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A gay icon is a public figure (historical or current) who is embraced by many within lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Qualities

Gay icons often include glamour, flamboyance, strength through adversity, and androgyny in presentation.

Such icons may be of any sexuality or gender; they may also be closeted or open with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Although most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, some have expressed opposition – advocating against a perceived "homosexual agenda".

Historical icons

Icons are typically elevated to such status because their sexual orientation remains a topic of great debate among historians.

Modern gay icons, who are predominantly female entertainers, commonly garner a large following within LGBT communities over the course of their careers. The majority of gay icons fall into one of two categories: the tragic, sometimes martyred figure or the prominent pop culture idol.

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