LGBTQ Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Jump to: navigation, search
Presidential Medal of Freedom

In the United States, the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom is bestowed by the President as the highest civilian honour in the country. Formally established in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy as a revision to an award previously given for wartime service, it is now presented annually to a select group of individuals who have made historic and notable contributions to their professions, their country, their culture, and the world at large. As of December 2015, there have been 577 recipients of the award.

We have identified 17 LGBTQ individuals throughout history who have received the award. As is to be expected, all are household names in the United States and many are also well known around the world. In general, the majority of these individuals emanate from the entertainment, arts, and political activist professions, with several from the scientific community. It is noteworthy that their publicly-known sexual orientation did not preclude them from this esteemed award.

No doubt, the presentation of such awards often reflect the biases and politics of the presenter themselves - ie. the President. Nevertheless, the awarding of this group of individuals does present a recognition of particular achievement and public acceptance. All of these individuals can be considered icons of the LGBTQ community, and indeed there are many allies of the community who have also been presented with the award.

Simply click on their names to access each individuals' fascinating biography:

See Also

Further Reading/Research

Share on Facebook