What do William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Oscar Wilde have in common? For one thing, each of their works is most likely being dramatized somewhere in the world at any given moment. But there is a lesser known, far more significant common denominator: Shakespeare, Williams, and Wilde–arguably three of the greatest playwrights who ever lived–were gay. They join ninety-seven other entrants on an esteemed ranking of men and women who–by action or example–have allowed homosexuals to take their place in the world. Encompassing 2500 years and a profusion of professions, some were married with children, closeted until the day they died; others freely acknowledged their sexuality–and more than a few suffered for it. At once uplifting and heartwrenching, these one hundred portraits capture the real people behind the legends and affirm that gay men and lesbians have been an integral part of history from ancient times through the present day–ensuring that those who will follow in their footsteps face a future that is brighter than ever before.