Ultimate LGBT Icon Tournament: SEMINIFINALS
BY : JAMIE HYMAN & JEREMY WILLIAMS
APRIL 5, 2016
Well, well, well. In the penultimate round of voting in our Ultimate LGBT Icon tournament, things have certainly gotten interesting.
Fact: no matter the results of this round, the finals will pit a gay person against a straight person.
Fact: three out of four of the semi-finalists are women.
Fact: We canâ€™t wait to see who you choose to advance to the finals. Bracket and voting after the jump!
The race for most iconic diva and film star comes down to a pair of Jewish ladies who could have easily dominated in either category. Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand have both been superstars of gay circles for decades from bathhouses to ballrooms to Broadway; these ladies have gone above and beyond to show the community that they stand with them.
This isnâ€™t the first time these powerhouse divas have squared off. 25 years ago, they both released Oscar caliber films with strong, female leads. Midler was singing for the troops in For the Boys and Streisand was playing double roles as actress and director for The Prince of Tides. No clear winner came from that competition as Streisandâ€™s The Prince of Tides got seven nominations (yet none for Streisand herself) and For the Boys only got one nod (but that one was for Midlerâ€™s acting). Of course nobody won anything because it was 1991 and The Silence of the Lambs won everything.
Here we are, a quarter of a century later, and we will have a definitive winner. Will it be the calm, quiet and more introverted Streisand or the out, proud and very extrovert Milder? Let the voting begin!
Ellen DeGeneres vs. Harvey Milk
This semi-final battle pits the extremely likable and popular Ellen DeGeneres against the groundbreaking and iconic Harvey Milk.
The case for Ellen: She made history, too. When she came out on her television show 1997, she was a pioneer, making her sexuality mainstream in a way no other celebrity had done before. She fought for the chance to become the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on network TV and then felt the backlash, with her show ultimately canceled a season later. Since then, Ellen has arguably done more than any other icon to normalize being gay. She is an out lesbian who is invited into the living rooms of nearly four million viewers, every single day, and has done so more than 2,000 times. She is successful, award-winning and inarguably iconic.
The case for Harvey: For many LGBTs, Harvey Milk is the gay pioneer. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California and after his assassination, he became a martyr. In a time when LGBTs were abused, when Anita Bryantâ€™s voice was among the loudest, Milk represented hope. His legacy is crucial, and it persists to this day, his life the focus of an opera, a childrenâ€™s book and of course, an Oscar-winning film. His nephew, Stuart, carries on Milkâ€™s legacy with current-day activism and in 2009, Stuart accepted a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom on his uncleâ€™s behalf. Harvey Milk has been called a profit and a visionary and is considered one of the first to see a clear and bright future for gay people. He is iconic, there is not doubt about it. But is he the Ultimate LGBT Icon? Cast your vote and let us know!
To Vote: Click Here And Scroll Down