What do Ellen DeGeneres and Lady Gaga have in common? They’re both LGBT, but also, they’re both shockingly popular on Twitter.

Lady Gaga has the most followers of all Twitter users, with over 6 million and counting. Ellen is close behind, with 5.1 million followers, making her the 5th most popular Twitter user. Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres have about as many followers as Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, and President Barack Obama.

Even outside the top 5, many popular Twitter users are LGBT. Perez Hilton has over 2 million followers and Stephen Fry has almost about 1.7 million.

This phenomenon isn’t just true on Twitter — it’s evident in general. Some LGBT celebrities are just as popular and well-liked as their straight counterparts. Lady Gaga has become a pop star even after coming out as bisexual, singing about her sexuality, and vocally advocating for LGBT rights. Ellen DeGeneres came out over 10 years ago and remains popular today. And the list goes on: Rachel Maddow, Adam Lambert, Ricky Martin, and Neil Patrick Harris. These are only a few of the many popular, well-liked LGBT celebrities.

Why is it that these LGBT stars have become so popular, yet LGBT people still don’t have equal rights? Are some people watching these celebrities — and even following them on Twitter — but not voting for their equal rights?

And Lady Gaga or Ellen DeGeneres’ 6 million or so followers aren’t their only fans. I, for one, am a fan of both of them, yet I follow neither on Twitter. With so many fans, shouldn’t more people be standing up for gay rights?

Six million is small compared to over 300 million people in the United States alone. Plus, fans of these LGBT celebrities are probably younger than your average voter. Some may be too young to vote, and some may be among the many who don’t bother voting.

While plenty of people are still opposed to LGBT equality, perhaps the stars of today are indicative of the rights we’ll see in the future. If young people today are happy rocking out to the music of an openly bisexual artist or watching a lesbian on TV, perhaps they’ll remember their favorite celebrities when voting on LGBT equality.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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