Top Ten LGBTQ People in History

The Top Ten
1 Frederick the Great

His relationship with von Katte was tragic. They planned to run away to Britain because Frederick's father would violently beat him. However, they were caught, and both were punished. Von Katte's punishment was death, and Frederick was forced by his father to watch his lover's execution.

During the execution, Frederick begged, "Please forgive me, my dear Katte, in God's name, forgive me!" Hans simply replied, "If I had a thousand lives, I would sacrifice them all for you. There is nothing to forgive, I die for you with joy in my heart!"

Von Katte's death deeply affected Frederick, leading him into a period of depression. Some historians believe this event contributed to his ruthlessness in battle.

2 Alexander von Humboldt

Prussian polymath Alexander von Humboldt led scientific expeditions to South America and Central Asia. He traveled with young companions, studying botany, geology, and geography.

Humboldt had many strong male friendships and romances with men, including Wilhelm Gabriel Wegener and Reinhardt von Haeften. To the latter, he declared, "Even if you must refuse me, treat me coldly with disdain, I should still want to be with you. The love I have for you is not just friendship or brotherly love, it is veneration."

3 Bayard Rustin

He was the main organizer of the Black civil rights movement, especially the March on Washington. He was openly gay but kept it out of the limelight.

4 Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.

English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist Isaac Newton developed the principles of modern physics, including the laws of motion. He also helped develop calculus and is credited as one of the great minds of the Scientific Revolution.

There has been speculation about him engaging in romantic relationships with his roommate John Wickens and Swiss mathematician Nicholas Fatio de Duillier.

5 Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

An orphan from the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, Alexander Hamilton is one of the seven Founding Fathers of the United States. He helped write 51 of the 85 articles in The Federalist Papers and was the first Secretary of the Treasury.

During the American Revolutionary War, as part of Washington's Continental Army, he met John Laurens. They shared a very intimate friendship, evident in the very suggestive letters Hamilton wrote to Laurens.

"Cold in my professions, warm in my friendships, I wish, my dear Laurens, to make it clear to you, through actions rather than words, that I love you."

A famous quote from one of Hamilton's letters to fellow soldier and abolitionist John Laurens.

6 Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel... read more

He was an aesthete and witty conversationalist who used subversive paradoxes in his plays. He had an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas while married with two kids and was later imprisoned for his homosexuality.

7 Emily Dickinson Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet . Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts .

Although part of a prominent family with strong ties to its community, Dickinson lived much of her life in reclusive isolation .

While Dickinson was a prolific... read more

She lived a very private life, secretly writing more than a thousand poems, characterized by lyrical intensity and paradoxes. She had an intimate relationship with Susan Gilbert Dickinson, to whom she wrote many passionate love letters.

8 Baron von Steuben

He was a Major General who helped train George Washington's Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Before this, he was convicted of sodomy in his country of Prussia.

He still engaged in homosexual activities with William North, Benjamin Walker, and Peter Stephen Du Ponceau while training the Continental Army.

9 Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen, often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children: his... read more
10 Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519) more commonly Leonardo da Vinci or simply Leonardo, was an Italian polymath whose areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy,... read more
The Contenders
11 Julie d'Aubigny

A famous 17th-century French opera singer who once took holy vows to enter a convent just so she could have sex with a friend who had become a nun. She also had a habit of seducing women at parties, which would lead their husbands to challenge her to a duel.

She was an expert duelist and killed ten men like this.

12 Selma Lagerlöf
13 Harvey Milk Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Tragically, he was killed the following year.
14 Greta Garbo Greta Garbo, born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson (18 September 1905 – 15 April 1990), was a Swedish-born American film actress during the 1920s and 1930s.

Garbo was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actress and received an honorary one in 1954 for her "luminous and unforgettable... read more
15 Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954), born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter known for her self-portraits.
16 Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.
17 We'wha

A Native American "two-spirit" biological man who dressed mainly in women's attire. Their ambiguous sexuality marked a special link to the spirit world.

An anthropologist invited them to Washington, DC, in 1866, where they were feted, photographed, and widely discussed.

18 Virginia Woolf Adeline Virginia Woolf, born Stephen (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941), known professionally as Virginia Woolf, was an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century.
19 Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a King of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty.
20 Jane Addams
21 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
22 Eleanor Roosevelt
23 Josephine Baker
24 Gertrude Stein
25 Richard Lionheart
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