Out Magazine has compile their 4th Annual “Power 50″ list – this one for 2010. What does “Power” mean in this list you ask? Well as they put it: “The richest, most influential, most feared gays and lesbians in the country [United States].” A little vague, but these are the criteria they look at:
There are some new additions to the list (Adam Lambert) and some people subtracted (Rosie O’Donnell). Of the fifty, the top ten are listed below (along with what the magazine wrote about each, justifying their position on the list).
Colorado congressman Polis’s place in LGBT history was guaranteed when he became the first out gay man to be elected to the House in 2008. As you’d expect from a man who made his first fortune on the web, he makes energetic use of it now that heís elected: his congress-focused website is bursting with voice-clips, video, reports on what Polis has done, and news stories. All this by 34 — Polis is one to keep a close eye on.
As with anyone invested in progress, it’s been a year of victories and frustrations for the first out gay woman elected to the House of Representatives. Baldwin celebrated the passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the credit card accountability act she sponsored was signed into law in February. But pro-gay provisions she added to Obama’s health care bill were cut, and the employment nondiscrimination act, which Baldwin is cosponsoring with Barney Frank, remains mired in Congress.
This year the Human Rights Campaign celebrates its 30th anniversary. As president since 2005, Solmonese oversees the largest LGBT group in the country, numbering more than 750,000 members. Despite criticism because the president does not support gay marriage per se, the HRC hosted Obama at its 2009 annual dinner, which preceded the National Equality March in Washington in October. The event garnered much-needed coverage in mainstream media and momentum and counted Lady Gaga among its guests.
NPH is becoming as well-known a trio of initials as JFK and YSL. Hosting the Emmys, the Tonys, and the Oscars, and serving as a guest judge on American Idol, the former boy MD is, as they say, staging a 360-degree integrated platform. In addition to his role on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, which has earned him two Golden Globe noms as well as three Emmy nods, the 36-year-old has an upcoming guest spot on Glee and three movies scheduled for 2010. And if anyone can make the just-announced live-action Smurf movie a bona fidehit, it’s him.
His personal fortune is secure (on Forbes’s latest billionaires list, he’s number 828 with a personal wealth of $1.2 billion), but the 68-year-old InterActiveCorp. chairman remains restless. This year, IAC’s The Daily Beast continued to entrench itself online, growing in traffic and buzz; Expedia swung to its first profit ever (nearly $300 million); and Diller signed a deal to develop content with Ben Silverman, the former NBC executive. His latest venture, InstantAction, aims to eliminate DVD video games by delivering complex gaming experiences online
Lambert shattered the glass closet of American Idol, arguably ruining the show itself in the process (this season’s mealymouthed class merely played catch-up), and his kinky American Music Awards performance forced ABC to break out its rule book. His Rolling Stone cover was the mag’s best seller of 2009, and midrange domestic debut sales of For Your Entertainment are only the launching pad for an international career. Who did we talk about before?
Like Obama, her ratings have declined since the end of the presidential campaign, eroding her one-time lead over CNN’s Larry King, but Maddow remains the most compelling voice of liberal dissent on television, memorably mocking the tea party movement, for example, over their obsession with “teabagging.” When asked by The Washington Post whether she was biased when it came to issues such as gays in the military, she replied, “I can’t do the show as a non-gay person. I don’t have that option.”
3. Anderson Cooper
CNN’s Cooper threw himself full-force into covering January’s Haitian earthquake with his usual journalistic rigor, but the sheer scope of the disaster soon revealed a tender side to the steely news anchor that sparked tabloid rumors (quickly dispelled) that he and his companion, New York club owner Benjamin Maisani, were adopting a Haitian child.
As Washington’s highest-ranking gay politician — and one of the bluntest of any stripe — the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has overseen the dispersal of the bank bailout and economic stimulus, dispatching brush-clearing bitchery along the way (at one town hall meeting, he asked a universal health care opponent, “Ma’am, on what planet do you spend most of your time?”). Unafraid to break rank, he’s spoken out against the health care bill, advocated additional stimulus, and emerged as a rare political creature: a progressive with a visible spine.
Since DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul as a judge on American Idol in February, millions upon millions of viewers are getting a double dose of the hugely popular talk show host and 12-time Emmy winner. The American Express and Covergirl pitchwoman’s reach is nearly unparalleled, especially after Oprah Winfrey’s announcement that she will be ending her show in 2011. A passionate advocate for marriage equality, an avid opponent of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and staunch defender of animal rights, DeGeneres’s enormous platform is many an American’s gain.