British LGBTQ+ Icons

In the first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season 2, The 12 queens were asked to design and create a runway look that paid homage to a UK gay icon. We then went on to ask you on our Instagram who you would choose for this Maxi Challenge…

The definition? “Someone from the UK who has inspired you be they queer or an ally, living or resting in perfection.”

Diana Spencer

The reason so many people identify Diana so strongly with the queer community was because she never shied away from queer issues. Her work to break stigma within the AIDs crisis proved her to be an ally, and she made a bold statement by shaking the hand of a patient without any gloves.  Also a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community feel they understand Diana’s situation in the Royal Family, with her feeling like a constant outsider. 

Amy Winehouse 

An icon and an idol. Raw and real. However you may define a gay icon, Amy deserved a spot. 

Elton John 

LGBTQ+ advocate and icon, undoubtedly one of the most famous openly gay musicians of all time.”Be proud of who you are. There are so many wonderfully diverse people in the world. Straight people, gay people, transgender people. We’re all God’s kids”.

The Spice Girls

For many, a gay icon represents who they grew up watching and listening too on TV – and many grew up with the Spice Girls. The girlband were all about empowerment and being their true-selves. Something the girl power band may not have realised is how, by doing that, they helped a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community to accept themselves. 

Paul O’ Grady / Lilly Savage 

Achieving success in the London gay scene during the 80s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage, Paul O’Grady went on to take her mainstream in the 90s. Lilly appeared on Drag Race when contestant Ellie Diamond portrayed her during the gay icon challenge.

Nicola Adams  


Nicola Adams is officially Great Britain’s most successful female boxer! In 2020, she made history, taking part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing as part of the first same sex dancing couple. Nicola is an inspiration and successful LGBTQ+ athlete and someone that people really look up to!

So that is our list of British LGBTQ+ icons – who else would you add?