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A gay icon is a public figure (historical or present) who is embraced by many within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.
Some of the main qualities of a gay icon often include glamour, flamboyance, strength through adversity, and androgyny in presentation. Such icons can be of any sexual orientation or gender; if LGBT, they can be out or not. Although most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, some have expressed opposition, advocating against a perceived "homosexual agenda".
Historically, icons were typically elevated to such status because their sexual orientation remains a topic of debate among historians. Modern gay icons are predominantly female entertainers who commonly garner a large following within LGBT communities over the course of their careers.