sociology.

Parker is Houston’s second female mayor and one of the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city, with Houston being the most populous U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Parker and her wife, Kathy Hubbard, have been together since 1990. On January 16, 2014, Parker and Hubbard were married in Palm Springs, California. They have three foster children.

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Hays Cooper was born June 3, 1967 and is an American journalist, author, and television personality who is also the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. Anderson Cooper graduated from Yale University majoring in political science, in 1989. Later he started his professional life first with working at a small local channel which was focused on the youth news, called Channel One. It was in Channel One where he got to spend a year in Vietnam on assignment and he learnt Vietnamese there. In 1995 Anderson started working at ABC News and slowly grew professionally and after becoming a co-anchor hosted his own show for two years. In 2001 he moved to CNN. Meanwhile he also co-hosts program 60 Minutes for CBS too. Cooper, who is also a freelancer writer, has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines and also wrote a memoir in 2006.

In 2012 Anderson Cooper publicly acknowledged that he is gay. He said that for years his family and friends and colleagues all knew that he was gay and he never hid this fact, however didn’t want his sexual orientation to be a distraction in his professional life. New York Times in 2013 called him “the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television.”

Cooper and his partner have been together since 2009 and they live in New York City.

Suze Orman

Susan Lynn “Suze” Orman was born in June 5, 1951 and is an American author, financial advisor, motivational speaker, and television host. Orman was born in Chicago and received her B.A. in social work and an honorary PHD from University of Chicago. Her mother was a secretary and her dad worked at a chicken factory. After graduation in 1980 she moved to California and borrowed some money from relatives and small investors to start her own restaurant, but her financial advisor lost all of it in a bad investment. Later she started working as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. In 1983 she became the vice-president of investments at Prudential Bache Securities and in 1987 founded the Suze Orman Financial Group. Her program The Suze Orman Show began airing on CNBC in 2002. In 2006 she won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Program Host on the The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. She has written several books on the topic of personal finance. Orman’s net worth is estimated to be more than 10 million dollars. In 2007 Orman publicly announced that she is a lesbian and now she lives with her partner of more than 10 years in California and Florida.

George Takei

Hosato “George” Takei was born on April 20, 1937 and is an American actor, director, author, and activist, probably most widely known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek. He also portrayed the character in six Star Trek feature films and in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

Takei was born in Los Angeles, California to Japanese-American parents. Upon graduation from high school, Takei enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley where he studied architecture. Later he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in theater in 1960 and a Master of Arts in theater in 1964. He attended the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon in England, and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

Takei began his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s, at a time when Asians were rarely cast in American television shows and movies. In 1965, producer Gene Roddenberry cast him as Lt. Sulu in the second Star Trek pilot and eventually the Star Trek television series. Over the years he has appeared in several movies too including the Star Treck movies, Larry Crowne, Strange Frame, Free Birds, To Be Takei and Axel: The Biggest Little Hero.

In 2004, the government of Japan conferred upon Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. This decoration was presented in acknowledgment of his contributions to US-Japanese relations. Also over the years American Humanist Association, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and Japanese American National Museum have honored Takei for his active role in supporting and promoting the activities of these organizations.

In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is homosexual and had been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years. In this issue he said, “It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen”.

Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin was born in February 11, 1962 and is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly. Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. She earned a B.A. degree from Smith College in 1984 and a J.D. degree from the University Of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. She practiced law from 1989 to 1992. Baldwin was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and one of a very few openly gay politicians in the country at the time. In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin. In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin. In 2012 and at the time of her election, she was the first openly LGBT member of US Senate.

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris was born in June 15, 1973 and is an American actor, writer, producer, director, comedian, magician, singer, and television host. He is known for playing Barney Stinson in the television comedy series How I Met Your Mother . Neil was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico  and his parents were lawyers and managed a restaurant too. Harris has played in several TV series, movies, plays and musicals. He has hosted Emmy, Toney and Oscar ceremonies several times. In 2015 he became the first openly gay actor who hosted the Oscars. He has won multiple Emmy awards and in 2014 he won the Toney for the best leading actor in a musical for playing in Hedwig.

Harris was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2011.

In 2006 Neil Patrick Harris made it public that he is gay. In September 2014 Neil announced on his twitter account that he and his partner were married. Neil, his husband and their 2 children live in New York.

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958 and is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. DeGeneres was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana. Later she moved to Atlanta Texas with her mom, sister and stepfather. DeGeneres graduated from Atlanta High School in May 1976, and then moved back to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans, where she majored in communication studies. After one semester, she left school to do clerical work in a law firm. After that she also held a job in selling clothes in different stores and also worked as a waiter too. Later Ellen started performing stand-up comedy at small clubs and coffee houses. By 1981 she was the emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans. By Early 80s she started her national stand-up comedy tours. In 1986 she appeared on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson, who was at the time one of the most influential people on TV. She was the first female comedian invited by the iconic host to join him for such a discussion. As an actress she has played in several movies including Mr. Wrong, EDtv, and The Love Letter. She also starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. During the fourth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out as a lesbian. This made her the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television.

Since September 2003 Ellen has been hosting her own day time talk show host, called “Ellen DeGeneres Show” which is aired five times a week.

DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored three books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven. She has won 13 Emmys, 14 People’s Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts.

In 2007, Forbes estimated DeGeneres’ net worth at US $65 million. In 2014, she was named the 46th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes and number two on the World Pride Power list.

In November 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named her a Special envoy for Global AIDS Awareness.

In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi and they live in Los Angeles.

Tim Cook

Timothy Donald “Tim” Cook was born on November 1, 1960 and is an American business executive, and is the CEO of Apple Inc. Cook joined Apple in March 1998 as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Worldwide Operations—he also served as Executive Vice President (EVP) of Worldwide Sales and Operations—and was Chief Operating Officer (COO) until he was named the CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011, when he succeeded Steve Jobs.

Cook was born in Mobile, Alabama, United States, and grew up in nearby Robertsdale. His father, Donald, was a shipyard worker, and his mother, Geraldine, worked at a pharmacy. He earned a B.S. degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982, and his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke University in 1988. After graduating from Auburn University, Cook spent 12 years in IBM’s personal computer business, ultimately serving as the director of North American Fulfillment. Cook also serves on the board of directors of Nike, Inc. and the National Football Foundation. On October 30, 2014, in an editorial for Bloomberg Businessweek, Cook said “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” Cook also explained that he has been open about his sexuality “for years” and, while many people at Apple were aware of his sexual orientation, he sought to focus on Apple’s products and customers rather than his personal life. He ended the article by saying “We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.” As a result, Tim Cook became the first openly gay CEO on the Fortune 500 list.