As Gay Pride month begins around the world with celebrations this weekend in Tel Aviv and Los Angeles (and next weekend in New York), we thought it might be the perfect time to salute the top 10 gay-Jewish celebrities who helped make 2012 more fabulous! They’re here, and they’re queer, get used to it!!
10. Omar Sharif Jr, Model/Actor
The grandson of Hollywood legend Omar Sharif, not by accident also called Omar Sharif, came out earlier this year in a big story in ‘Advocate’ magazine, not only as gay, but also as half-Jewish. “We’re not in Cairo anymore,” the Egyptian Calvin Klein model and actor said. Although his coming out didn’t really help him in his career (last we saw him was when he presented an award at the Oscars), but his bravery coming out definitely made waves this year.
9. Assi Azar, TV Personality
So far, this year has been fabulous for Israeli Big Brother host Assi Azar. Azar was chosen this year by the Israeli Consulate in America to lead a campaign explaining gay rights in Israel, and with the help of his documentary about coming out as gay he traveled across the country and talked about gay Jews and gays in Israel. Azar, who’s on the Top 100 Most Influential Gays in the World list, uses his power as a celebrity to be an advocate of human rights in Israel and in the US.
8. Ariel Foxman, Fashion Editor
Ariel Foxman is the editor of InStyle, the trusted style authority for over 10 million women and the leading fashion magazine in terms of newsstand sales, ad pages and reader affluence. Foxman, the first editor of the magazine, oversees the monthly publication, its 17 international editions, and brand extensions including InStyle.com, InStyle Hair, InStyle Makeover and InStyle books, and lately you might also see him on TV in Lifetime’s short-lived ‘Project Accessory’. If that’s not fabulous, what is?
7. Bryan Singer, Director/Producer
It’s no surprise that Bryan Singer is often found on the ‘power’ lists. The 47-year-old director and producer really had it going with the ‘X-Men’ movies, and the highly successful show ‘House’ that he co-produced. Singer often says that having grown up as a minority really affects his work. This year continues to be fab for Bryan, as he’s working on the next ‘X-Men’ movie for 2014, and also ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ for next year- both of them are destined to be major blockbusters.
6. Isaac Mizrahi, Fashion Designer
Isaac Mizrahi continues to be the most colorful judge on ‘Project Runway,’ but this year his TV presence has grown even more since he served as a Red Carpet correspondent for ‘Live! With Kelly’ at the Oscars. He has used his fame for a good cause, famously designeing fashionable condoms to promote safe sex, and also told a TV audience his personal story of bravery in how he endured bullying at Yeshiva High School.
5. Ivri Lider, Musician
This year has probably been the best for Israeli musician Ivri Lider. For years he was known by the gay-Jewish community as the most famous gay Israeli personality, but this year Lider took his career a few notches higher, when his new band ‘The Young Professionals’ who are certainly not afraid of showing their ‘gayness,’ signed deals with Universal Records and with Live Nation, and their new album was just released in Europe. Lider’s international career is definitely on its way up and you can be sure that we haven’t heard the last of him
4. Joel Simkhai, Gay App Entrepreneur
Three years ago, what would you say if we had told you that a smart-phone App could change your life? Famous app ‘Grindr,’ founded by Israeli-born Joel Simkhai, has definitely changed the global gay community forever, simply by Simkhai’s idea to combine a gay-dating site with GPS. The result is that wherever you are in the world, you can find out (and hang out with) the gays near you. Over the past year, this app has become a “must-have” by gay men everywhere in the world.
3. Adam Lambert, Musician
Adam Lambert has made history this year with his new album ‘Trespassing’. The American Idol alumnus became the first openly gay artist to score a #1 album on the American Billboard chart (both George Michael and Elton John had #1 albums, but they weren’t openly gay when they topped the chart). Having this achievement, Lambert turns now even gayer (if that’s possible) and with no doubt is considered as an icon for gay-teens of this generation.
2. Andy Cohen, TV Personality
Almost every American housewife is familiar with the name Andy Cohen by now. The Executive Vice President of Development at Bravo who actually invented the highly successful ‘The Real Housewives’ reality franchise, has turned into an on-camera talent himself with his talk show ‘Watch What Happens Live’, and recently also serves as a recurring commentator on CNN and other media outlets. He also hosts special events like Miss Universe. With his recent expansion into radio, Cohen plans on growing into an multi-media giant, and we think he deserves it.
1. Harvey Levin, TV Personality
If we need to justify choosing Harvey Levin as the top gay-Jewish personality for 2012, we’d need to explain in a few sentences his contribution to the Jewish and the gay communities – and there just isn’t enough space for that here! Levin, the mastermind behind the TV show and celebrity news website TMZ, contributes to the Jewish community and to Israel more than even he himself realizes, by putting at least one Jewish story on his daily show on Fox (to which we often refer as “the Jewiest show on TV”). Also, being openly gay, Levin has succeeded in breaking gay stereotypes simply by example: a comfortable, open, intellectual, Jewish, gay man.