Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

In pictures: Gay Icons

Virginia Woolf

The first portrait exhibition to celebrate the contribution of gay icons in history is going on display at the National Portrait Gallery.

KD Lang

The photos were selected by a panel of 10 people, including KD Lang, Elton John, Sir Ian McKellen and Sandi Toksvig.

Rosa Bonheur

The selectors were asked to choose people - dead or alive - who had inspired them or was a personal icon to them.

Quentin Crisp

Quentin Crisp became a gay icon in the 1970s after the publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant.

Harvey Milk

US politician Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. He was so influential a film has just been made about him.

Sylvia Townsend

Novelist and poet Sylvia Towsend fell in love with a woman and they lived together for more than 30 years.

Joe Dallesandro

US actor Joe Dallesandro appeared in several of Andy Warhol's films. He identified himself as being bisexual and has been married three times.

Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell co-founded the gay and lesbian campaign group Outrage!

Alan Turing

British mathematician Alan Turing was alive when homosexuality was illegal. He was prosecuted after it was discovered he was gay.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

The exhibition, which runs from 2 July to 18 October, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York.

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