2021 Icons

  1. Susan B. Anthony
  2. W.H. Auden
  3. Frank Bruni
  4. Frédéric Chopin
  5. David Cicilline
  6. Mart Crowley
  7. Ashley Diamond
  8. Alice Dunbar-Nelson
  9. Carlos Elizondo
  10. Althea Garrison
  11. R.C. Gorman
  12. LZ Granderson
  13. Bob Hattoy
  14. Jerry Herman
  15. Janis Ian
  16. Karine Jean-Pierre
  17. Janis Joplin
  18. Liberace
  19. Claude McKay
  20. Stacey Milbern
  21. Shannon Minter
  22. Janelle Monáe
  23. Javier Morgado
  24. Henry Muñoz III
  25. Johnnie Phelps
  26. Little Richard
  27. Swe Zin Htet
  28. Mark Takano
  29. Ritchie Torres
  30. Mary Trump
  31. Darren Walker

Elaine Noble


b. January 22, 1944

“I was elected in spite of being gay.”

Elaine Noble served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two terms starting in 1975, becoming the first-ever openly gay candidate elected to a state office. Noble says that during her controversial, groundbreaking campaign, her windows were shot out, her car was vandalized, and she and her staff suffered ongoing harassment. She still managed to win the election.  

“I was elected in an largely Irish Catholic town,” she later said. “There was a level of animosity in all strata of society against homosexuality.” Noble’s victory came three years before Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco supervisor, was shot to death.

In 1977 Noble was among the first delegation of gays and lesbians invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter. She helped form the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus with Ann Lewis, the sister of former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank. Frank was not out about his sexuality at the time. 

Noble ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate and went on to work for Boston Mayor Kevin White. At the time, she was romantically involved with the writer Rita Mae Brown. 

In 1986 Noble helped create the Pride Institute, an LGBT alcohol and drug treatment center in Minneapolis. She eventually moved to Florida to teach and sell real estate. She also became involved in the local Democratic Party. In 2009 she helped raise money to build the Palm Beach LGBT Center.