Just in time for gay pride, AOL/Blackvoices produces a thoughtful microsite devoted to Famous Gay African-Americans. The editors went beyond the usual suspects and devoted slides and bios to 29 contemporary and historical men and women, and, some of the choices were surprising. On the historical side, there is Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, as well as women such as the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, author Octavia Butler, and singers Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. The sexuality of these women is often ignored by mainstream and black media, so their inclusion was commendable.
On the contemporary side, there are bios of Rod 2.0 faves such as Darryl Stephens, Billy Porter and Maurice Jamal, as well as producer/director Lee Daniels, Sheryl Swoopes, Angela Y. Davis, E. Lynn Harris, Kevin Aviance and many others. Several of the inclusions are questionable, such as The Wire's Felecia Snoop Pearson, who is openly lesbian and tells Jasmyne Cannick she has "no thoughts" on homophobia or anti-gay discrimination. Meanwhile, Jasmyne Cannick and Keith Boykin did not make the list.