The Most Important LGBTQ+ Thinkers of All Time

List Rules
Vote up the LGBTQ+ individuals who made the biggest mark on the world.

From writers to philosophers to activists, there are plenty of LGBTQ+ thinkers whose thoughts and ideas have shaped the world over the years. These individuals were hugely influential in terms of opening up minds and encouraging bolder critical thought. Who is the most important LGBT+ thinker out there? Vote below to help decide! 

Some LGTB leaders in history were open and honest about their sexual orientation or gender identity, which helped change minds and make the public more open and accepting. Harvey Milk, for example, amplified public awareness of gay rights during his time in the San Francisco political scene. LGBT writers, like Virginia Woolf and James Baldwin, often tackled topical issues in their work and their contributions still impact how we think today. There are plenty of other influential LGBT people who work in an array of fields from science to philosophy to medicine to music. Vote up the most important LGBT thinkers of all time below and feel free to add anyone you think is missing. 

Ranked by
  • Alan Turing
    Mathematician, Logician, Computer scientist
    51 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1912-1954)
    • Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom
    Alan Mathison Turing (; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in ...more
  • James Baldwin
    Activist, Poet, Novelist
    34 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)
    • Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York
    James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, playwright, and activist. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore intricacies of racial, ...more
  • Oscar Wilde
    Poet, Journalist, Writer
    43 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 46 (1854-1900)
    • Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most ...more
  • Plato
    Mathematician, Physicist, Writer
    12 votes
    • Birthplace: Classical Athens
    Plato (; PLAY-toe Greek: Πλάτων Plátōn, pronounced [plá.tɔːn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder ...more
  • Leonardo da Vinci
    Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist
    12 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)
    • Birthplace: Vinci, Italy
    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is ...more
  • Michel Foucault
    Sociologist, Writer, Philosopher
    36 votes
    • Age: Dec. at 57 (1926-1984)
    • Birthplace: Poitiers, France
    Paul-Michel Foucault (UK: FOO-koh, US: foo-KOH, French: [pɔl miʃɛl fuko]; 15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), generally known as Michel Foucault, was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social ...more