Whenever someone makes a mention of "Harvey" within the lgbtq community, most assume the reference is to Harvey Milk, but there is another great one: Harvey Fierstein. You might remember him from a classic episode of Cheers, or from his roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Garbo Talks, or The Year Without a Santa Claus, but for me he will always be Arnold Beckoff from Torch Song Trilogy and Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.
Fierstein is much more than a fine actor though. He is also a voice actor, occasional columnist, and a playwright, and was one of the first openly gay celebrities in the country and put a face on the lgbtq community.
His Torch Song Trilogy gives a portrait of gay life, for those who don't really have a clue. He brought the performance to both the stage and to film and wasn't afraid to show two men in a loving committed relationship. (Even though this blog is NOT about me, I should mention that the movie version of Torch Song is one of my all time favorites)!
By being visible, even if it might have held back his career, Harvey Fierstein has made a difference. He continues to bring us joy and pride too with every single performance.