I just caught this story in the paper this morning. At a ceremony at the Art Gallery of NSW last night social networking site SameSame announced their list of Australia's 25 most influencial gays and lesbians. Results were apparently tallied from thousands of votes from both outside and within the gay community.
A pdf of all the winners is here. It's a varied list, with the famous and the not so well known. Adam Sutton, the gay cowboy biographer I met at a book signing, and the fabulous musician, "Hedwig & The Angry Inch Star" (and soon to be starring in "The Rocky Horror Show") iOta make the list. As does Justice Kirby who I met at a group dinner at an AIDS conference many years ago, local drag queen Mitzi Macintosh who I have met through a friend and one person who's sister I'm friends with. (Gee, guess I'm better connected than I gave myself credit for!)
I don't know how usefull these sorts of awards are, but I guess I would argue that visibility is a good thing, from my point of view. Some of the award recipients were being awarded for that, being open about their sexuality in their very public lives, and others for working directly with the gay community. These sorts of lists always start discussions, and to be honest I think it would be nice if we didn't have to award people purely for being visible in the public eye.
However, in the world we currently live in there is still value in being open and noticed. To let people know that we are everywhere!