Top 20 Autostraddle Icons of 2009: The Future is Bright For Our ’09 Favorites

Surely someone has proven, scientifically or statistically, that eccentricity thrives in times of economic strife. Because without a doubt; 2009 was The Year of the Weirdo.

Lady Gaga is a Weirdo

The disillusioned proletariat is no longer interested in watered-down standard-issue art! We’ve been left desolate and recessed following eight years of mainstream cracker-jack “traditional” family values, eight years of Capitalist Religion, eight years of folksy dogma disguising the smart-alecky aristocracy joyriding our collective wealth into hell’s barren handbasket!  So what did we do? We turned to the weirdos.

We elected the geekiest president of all time; a scrawny egghead with big ears and questionable athleticism who’s own wife admits she assumed he was going to be a “a little weird, a little nerdy” when they first met.

In 2009 we were nothing if not ready for a pop star who loudly credited the gays with “lifting her up” and forewent boring ol’ nip-slips & for ten-inch crystal-encrusted heels, golden underpants and a model of the solar system orbiting her magenta Goldilocks-Bob wig.

The it-ensemble of this year’s breakout show bears no resemblance to the Kelly Taylors and Brendan Walshes who, back in the 90s, occupied the same Fox time slot that Glee occupies now with the high school drama Beverly Hills 90210. Glee‘s motley crew of oh-so-adorable dorks are frequently subjected to Slushee Facials (not nose jobs) and they often sing rock-pop ballads in their heads, or while washing cars, or alone to the mirror, and with each other, in matching pajamas.

We also lost the greatest weirdo of all time, Michael Jackson, this year, and the reaction to his death was perhaps the only unanimous moment of the year.

There were so many freaks, geeks and losers to fawn over this year — who will, we hope, make 2010 the best year ever. And as you know, we’re all about the queer, outsider perspective on everything, and it may’ve been a bad year for everything else, but it was a great year for Outsiders. So much to choose from!

These aren’t the People of the Year, or the Best of Anything.

They’re just Autostraddle’s most-talked-about most-admired personalities of 2009. They’re our Auto-Icons.

20. Vogue Evolution – Drama Club

Vogue Evolution – Drama Club

America’s Best Dance Crew featured its first all-gay/transgender (Leiomy Maldonado is a trans woman) dance crew, “Vogue Evolutionthis year. In their first appearance, Lil’ Mama revealed her secret awareness of the Voguing Ball Competition underground (history sidenote; rent Paris is Burning asap, kids, holler) and all the judges agreed that America is ready. Shane Sparks said, “Y’all just ripped the stage … it’s about time for this style to be exposed. It’s been underground for so long … thank you.”

It’s not often that we’ll say we agree wholeheartedly with Shane Sparks, but these kids did bring a ridiculously significant underground style into the mainstream (quote AC Slater) and event though they didn’t win, they brought some genuine diversity of gender expression, body size, race and sexuality to a show which often congratulates itself for showcasing such diversity (and is #1 in its timeslot on cable amongst 12-34 year olds). We love them. We just really, really love them.

2010: Follow them on twitter and check in at their website for updates. Leiomy will be guest starring on the National Talent Search’s College Tour in Atlanta in mid-January.

19. Jane Lynch – The Queen

Jane Lynch - The Queen

We’ve been aware that Jane Lynch can do no wrong for quite some time now — starting in 2000 with her role as a dog trainer romancing Jennifer Coolidge in Best in Show. Really by the time she showed up in Season Two of The L Word and Alex sat behind her on an airplane to Dinah Shore in ’08, we were 95% convinced that The Lynch could do no wrong. And then in 2009, the rest of the world caught on to what we knew already. Lynch guested on Reno 911 and Two and a Half Men, was a series regular on Party Down and is now perhaps best known as Sue Sylvester on Glee.

2010: More episodes ahead of Glee and The Cleveland Show (Jane Lynch does a voiceover). She stars in Paul, a Sci-Fi/Comedy starring Sigourney Weaver, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Blythe Danner and Jeffery Tambor, which is due out in 2010.

18. Shannon Wentworth – Businesswoman of the Year

Shannon Wentworth - Businesswoman of the Year

Shannon’s a big deal right now. Why? The actual service provided by Sweet Lesbian Travel (Incredibly Awesome Vacations) isn’t even really the point. The point is that she’s created a company which manages to encompass so many of our community’s most reveled ideals — Environmentalism, Community Service, Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, Business Success & Mutual Support — without sacrificing style, fun, hot girls or a good-looking website. Sweet’s celesbian-packed maiden voyage provided an unforgettable vacation and unrivaled networking opportunities — an an inspiring experience to be surrounded by so many ambitious queer and queer-friendly ladies (and the occasional dude!).

2010: Sweet kicks off the year with an African safari from February 7-16, 2010. A Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands goes from July 31 to August 7 2010 and Sweet will take over the Cozumel Palace Resort from September 4-11, 2010.

17. Lindsay Lohan – Dyke Drama of the Year

Lindsay Lohan - Dyke Drama of the YearEven if her first public lesbian relationship wasn’t exactly perfect, perhaps this year Lindsay learned that lesbians aren’t always great girlfriends but they are always great girl friends. No one’s public meltdown could’ve landed on softer more welcoming ears & shoulders. The gossip rags tore her to pieces but the gay media stayed largely polite, and maybe that’s ’cause she wasn’t really so unlike your heartbroken best friend, crying on the floor in the handicapped stall while you stroke her hair and tell her it’s okay. If Lindsay Lohan was your BFF all broken up you would tell the teacher she was sick so she could miss class, and you’d let her cut corners or throw things at the wall or embarrass herself at the party.  And when she got better again, you’d pretend like none of that hysterical stuff ever happened. And you’d tell her she still looks pretty, too.

2010: Lindsay Lohan is set to expand her leggings label, 6126, to a full-fledged contemporary apparel line for fall 2010.

Action/Thriller Machete will premiere April 16, 2010. Lindsay’s co-stars include Michelle Rodriguez, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Segal, Rose McGowan & Cheech Marin.

“Modern-day fairy tale” The Other Side is currently in production. Lindsay’s co-stars include Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Woody Harrelson, Kieran Culkin, Anjelica Huston, Alanis Morissette & Dave Matthews.

Musical/romance Dare to Love Me is also in production. Lindsay Lohan plays “La Ritana.”

More importantly, Lindsay has announced on Twitter the following plans for 2010:

Lindsay Lohan Twitter


16. Jill Bennett & Cathy DeBuono – Celesbians of the Year

Jill Bennett & Cathy DeBuono - Celesbians of the YearFrom executive producing and starring in We Have To Stop Now to their live weekly vlog The Gloves Are Off to globetrotting around film festivals with And Then Came Lola, out actresses Jill Bennett and Cathy DeBuono were very busy bees in 2009. In their spare time they also managed to become cover girls for Curve Magazine and spend some quality time with Autostraddle for an exclusively candid interview.

2010: Season 2 of We Have To Stop Now premieres this Spring. We were on set during filming on the Sweet Cruise and can confirm that the second season will be off the chain. Guest stars include Meredith Baxter, Erin Foley, Nicol Paone and Kate McKinnon among MANY others. Pre-order your subscription for season 2 now!

Next: Funny Girls, Sources & Activists!

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3223 articles for us.


  1. Nice choices….especially the celesbians of the year, though I would also consider them the cutest couple in my own mind.

  2. From all the photos of Adam you could have chosen, you picked out that one? I mean, if you’re lacking better pictures, I can give you a folder.

    Love this list.

  3. this list reminds me of Avatar. you already know the ending but the journey is totally worth it, full of eye candy, and probs looks better in 3D.

    • without the pesky annoyance of awkward avatar sex under a mystical tree! we’re working on the mystical tree part though.

      • i like to think of the mystical trees as metaphors for the internet. so if we all stick the ends of hair in our USB slots at the same time…who knows. it could be magical.

  4. Love the whole list, but the top six just made my day. If they were all in a room together I think the world might explode.

    Also, for the record, that’s one of my absolute favorite pictures of the dashing Mr. Lambert. (And almost all of the other favorites involve him sticking his tongue down boys’ throats, so, really, this one was probably a better journalistic choice.)

    • I love that photo too ’cause it looks like he’s laughing, like he doesn’t know his photo is being taken. I thought it was cute as can be.

      • Man, if I ever get jumped in a dark alley, I want Autostraddle to be with me cause you ladies have my back.

        That photo was taken during a green screened interview, so its not exactly a glamour (glamberous?) shot… its just a still from an interview minus fancy lighting, etc. I like this expression though.

    • one row away from Adam Lambert + Lady Gaga concert = <3 possibly the cutest/most amazing thing ever.

  5. Tegan and Sara are coming to Montreal in a week and a half and I’m so excited I can hardly bear it. I love that you included critters. I’m a critter?! Also my heart swells every time someone talks about Ellen and Portia. PS I love this post from head to toe.

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      I hate it when sites don’t accept direct links…

  6. Why no sam ronson? She played her part in the lindsay drama and she is the cutest little tomboy around.

    • wait i just did because you just did and OTHER PEOPLE ARE USING THE PHRASE. this is going to be like really papi, where no-one remembers that we started it. this is the kind of comment that if haviland wrote it, i would make fun of her. but i wrote it, so i guess i am going to go make fun of myself.

      • i just googled really papi for fun and it automatically added another really — “really papi really” in the google search bar

  7. I’d just like to note, every time I see Rose Rollins I literally start to hyperventilate. I’m so blatantly in love it scares me. I know it’s late, Santa, but please if I could have her for just an hour, even 10 minutes, I won’t ask for anything ever again and you could give me huge lumps of coals every Christmas from now on, I promise. I’ll kneel with bare legs on a pile of uncooked grits if you like.

    There’s gonna be a GIRLTRASH! movie? Score.

    So totally thinking Ellen and Drew are cute together.

    I have some links to Kirya (of Sister Spit) within my spoken word circle.

    I am ENTIRELY too obsessed with Tegan and Sara, and when I say it’s unhealthy, I MEAN it. *sigh*

    And the number one slot on this has made me feel stupid for waiting to see who got the top spot. Ugh. I just can not deal with her.

    • I LOVE ROSE ROLLINS SO MUCH. Srsly. I feel like most of the time in my recaps I would be like “the plot sucks, but damn look at Rose Rollins’ perfect jaw! it’s fucking PERFECT!” And her real life personality is even more awesome, when she’s in interviews and stuff.

    • Yeah, she is straight. She said she was “open to it” to the idea of women, but I think was saying that mostly ’cause Liz Feldman really wanted her to. BUT I LOVE HER SO MUCH

    • Am I the only one that thought maybe she and Mia were having a fling after I read that they shared a room at The L Word convention and were together A LOT and are described as VERY close? Another fantasy? Alright, fine.

  8. That Drew/Ellen photo was my desktop background until I realized how much it cut my productivity- I would start up the computer and just fail to open anything for a while without even realizing it.

    Jill and Cathy are great, but am I the only one who can’t stand the layout of SheWired? I try every now and again, but something about it just overwhelms me and I have to close the tab. But maybe it’s just me and my own weird set of color and texture issues…

    • The SheWired site layout drives me insane! The links are confusing and disorganized, and my obsession with lists and order and continuity makes it impossible for me to enjoy that site even though I’m sure they have a bunch o’ good stuff there.

  9. Mia Kirshner is going to be on The Vampire Diaries? Craze-town. I have to start watching it, I guess *sigh*

  10. Love the list, have to say the Drew/Ellen one makes me a little weak in the knees. Both of them are just adorable.

  11. Ellen Page is a tease. Her whole am i/aren’t i is ENDLESS SPECULATIVE FOREPLAY for us. The hoodies,SNL sketch, suspect itunes playlist, the sapphic rollerskating photoshoot and red carpet handholding. I want confirmation, even if I have to hook her up to the lie detector machine myself.

  12. Whoa, hold up. Lady Gaga’s crystal-encrusted heels (the ones from Bad Romance) are twelve inches high, not ten. I’m very clever, you see. *applause*

    Vogue Evolution are so fierce. So, so fierce.

  13. Ellen Page is such a tease. The hoodies, SNL sketch, gay as anything itunes playlist, sapphic rollerblading shoot and redcarpet handholding are SPECULATIVE FOREPLAY FOR US. I can’t stand it, I need confirmation, even if i have to hook her up to the lie-detector machine myself.

  14. sometimes i feel so lonely and alienated in a world where i do not understand the appeal of adam lambert. but then i go to technostraddle and talk about weird nerd shit and feel better! so it works out!

    my personal perplexity aside, this list is great! and alex the buttons are soooo cute! i want one…

    …please. i’m begging here.

  15. You make the world look bright and shiny even when the world doesn’t want to. Thank you.
    (I’ll still watch Lady Gaga with the sound turned off, but would this really be a celebration of the freaks if we had copy-and-paste brains? Obvs not. Unicorns wouldn’t be as awesome if they were smoking on every street corner… or something. Sorry, analogy fail, but you get the point.)

  16. i wanted to give my computer a high five for the last 6… but i couldn’t. i’m going to attach a hand to my computer specifically so i can high five it whilssst reading autostraddle. autohighfives!

  17. WICKED. Thanks for this article! I enjoyed every word. I especially love your top 3.

    Adam Lambert is my favorite singer. He blows me the fuck away, and I love that lesbians dig him, too. So many detractors think Adam’s fans are all horny cougars who don’t care as much about his talent as they do the Glambulge. Well, you guys shine a spotlight on the reality, and I thank you for that.

    I’m straight, but I have a crush, an actual crush, on Rachel Maddow. I think she’s awesome and sexy in a smart way. I know another straight woman (another Adam Lambert fan, incidentally) who’s also crushing on Rachel.

    And Lady GaGa… what can you say? Like everyone on this list, she makes different cool. But she does it to the nines and dares you to love it or hate it the way no one else can.

  18. Pingback: 32 Lesbian, Queer & Bisexual (LGBTQ+) TV Shows Streaming Free on Amazon Prime – T2F Media

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