Los Angeles Vanguard Weekly Blog

Beyond Blake: Our Nominees for Sexiest Man Alive

Our picks are all out and proud and publicly supportive of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and other LGBT organizations. We think it’s especially sexy when guys give back.

Kevin Carnell

The Miami model has twice participated in AIDS/LifeCycle, the annual 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for HIV/AIDS-related services provided by the Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Carnell also launched the #ColorMeEqual movement to empower LGBTQ men, women, and allies by sharing on social media their stories of self-discovery, healing, and triumph.


passionately curious

A post shared by KEVIN CARNELL (@kevincarnell) on Milan Christopher

Milan Christopher

 The rapper, actor and model shared the first male gay kiss on the VH1 docuseries Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.

Christopher is best known for his single When I Go which protests the bullying of LGBT youth. He lit up the red carpet at the Center’s Vanguard Awards in September.


Sometimes you gotta make sure you're happy in real life & not just on social Media!| @ontheroadwithmilanchristopher | ?: @tmz_tv

A post shared by Milan Christopher (@milanchristopher) on Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp

Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp

The charismatic Star Trek: Discovery actors made history this week with the first same-sex kiss in Star Trek franchise history.

Cruz came out as a teenager while playing a gay high school student on the cult favorite TV series My So-Called Life while Rapp was once described as "one of the first openly gay men on Broadway." Cruz has been a steadfast support of the Center and spent time as a spokesman for GLAAD.


The Tamil Sri Lankan-American performer, writer, and community activist is a staunch Center supporter who has performed at TransPride and other events.

D'Lo has created writing and public speaking workshops for many LGBT immigrant/arts-centered organizations and been involved with various LGBT and South Asian groups related to the arts.


A post shared by D'Lo (@dlocokid) on

Aydian Dowling

The featured keynote speaker at the Center’s 2017 TransPride L.A. festival, Dowling is a trans activist, motivational speaker, and fitness enthusiast who gained national acclaim in 2015 for being the first trans person to be on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

Amini Fonua 

The swimmer competed in the last two Summer Olympics as an openly gay athlete representing Tonga. Fonua was one of just 11 openly gay male athletes competing in Rio.

After the London Games he helped the Center raise tens of thousands of dollars as a spokesperson and participant in the Center’s Beach Classic fundraiser. During every training session for the Rio Games he wore the swimsuit from the event, with the Center’s name on the back, to promote LGBT visibility in the sport.


Thirsty af ? by @richardshiu

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Daniel Franzese

Since coming out publicly as a gay man in 2014, the Mean Girls actor has become a vocal advocate for LGBT equality. He also played one of the few HIV-positive character on television on HBO’s Looking.

Franzese has been a constant support at Center events as of late and  this year hosted the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles Voice Awards.


Ian Harvie

The stand-up comedian and actor is best known for his appearance on the Amazon series Transparent.

 Harvie, a member of the Center’s Board of Directors, participated in a filmed letter to the entertainment industry asking for more and improved roles for transgender people.


Sunset on the beach, Anna Maria Island, FL

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Ethan Hethcote and Mark Miller

The real-life couple are both popular YouTube personalities who earlier this month hosted the entertainment portion of the Center’s Models of Pride conference on the campus of USC.

Hethcote and Miller had previously held a fan meet-up where they raised money for the Center.

Theodore Leaf

The popular YouTube personality and chef teamed up celebrity chef Susan Feniger to teach young people from the Center’s Youth Center how to make dishes from produce they had grown themselves at a community garden.

Leaf works on both sides of the camera producing his own YouTube channel and has been featured on television shows including NBC’s Fashion Star, E!’s Fashion Police and PBS’s Martha Bakes.

Marc Malkin

The talented journalist volunteered his time this year to be part of the media team during AIDS/LifeCycle as his husband, Fabian Quezada-Malkin, did the ride.

The longtime fixture on red carpets and at film festivals recently left his job at E! News after a decade and is now a contributing writer at The Hollywood Reporter. He was honored in June by NLGJA — the Association of LGBTQ Journalists.



This happened today. What do ya think? ✂️: @fabianhaircolorist ?: @sirlukedavid

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Conrad Ricamora

The How to Get Away With Murder actor has used his visibility as a gay man playing a gay, HIV-positive character on television to speak out for LGBT equality.

Ricamora attended the Center’s Vanguard Awards gala in 2016 and has been honored with the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award and by Equality California with its Equality Visibility Award.


One more sleep till #htgawm #tgit. Hold on to your little #coliver hearts.

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Alex Schmider

A former communications coordinator for the Center, Schmider participated in the Happy Hippie Foundation’s #InstaPride campaign and was featured in a Hallmark Mother’s Day ad that showed the love between a mom and her transgender son. 

He currently works as campaigns manager for GLAAD and was selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Media in 2017. He also received the Visibility Award from L.A. Pride this year. 


“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it.” Anne Lamott I’ve been having a rough go recently. I’ve been writing as a way to get real and heal myself in ways I haven’t and needed to for a while. That personal stuff and struggle rarely seen or shown publicly. People tell me I share a lot on social media, but I actually share very little. Despite any clean and curated aesthetic of tidiness, things are messy. Life is not lived in a straight line. A lot of it is uncertain and unplanned, tripped and fallen into. Exceptionalism or the appearance of it everywhere—in all media—controls, conditions, co-signs, and compels conformity to some slobbery standard of ‘success’ that spits back at us over and over again. Expectations informed by exaggerations, excerpts, and extremes. Hello highlight reels. It makes it so difficult to decipher what is personally meaningful and what is simply a projection of it both from the inside out and outside in. Where do I place attention and value? With who? How do I comfort the shy and small voice within myself too scared to speak up, stick out, stray from the way I’ve always gone? I’ve deliberately stopped to listen now and answer. A friend of mine told me about feeling self-conscious, and her friend sarcastically but seriously pointed out: “No one is looking at you!” In psychology, the Spotlight Effect is our inherent assumption that people are paying more attention to us than they really are. While sometimes true, often not. I think we can become so concerned with how we look to others, not just physically, but in every capacity. It can become easy to get turned around and away in the opacity of materialized transparency—an exchange of openness for social capital. We can lose ourselves. What if the greatest reward is honest value we give? What if it’s uncomfortable, unexpected, uneasy, unattractive? What if it’s worth it because it’s real and so are we? #MessyMeMonday

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Published November 17, 2017

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