The DS 50 – The Most Influential Gays 2011

14/08/2011 09:58


Over the next five weeks, Different Scene is counting down who we think are the most important gay people in the world of sport, entertainment and politics right now.

We’ve ranked them on how they’ve influenced other gay people and helped make a difference to those both in and out of the closet.

And because DS is all for equal opportunity, we’ve even included some non-gay folk who’ve helped make their fellow heterosexuals understand that our lives are just as acceptable as there’s.

This isn’t a list of the all-time most influential gay men and women; it’s a tribute to those who have made an impact over the last 12 months in their own special way.

And for that, we salute them.

50. Mark Feehily – Singer, Westlife
If we’d put money on one member of middle-of-the-road crooners Westlife being gay, it wouldn’t have been on Mark. But when he told The Sun in 2004 that he was gay and that he had a boyfriend, he helped set the standard for gay celebs in long-term monogamous relationships. Seven years later, Mark’s still with partner Kevin McDaid, an ex-pop star himself (he was in short-lived band V) turned photographer. And In 2010, they became engaged.
“Through the years of getting to the point where I wanted to come out, I had to go through every kind of emotion,” recalls Mark. “But I can honestly say that the day before I came out, I didn’t care what the reaction was going to be. That was the hardest point to get to.
“My sexuality doesn’t define me as a person, but it’s a huge part of anyone to be open about it.”

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