A number of straight celebrities have been pretty vocal about their feelings when it comes to LGBT rights and equality for all.
From Beyonce to Anne Hathaway, these stars have all taken strides in advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
Here’s a look at twelve celebrities who have taken action to raise awareness for LGBTQ rights.
1 Daniel Radcliffe
24.7k Likes, 289 Comments – Daniel Radcliffe (@daniel9340) on Instagram: “Photo by @eric_silverberg”
The Harry Potter star has spoken passionately about queer rights in cover interviews with gay magazines Attitude and Out.
He also grasped the importance of gay literary hero Alan Ginsberg, who he played in 2013’s Kill Your Darlings.
Last year, Daniel was named the RBS British LGBT Awards’ Celebrity Straight Ally. He graciously accepted, but added modestly: ‘it’s odd and bizarre getting an award for basic human decency.’
2 Lena Dunham
80.9k Likes, 2,017 Comments – Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on Instagram: “America: the lucky home of these fine young democrats”
With her hit HBO show Girls, writing and acting prodigy Lena gifted TV land with wonderful, fully-formed gay characters.
Peter Scolari recently won an Emmy for his turn as the main character Hannah’s late-blooming gay father Tad, plus Andrew Rannells [above] has received critical acclaim for bringing a three-dimensional edge to the ‘bitchy gay best friend,’ Elijah. Meanwhile, Hannah and Jemima Kirke’s Jessa have both experimented with their sexualities on the show.
Speaking before the legalization of same-sex marriage across the US last year, Lena said she and her boyfriend were ‘not against marriage, but I wanna wait. My sister is gay, and it just doesn’t feel good to me to do something she can’t do.’
3 Anne Hathaway
Here’s Anne, just casually hanging out with Valentino, as you do. In addition to gay friends in high places (including yachts?), the Les Miserables actress also has a gay brother.
She has said: ‘There are people who’ve said I’m being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption… With all due respect, I humbly dissent. I am not being brave, I’m being a human being. Love is a human experience, not a political statement.’
4. Miley Cyrus
In 2015, Cyrus founded the Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering homeless and LGBT youth, and partnered with Instagram to launch the #InstaPride initiative to help share transgender stories.
But prior to her work with the HHF, the “Wrecking Ball” singer shared her stance on LGBT rights in other forms.
In 2011, Cyrus got an equals sign tattooed on her ring finger in support of same-sex marriage penned an essay for Glamour in which she wrote, “I believe every American should be allowed the same rights and civil liberties. Without legalized same-sex marriage, most of the time you cannot share the same health benefits, you are not considered next of kin and you are not granted the same securities as a heterosexual couple. How is this different than having someone sit in the back of the bus because of their skin color?”
1.5m Likes, 14.3k Comments – Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Instagram
She was curiously quiet on the subjects of LGBTI rights for years. But Beyonce made her position on gay marriage abundantly clear with a single Instagram post in 2013.
It featured a hand-written note that read: ‘If you like it then you should be able to put a ring on it. #WeWillUnite4MarriageEquality’.
She’s since covered Out and credited her gay stylist Ty Hunter with inspiring her creatively.
68.5k Likes, 614 Comments – Ben Haggerty (@macklemore) on Instagram: “Yakima…we camping #thecampingtrip”
Who could forget Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Labert’s killer performance of Same Love at the 2014 Grammys, which included Madonna and Queen Latifah officiating 33 gay weddings on stage?
Rapper Macklemore – whose real name is Ben Haggerty – helped write the song’s most moving lyrics, themed around love and acceptance.
On it, he sings: ‘Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board/A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it/Gay is synonymous with the lesser/It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion.’ To read the full lyrics click here.
The cover art for the single – which reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 – depicts Haggerty’s uncle, John, and his partner, Sean.
My friend @titoguhair inspired me to up my selfie game. I may suck at all that, but my eyebrow game is strong right now. #iknowmystrengths #suckieselfies #narcissismabuse #bushybrowsgoindown
110.7k Likes, 2,104 Comments – P!NK (@pink) on Instagram: “My friend @titoguhair inspired me to up my selfie game. I may suck at all that, but my eyebrow game…”
No, she’s not bisexual! A lesbian icon maybe, and BFF of Linda Perry, certainly, but Pink – real name Alecia Moore – settled the score on her sexuality once and for all in a 2013 interview with The Advocate. Not that the lesbian rumors ever bothered her, which speaks volumes.
‘I should be gay by the way that I look and the way that I am. I just happen to not be. But it just makes perfect and complete sense,’ she said.
Adding that her lesbian fans are her ‘root stalk’, she continued: ‘When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was an honorary lesbian of Los Angeles. I wasn’t gay, but all my girlfriends were.’
8 Ben Cohen
2,775 Likes, 24 Comments – Ben Cohen (@bencohenstandup) on Instagram: “Photo taken by @borisschipper for @StandUpFdn back in 2011”
He’s the England rugby icon whose star rose when he took part in Strictly Come Dancing. But for many a gay, Ben is known first and foremost as a poster boy for LGBTI-friendliness – and for posing in his underwear on the covers of GT and Attitude.
His Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation often tackles anti-gay bullying in schools. He told the Mirror Online in 2014: ‘It is all about that next generation and teaching kids so they understand what gay means and the connotations of words like “homo” and “faggot”. Homophobia is in the same place that racism was 20 or 30 years ago.
‘I think homophobia is still a problem everywhere. It is the last ‘ism’ – there are still traces of racism and sexism but there is further to go to stamp out homophobia.’
9. Brad Pitt
Before the nationwide legalization of gay marriage, the actor donated $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign in 2012 to support the organization’s same-sex marriage efforts.
In an email to the HRC, Pitt said, “It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days. Every person’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our country’s Declaration of Independence, but powerful, well-funded groups are flooding the airwaves with lies trying to take away those rights from certain people … and we can’t stand for it.”
10 Kerry Washington
The Scandal actress was honored with the Vanguard Award at the 2015 GLAAD Media Awards in March for being a notable ally of the LGBTQ community. While giving her acceptance speech, Washington used her time at the podium to call for more LGBT representation in the media, prompting a standing ovation from the audience.
“We need more LGBT characters and more LGBT storytelling. We need more diverse LGBT representation, and by that, I mean lots of different kinds of LGBT people living all different kinds of lives,” she said. “We need more employment of LGBT people in front of and behind the camera … We have to continue to be bold and break new ground until that is just how it is until we are no longer ‘first’ and ‘exceptions’ and ‘rare’ and ‘unique.’ ”
She’s been a queer icon for decades, but the legendary Cher admitted she struggled when her son Chaz transitioned. But there’s something inspiring about her candid honesty when she talked about it with the Sunday Times in 2013.
‘Oh yes, I had a hard time,’ she said. ‘I didn’t have a hard time in the beginning when Chaz came to see me and told me, “This is what I want to do.” I said, “Well, if you’re miserable, then you’ve got to do it.” But then as it was starting to happen, you know, it’s a strange change for a mother to go through.’
She also said the two are now ‘in the best place they’ve ever been.’
12 Joe Manganiello
WE ARE THE EAST!!! CONGRATS TO MY @penguins! #StanleyCup S/O: @GeorgeParros & @ViolentGentlemen for the lucky gear!
44.7k Likes, 562 Comments – JOE MANGANIELLO (@joemanganiello) on Instagram: “WE ARE THE EAST!!! CONGRATS TO MY @penguins! #StanleyCup S/O: @GeorgeParros & @ViolentGentlemen…”
True Blood hunk and Sofia Vergara’s other half has been very eloquent on why he chooses to stand up for LGBTQ rights – because of how he’s seen his friends treated.
The Magic Mike star said: ‘I’ve never had to suffer any of those difficulties myself, but somewhere along the way I decided to open my big mouth and use my platform to fight for all of the people to feel free to be who they are no matter where they are and be able to share their life and love with whomever their heart sees fit to love.’
He added: ‘I choose to fight for a world where equality is a reality, not just a dream.’