21 celebrities you didn’t know were patrons of LGBT charities

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Many charities feature celebrity patrons who support and promote their aims – it’s one way of getting some attention to a cause.

Some of these celebrity supporters are obvious but some are more surprising, perhaps.

Check out the list below of the stars who are doing their bit to help promote LGBT causes and help LGBT people.

1. Sting – Elton John AIDS Foundation

Sting performs on stage
Former lead singer of The Police, Sting is a noted patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sting and his wife Trudie Styler have been supporters since the beginning of the foundation and are prominent at many of its events.

2. Jennifer Lopez – Human Rights Campaign

Jennifer Lopez attends NBC Universal's Upfront, 2017

Jennifer Lopez is well known for her humanitarian work with the Lopez Family Foundation, but Lopez is also a documented patron of the Human Rights Campaign.

For her work with the campaign, she was given the Ally for Equality award in 2013.

3. Donatella Versace – Elton John AIDS Foundation

Donatella Versace attends the 19th annual amfAR New York Gala

Italian fashion designer and business woman Donatella Versace is a well-established patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, collaborating on projects with Sir Elton throughout their twenty-year friendship.

in 2016, Donatella worked on a special project to raise funds for the charity’s work.

4. Jennifer Hudson (Human Rights Campaign)

Jennifer Hudson at Hairspray Live, 2017

The singer and actress has been notable in her support of the LGBT+ community, working with the Human Rights Campaign on their “Turn it up for Change” initiative.

The music video to her hit song “‘I Still Love You!” featured a gay couple getting married, in support of the successful campaign to bring marriage equality to every state in America.

Earlier this year, she performed at London’s G-A-Y bar to a captivated crowd. 

5. Oprah Winfrey (GLAAD and Born this Way Foundation)

Oprah Winfrey in Sydney, 2015

Television deity Oprah Winfrey is a noted supporter of GLAAD, vocalising her support for their annual Spirit Day, a day dedicated to tackling homophobic bullying in schools.

She has won multiple media awards from GLAAD due to her sensitive and timely content on LGBT+ issues.

In 2012, Winfrey helped launch the Born this Way Foundation with Lady Gaga, a charity aimed at improving the lives of teenagers, particularly LGBT+ teens.

Oprah has been an LGBT+ ally for many years, hosting a same-sex wedding in 1991.

6. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Human Rights Campaign)

The Modern Family and Broadway star has supported the work of the Human Rights Campaign for many years and is a vocal supporter of marriage equality.

He donated $10,000 to early attempts for equal marriage in Australia.

In addition to his work with the Human Rights Campaign, Ferguson was named celebrity ambassador for the LGBT+ community by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

7. Tracey Emin (Terrence Higgins Trust)

Tracey Emin poses with a piece of art

Noted British artist Tracey Emin is a regular supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust, prominently attending their events.

She has also been a vocal critic of churches that exclude LGBT+ people, writing: “I would say that all adults should be allowed to marry in church in the eyes of God – regardless of sex or gender.

“Love should transcend all; the promise of devotion to another, to love and honour, for better or worse, in sickness and health.”

8. Elizabeth Hurley (Elton John AIDS Foundation)

Elizabeth Hurley at an event, 2017

Elizabeth Hurley is an actress and producer, recently known for her work on the E! show The Royals.

She has the rare honour of being a patron who has attended nearly every event the Elton John AIDS Foundation has hosted since 1994.

9. Anne Hathaway (Human Rights Campaign)

Anne Hathaway at an event, 2015

The Les Miserables and Devil Wears Prada actress has been a patron of the Human Rights Campaign for many years, supporting their boycott of the state of Georgia in response to an anti-LGBT+ bill.

Anne Hathaway continued this allyship by selling her wedding photos and donating some of the proceeds to equal marriage charities.

10. Tom Daley – Switchboard

Tom Daley poses with his gold medal, 2017

Recently-married diving star Tom Daley has lent his support to London based charity Switchboard, who provide advice and support for LGBT+ people in times of need.

Switchboard is the oldest LGBT+ telephone helpline in the United Kingdom, being founded way back in 1974.

11. Titus Burgess – Human Rights Campaign

Titus Burgess speaks onstage at the Logo's 2017 Trailblazer Honours.
Star of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Titus Burgess is a longstanding patron of the Human Rights Campaign.

Honoured with the HRC’s Visibility Award in 2015, the singer and actor has been a long standing advocate for LGBT rights.

Back in 2016, Burgess fronted a public service announcement with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

12. Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels (NoH8)

DMC at a charity day, New York

Darryl McDaniels, best known as one of the founding members of hip-hop pioneers Run-D.M.C, is a patron of the charity NoH8.

McDaniels has been vocal in highlighting the ways in which hip-hop can be intensely homophobic and hypocritical.

He onced ask an interviewer “If hip-hop won’t respect women, how can you expect it to respect a gay man?”

13. Jimmy Carr – Elton John Aids Foundation

Jimmy Carr speaks at the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe

Comedian and 8 out of 10 Cats presenter Jimmy Carr is a frequent supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, often spotted at fundraisers for the charity.

Carr openly supported the campaign for marriage equality back in 2012.

14. Sir Richard Branson – Terrence Higgins Trust

Richard Branson speaks at the 'We Are The Future' gala, 2016

Entrepreneur Richard Branson has been a long-time supporter of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Sir Richard Branson has supported LGBT+ rights individually and with his businesses.

The Virgin group openly support LGBT+ employees and have boycotted countries with anti-LGBT laws.

15. Bruce Springsteen – Human Rights Campaign

Bruce Springsteen performs in Sydney, 2017

Bruce Springsteen is a patron of the Human Rights Campaign and has been notable in his support for the LGBT community.

Springsteen was praised for cancelling shows in North Carolina last April in protest of the anti-trans bathroom bill.

When asked to comment, Springsteen said that “some things are more important than a rock show”.

16. Martin Clunes – Terrence Higgins Trust

Martin Clunes poses with his OBE, 2015

Actor Martin Clunes, best known for portraying the miserly Doc Martin, has supported the Terrence Higgins Trust for many years.

He has spoken publically about his support, assisting in video campaigns for the trust.

17. Julie Hesmondhalgh – Albert Kennedy Trust

Julie Hasmondhalgh attends the opening of 'The Play That Goes Wrong' in 2015

Joining with other patrons such as Sir Ian McKellen, Julie Hesomdhalgh is a well-established patron of the Albert Kennedy Trust.

Best known for her transgender character Haley in Coronation Street, Hesmondhalgh also played a recurring character in the Russell T Davies series Cucumber.

18. Gary Barlow – Elton John Aids Foundation

Gary Barlow performs at the One Love Manchester benefit concert

One-third of the current form of Take That has been a patron of the Elton John AIDS Foundation since 2014.

The same year, Barlow played at the Woodside End of Summer Party which raised funds to support 50,000 pregnant women to help prevent them passing HIV to their babies.

19. Whoopi Goldberg (Human Rights Campaign)

Whoopie Goldberg at the FGI rising star awards

Whoopi Goldberg, best known for her roles in The Color Purple and Sister Act, along with her regular contribution to The View, is a patron of the Human Rights Campaign.

She was heavily involved in the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality video campaign in 2011.

The HRC honoured her work with an Ally for Equality award in 2013.

20. Sally Field – Human Rights Campaign

Sally Field attends the 2017 Tony Awards

Sally Field has been very outspoken about her support of her gay son.

She’s also been a loud supporter on the wider topic of LGBT+ rights, so it was not surprising when Field was given the Ally for Equality Award in 2012.

She backs up this support with her patronage of the Human Rights Campaign.

21. George Clooney (Human Rights Campaign)

George Clooney at Cannes Film Festival 2016

The actor and philanthropist is a patron of many charities, including his own Clooney Foundation for Justice.

George Clooney has been an outspoken ally to the LGBT+ community, supporting the work of the HRC.

In a famed interview, Clooney said to Advocate: “Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a sh*t.”