The Most Powerful Quotes From LGBT Icons And Allies In 2013

Inspiring words from the people who helped make history this year.

Noah Graham/NBAE / Getty Images / Via

Basketball player Brittney Griner came out just before she was drafted into the WNBA.

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Tony Merevick / Via

“The Civil Rights Agenda and our team is behind you and is working our little butts off to make sure that Illinois is the next state that recognizes all of our families,” said LGBT rights activist Rick Garcia at a rally in January. Watch full speech here.

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Roger Kisby / Getty Images for iHeartradio / Via

Musicians Tegan and Sara Quin made a statement on marriage equality while participating in the NOH8 campaign.

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AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster / Via

Edith Windsor spoke out in the lead up to her case in The Supreme Court against the Defense of Marriage Act, a fight which she would win.

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Trans media personality B. Scott was involved in a multi-million gender identity discrimination lawsuit against BET this year.

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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters / Reuters / Via

Hillary Clinton spoke out concerning her stance on LGBT equality in the United States.

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Lester Cohen / WireImage / Via

Singer Elton John performed a concert in Moscow this December. On stage, the singer spoke out against Russia’s anti-gay laws and made a special dedication to 23-year-old Vladislav Tornovoi.

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Handout . / Reuters / Reuters / Via

Actor Stephen Fry wrote a powerful and moving essay on the struggle of LGBT people in Russia.

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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters / Reuters / Via

President Obama delivered a thirty-minuty speech honoring and commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s “I Have A Dream” speech.

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Kiyoshi Ota / Getty / Via

Wentworth Miller came out by turning down a invite to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.

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Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / Via

Evan Rachel Wood spoke candidly this year on her bisexuality.

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Rapper Angel Haze spoke to us in her lyrics when she put her own spin on Macklemore’s “Same Love.”

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Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters / Reuters / Via

Pope Francis made headlines when he disagreed with the Catholic Church’s past focus on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

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Adam Hunger / Reuters / Via

NBA basketball player Jason Collins on becoming the first out NBA star.

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In an April cover story, Time declared that “Gay Marriage Already Won.” Kristen Ellis-Henderson would later speak out on what it meant to be on the cover.

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Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for GLAAD / Via

Actress Laverne Cox stole the show in Neflix’s highly anticipated new series Orange Is the New Black, portraying a trans inmate at a women’s prison.

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Larry Busacca / Getty Images / Via

Madonna attacked the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policies by wearing their uniform to the GLAAD Awards and delivering a 12-minute speech.

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Trans former Navy Seal Kristin Beck had to wait until retiring from service in 2011 to go public with her “whole new life.” She published a book detailing her transformation.

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What words inspired you this year?

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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