News Flash: People magazine doesn’t cater to gay men. Every year they decree the "Sexiest Man Alive," and more often not, we’re left scratching our heads over the selections. So following in the footsteps of our sister site AfterEllen.com (which created their own Hot 100 list last month in response to Maxim‘s annual list), we at AfterElton.com took it upon ourselves to see what would happen if we asked gay and bisexual men — and gay and bisexual men only — to vote for their favorite fellas. Thousands of votes later, we have the results.
Is our list different from People‘s? You betcha: three-time topper George Clooney (who took the most recent title in 2006) barely clawed into our bottom ten. Ashton Kutcher, Enrique Murciano, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Cho, Rodrigo Santoro, and Omar Epps — all in People‘s top 15 — didn’t even rate on our list.
And People‘s 1990 "Sexiest Man Alive and frequent "50 Most Beautiful People" designee Tom Cruise not only didn’t make our list, he didn’t even receive a single vote.
Clearly, just as lesbians and straight men differ drastically in what they find sexy, so do gay men and straight women part ways over what makes a man hot.
For gay and bi men, "hot" means a lot of things, from Taye Diggs (#5) to T.R. Knight (#8) to LL Cool J (#63). The guys who made our Hot 100 are mostly actors, but there are athletes, musicians, newsmen, models and even a certain foxy fashion designer on the list. There are men of many races and national backgrounds, including Daniel Dae Kim (#68), Sendhil Ramamurthy (#67), Alexandre Despatie (#73), Gael Garcia Bernal (#17), Jensen Atwood (#43), and more.
The choices range from the rugged power of Jason Statham (#40) to the angular cool of Cillian Murphy (#94) to the youthfulness of Joseph Gordon- Levitt (#51) and cross just about every "type" along the way. Indeed, if this experiment has taught us anything, it’s that there is no "gay type" at all, but rather a range from traditionally masculine to more androgynous; from handsome to beautiful to cute.
The list also shows that we like men who are not afraid to be associated with gay people and stories — of the 83 actors on the list, a whopping 49 (59%) have played gay. Fifteen of the men are openly gay or bisexual and they’re noted with an asterisk (*) next to their name. (As readers will no doubt note, the list also includes men who are thought by many to be gay, but who are not publicly out.)
And although we may have tried to encourage unbridled shallowness in the nomination process, the list is full of men who are notable for more than their obvious physical assets. These men are entrepreneurs, activists, trend-setters, humanitarians and beyond, and most are just as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside.
How did the winners react to making the list? Scottish-American actor and singer John Barrowman (#10) said "I am extremely proud of who I am and what I can do for my community — the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. I am proud that you have put me in this position — that you’ve honored me and continue to watch and enjoy what I do because I will represent you guys in the best possible way."
CNN’s Anderson Cooper (#32) reacted humorously telling us, "I’m flattered to be on the list. Clearly, they have not seen my pale skinny chicken legs. It’s nice to know there is a market for pale, skinny, grey-haired people."
Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson (#36) reacted with surprise. "Wow! Hot 100? Moi? Well, my mom thinks I’m handsome. How incredibly flattering. Thank you AfterElton.com readers. This one is for all the big-boned gay nerds out there like me.
Former NBA player John Amaechi (#84) added "I am humbled and honored to be included on this list. I have been truly inspired by the interactions I have had, the relationships I have built and I hope my work continues to earn me a spot on your Hot 100."
And so, without further ado, we present to you the AfterElton.com Hot 100 list. The men are listed in ascending order according to your votes (any ties were resolved by random draw). At the end, you can add your comments telling us what you think about the men who ended up on the list. Enjoy!
1. Jake Gyllenhaal
It might seem like we only love him for playing a gay rancher in Brokeback Mountain, but really, we love Jake Gyllenhaal for being our favorite boy next door. Born and raised in L.A., Jake grew up around the business; his father was a director and his mother was a screenwriter. Not only is he sexy, but, before moving to Hollywood, Jake was saving lives as a lifeguard. Bet you didn’t know he’s sweet, too? (He gave ex girlfriend Kirsten Dunst a lovely little kitten for her birthday one year. Altogether: "Aaawww….") Jake is a matinee idol with legit acting chops (he was nominated for an Oscar for Brokeback) and a genuine respect for his gay fans; not only did he make a surprise appearance at this year’s GLAAD Awards, but he also dedicated a rousing (and impressive) performance of Dreamgirls‘ showstopper to his gay fans — in drag — on Saturday Night Live.
2. Chris Evans
Besides his infamous role in Not Another Teen Movie (naked and dairied up), Chris Evans has slowly been proving that he’s more than just a beautiful face (although honestly, we may have settled just for that). He’s even let us in on how he stays so, well, sculpted: vegetarianism and a naturally fast metabolism with a blessed lean physique (ugh, pretty people…). Chris Evans is a rising Hollywood star, but if it weren’t for fame (and good looks), he would be pursuing a degree at NYU!
3. Daniel Craig
Undeniably handsome, Daniel Craig stole our hears as the first blond Bond in Casino Royale. Proving that fantasies really do come true, Daniel grew up playing rugby and was raised in a hard-working household; his father was a merchant seaman turned steel erector. Cast for a major movie role even before graduating drama school, Daniel’s talent was as irrepressible as his considerable charm. Craig hasn’t shied away from gay roles and has a penchant for losing his pants … neither of which have raised many complaints from gay fans. And who can’t love the man that brought serious sexy back to the Bond franchise?
4. Gale Harold
If his passion for Italian motorcycles hadn’t almost driven him to financial exile, Gale Harold might have never become our own Brian Kinney on the groundbreaking Showtime series Queer as Folk. Harold started his glorious career when he met Joan E. Scheckel, soon thereafter starring in several theater based roles. Gale grew up in a devoutly Christian household and, thankfully, found his way to us from the "dirty dirty" — better known as good old Atlanta, Georgia.
5. Taye Diggs
Although he sadly isn’t gay, his gay fan base might like/love that Taye Diggs has a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre and played gay on Will & Grace — and totally starred in Rent! Diggs impressed us with his charm in How Stella Got Her Groove Back and has continued to do so with The Wood, Best Man, and the gay-friendly comedy Go. Diggs, married to Broadway diva Idina Menzel, will next appear on the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, and we will be delighted to invite him into our living rooms on a weekly basis. Taye Diggs is, for lack of a better synonym, most impressive.