BET’s List of Who’s Who in Black Gay America

bet_wandasykesLast week, BET released it’s list of “who’s who” in black gay america. Included on the list of thirty-three people were Anthony Woods, Wanda Sykes, Lawrence Webb, and Wilson Cruz.

Pics and bio of 13 of the 33.

bet_anthonywoodsAnthony Woods The West Point graduate led two combat units in Iraq and received a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government before being discharged for coming out as gay. He is running in a special election in California’s 10th Congressional District where he grew up. If elected, he would become the first Black openly gay representative in Congress.

bet_nebluvNeb Luv While presently pursuing a solo recording deal, she has achieved well-deserved respect and recognition for her association with Warren G, her producer on Da 5 Footaz LP released on Restless Records. Neb appeared on the “Set it Off” soundtrack single, “The Heist” and the “Jason’s Lyric” soundtrack single, “Walk Away.” She also appeared in the Def Pictures feature film, “The Show” and has toured internationally as the opening act for Warren G and The Fugees, and appeared on “BET’s ComicView.”

bet_lawrencewebbLawrence Webb Webb is the first openly gay African American elected in the state of Virginia. Lawrence was elected to the Falls Church City Council in 2008 after his first run for political office.

bet_swoopesSheryl Swoopes Sheryl Denise Swoopes was the first player to be signed in the WNBA when it was created. She has won three Olympic gold medals and is a three-time WNBA most valuable player. Frequently referred to as the “female Michael Jordan,” Swoopes is famous for her offensive and defensive skills. In 2005, she averaged 18.6 points, 4.3 assists, 2.65 steals, and she shot 85 percent from the free-throw line while averaging 37.1 minutes playing time per game.

bet_wandasykesWanda Sykes Sykes used her anger and disappointment in California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage there, as an opportunity to come out. “I am proud to be gay!” Wanda declared at a gay rally in Las Vegas last year. She also announced to the world that she’s married to a woman. This year, she became the first African American and the first “out” lesbian to get the role as featured entertainer for the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

bet_jassstewartJass Stewart In 2005, Jass Stewart ran a highly touted campaign for mayor of Brockton, Mass. As a first-time candidate, he earned 44 percent of the vote and increased voter turnout by 19 percent. In addition to being one of the youngest executives in the history of Blackside (producers of the public television series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years), Stewart also taught classes at Boston University.

bet_dougspearmanDoug Spearman Spearman’s career as an actor includes work on such TV shows as “Star Trek Voyager,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “The Hughleys,” “Charmed,”and “Girlfriends.” Spearman recently co-starred on the LOGO hit show Noah’s Arc, in which he played Chance Counter, an out black gay college professor.

bet_keithboykinKeith Boykin Keith Boykin is the editor of He is a New York Times best-selling author of three books, and a frequent political commentator on CNN.

bet_sabrinasojournerSabrina Sojourner Sojourner is the first open lesbian to be elected to the United States Congress. Having been elected by a whopping 83 percent of the vote, Sabrina represented the District of Columbia in the U.S. House of Representatives, where in her non-voting position she lobbied not only for Statehood for the District of Columbia, but impacted other legislators on a whole spectrum of issues. She served from 1997-1999.

bet_edenisesimmonsDenise Simmons Denise Simmons is the first African-American open lesbian to be elected mayor of an American city. Simmons, now leading Cambridge, Mass., after serving on the City Council since 2001, follows in the footsteps of former Mayor Ken Reeves. Reeves made history on a local and national levels, becoming Cambridge’s first African-American mayor and the nation’s first openly gay, Black mayor.

bet_hanifahwalidahHanifah Walidah Walidah is a hip-hop artist, playwright, actor, music video maker, and filmmaker. She is a part of the renowned Brooklyn Funk Essentials.

betdanaroneDana Rone Rone is the first Black lesbian elected in New Jersey when she won the first of two terms on Newark’s school board. She is currently serving a four-year term on the city council.

bet_wilsoncruzWilson Cruz Actor Wilson Cruz came out at the age of 19 and then went to Hollywood to try to start an acting career. He was successful, and has starred in a number of stage, TV and film productions.

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