03/31/2013 10:39 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Gay Icons: 25 Divas Who Have Been Embraced by Gay Culture

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From torch songs to club bangers to advocacy to empowerment to glamor that's out of this world, great divas have affected the gay community in any number of ways ever since Judy Garland sang about somewhere over the rainbow. A term was coined for those divas who have an impact on the gay community through entertainment and advocacy. Thus the "gay icon" was born.

A gay icon is a celebrity or public figure who is embraced by the gay community. To reach gay icon status, one has to be able to relate to us through flamboyance, strength, triumph over adversity, glamor and even androgyny. Divas with powerhouse voices, gay anthems, over-the-top personalities and an unapologetic and unforgettable approach to fashion that would inspire envy in a drag queen are likely to become gay icons.

Sorry, Sir Elton John, Freddie Mercury, George Michael and Adam Lambert, but with Women's History Month coming to a close soon, this blog post celebrates the female divas who hold bigger special places in our gay hearts than our very own fag hags. Below are 25 of the many divas who have left their marks on gay men and gay culture.

Gay Icons: 25 Divas Embraced By Gay Culture