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Adam Polaski

Choosing This Year's LGBT 'Game-Changers'

Filed By Adam Polaski | October 14, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Andrej Pejic, Andrew Cuomo, Chaz Bono, Dan Savage, Game Change, It Gets Better, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Lady Gaga

GameChangers.jpgThis week The Huffington Post has selected its semi-finalist "Game-Changers" for 2011, encouraging readers to vote for the most influential leaders, movers, and shakers in politics, entertainment, culture, technology, food, activism, style, and a number of additional categories. The site features slideshows of each category and allows users to vote for which person in each subsection merits the title of "Ultimate Game Changer."

A number of LGBT and allied people were selected as "Game-Changers," and they're quickly working their way to the to top of their respective slideshows.

Dan Savage has been singled out as an important "Impact and Education" figure for his work on the "It Gets Better" campaign. In recent years, the LGBT movement hasn't experienced anything as pervasively mainstream as the campaign, and despite its critics who say the message is not powerful enough, it's resulted in a broadening of anti-bullying efforts nationwide.

Maybe one of the biggest surprises in the slideshow roundup is the current No. 1 Style ranking for Andrej Pejic, who made a splash this summer with a controversial appearance on the cover of Dossier and revitalized discussion of androgyny. The model has found success on the fashion runways and has been championed by some members of the LGBT community for challenging the gender binary.

Of course, Andrew Cuomo is also recognized for his influence in passing marriage equality in New York, one of the biggest gay rights victories of the year. Cuomo, the governor of New York, made same-sex marriage a priority when he was elected, and he managed to encourage a successful campaign that enacted a policy widely supported in the state.

So what other LGBT and allied game-changers are missing from the list? Lady Gaga for her gender-bending "Jo Calderone" character in "You & I" and at the Video Music Awards? Jennifer Finney Boylan for becoming the first trans columnist for The New York Times? Chaz Bono for dancing into the mainstream media on Dancing with the Stars? Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple? Sound off below!

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Angela Brightfeather | October 14, 2011 11:57 AM

How about TAVA, Transgender American Veteran's Association, that carried out an eight year campaign behind closed doors to guarantee Transgender Veterans the same medical rights in the VA system as all American Veterans? This spring, that mission was achieved when the new directive from the White House was issued which insures that right in every VA facility.

Om Kalthoum | October 14, 2011 3:25 PM

A fashion model as a "game changer"? No thanks. I looked at some of his portfolio shots. He looks like a starving stick figure in some of them. Meet the new androgynous anorexia, just like the old?