Dalida, an Egyptian singer of Italian origin, had a career-long gay following that extended out of Paris and well into the Middle East.
In the years since her death, her iconic status has not diminished. "), which was later covered in 2002 by Thalía, was a hit for the 1980s Spanish band, becoming a gay anthem for the Hispanophone LGBT community.
sick to death of the subterfuge and pretenses." She had crossover appeal as a gay icon, as well, at least for French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist Jean Genet, who was fascinated by her story.
He included a reenactment of her execution in his 1947 play The Maids.
Such icons can be of any sexual orientation or gender; if LGBT, they can be out or not.
Although most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, some have expressed opposition, advocating against a perceived "homosexual agenda".
Modern gay icons are predominantly female entertainers who commonly garner a large following within LGBT communities over the course of their careers.
Though Crawford had been a notable film star during the 1930s and 1940s, according to David Bret, author of Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr, it was not until her 1953 film Torch Song that she was seen as a "complete gay icon, primarily because it was shot in color." Bret explains that seeing the actress' red hair, dark eyes and "Victory Red" lips linked her to "gaydom's other sirens: Dietrich, Garland, Bankhead, Piaf, and new recruits Marilyn Monroe and Maria Callas." Actress Lucille Ball was also a prominent icon from this period.
In Lee Tannen's book I Loved Lucy: My Friendship with Lucille Ball, the author describes his experience when he witnessed Lucille Ball being labeled a gay icon for the first time by a mutual friend.
Wilde, an Irish writer and poet, was about as "out of the closet" as was possible for the late 19th century, and is himself considered to be a gay icon. Rumors about her relationships with women circulated in pornographic detail by anti-royalist pamphlets before the French Revolution.
In Victorian England, biographers who idealized the Ancien Régime made a point of denying the rumours, but at the same time romanticised Marie Antoinette's "sisterly" friendship with the Princesse de Lamballe as—in the words of an 1858 biography—one of the "rare and great loves that Providence unites in death." Allusions to her appearance were made in early 20th century lesbian literature—most notably Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness—where the gay playwright Jonathan Brockett describes Marie Antoinette and de Lamballe as "poor souls...