Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Men & Women Who Made 2008: A Year To Remember With The 14th Annual Out 100

Once a year OUT magazine publishes a list of gay people who have come out and are making a difference. Below is an excerpt from The Men & Women Who Made 2008.

In the GOLDEN AGE of HOLLYWOOD, icons were created. America's dreams and desires were writ large, creating a new kind of shared experience where, even amid our setbacks and defeats, anything seemed possible. Into this era of exuberance we cast the Out 100, our unashamedly subjective list of the gay men and women who moved culture -- ours and the culture at large -- over the past year. These artists, activists, athletes, and aesthetes embody triumph, daring, ingenuity, and integrity.

Stylemakers of the Year: 
Dean & Dan Caten
Identical twins Dean and Dan Caten, founders and designers of Dsquared2, are best known for their low-lower-lowest–cut jeans and their explosive runway spectacles. The Toronto-born brothers, touted for bringing the party back to men's fashion, launched their men's collection from Milan in 1994, and nearly a decade later introduced women's wear and men's underwear lines. Their much buzzed-about spring 2009 runway show in Milan featured sleek suits and sportswear with preppy silhouettes and Run-DMC–era hip-hop flourishes on a nearly all nonwhite cast, while a runway show in 2003 included Christina Aguilera stripping the clothes off male models. When asked by the BBC to define their clothing lines, both said, almost in unison (which happens not infrequently), "It's hot and chic sportswear—but it's us." In 2008 their Hong Kong flagship store opened, joining their brand boutiques in Milan, Capri, Kiev, and Istanbul.

Corey Benton & Jamal Brown
Friends and competitors Cory Benton (left) and Jamal Brown (right) have faced similar challenges on and off the track. As a freshman liberal-arts student at Columbia, Benton was a member of a 4x400-meter relay team that set a new school record at NCAA Regionals and was part of an Ivy League championship–winning four-man 400-meter relay team. He came out the summer before his sophomore year, and his experience prompted him to organize an association for LGBT athletes at Columbia.

Jamal Brown's track career at Dartmouth was equally distinguished, with him medaling on several Ivy League championship relay teams. A recognized leader on Dartmouth's 100-plus-member track team, Brown also represented Dartmouth Athletics at the 2007 NCAA Leadership Conference. A recent graduate, Brown will be working as a legal assistant for the Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. He will continue to train and race with the Greater Boston Track Club, with an eye toward the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany.

Rachel Maddow It's been almost as big a year for Rachel Maddow as it's been for the political world she covers in her nightly MSNBC show. The 35-year-old Rhodes scholar, a TV novice but veteran radio commentator (with Air America since its 2004 founding), seems to be having the time of her life. "I think of this as a chance to talk about the news on TV for an hour each day," she told the Los Angeles Times. "How awesome is that?"

Pretty awesome indeed, according to the audience response: Hers was the most successful launch of a new show on MSNBC, doubling that channel's viewership in her time slot from 800,000 to 1.7 million viewers. "I'm a big lesbian who looks like a man," she told one interviewer. "I am not, like, Anchor Babe, and I'm never gonna be."

Denis O'Hare & Heather Matarazzo
Things have been hectic for Denis O'Hare (left), who won a Best Actor Tony in 2003 for his performance in Take Me Out. After appearing in Oscar-winner Michael Clayton and Golden Globe–winner Charlie Wilson's War in 2007, he took on the recurring character Travis March on ABC's Brothers & Sisters, and has just appeared in The Changeling opposite Angelina Jolie and as Harvey Milk's virulently homophobic foil, California state senator John Briggs, in Milk. Most recently he filmed a starring role in An Englishman in New York, the Quentin Crisp biopic costarring John Hurt and Cynthia Nixon.

Following a busy year with feature work in Hostel: Part II, a recurring guest role on The L Word, and a starring role on Logo's Exes & Ohs, Heather Matarazzo (right) and her girlfriend, musician Carolyn Murphy, proposed marriage to each other in a dual ring-swapping engagement. In the fall Matarazzo had a guest role on TV's Life on Mars, and her upcoming projects include a feature appearance in New York, I Love You and Mangus! with Fat Girls' Ash Christian.

More fabulous pictures and profiles from The Men & Women Who Made 2008 HERE