Feb 9, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lilly Singh arrives at the 92nd Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY, Range Rover, LGBTQ Nation
Lilly Singh arrives at the 92nd Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre Photo: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY via IMAGN

This Pride season, the luxury automotive brand is saluting the country’s queer community by spotlighting some of its most influential and daring leaders.

From Emmy-winning storytellers and sports heroes to musicians who have provided the soundtracks to our lives while advocating for equality, these 10 Canadian LGBTQ+ luminaries are at the top of their fields.

They embody a bold, singular spirit that inspires, reflecting the visceral, dramatic and uncompromising essence of the Range Rover Sport.

1. Dan Levy

With his breakthrough TV series Schitt’s Creek, Dan Levy pulled off an awe-inspiring feat. What could have been a spikey, cynical, fish-out-of-water show about a formerly wealthy family of privileged jerks stuck in a one-horse town populated by oddballs quickly evolved into a sweet, very queer, very fun show about connection and community.

In the process, Schitt’s Creek became a touchstone for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, establishing Levy as one of his generation’s leading gay voices. “The more we can create space and opportunity for people to speak truthfully about their communities across the board, that’s when we’re going to get the really good storytelling,” he told Queerty earlier this year, “that’s when we’re going to continue to expand this arena to include stories that represent everybody.” 

Levy has continued that mission since the series ended in 2020, most recently with his film Good Grief. Like his Schitt’s Creek character David, he’s also become an avant-garde style icon with his frequently daring red carpet looks and multiple appearances at the annual Met Gala. This Pride season, we toast his drive to succeed as his authentic self.

Explore the heightened performance of Range Rover Sport. The Adjustable Dynamic Air Suspension uses navigation data and switchable-volume air springs to pre-emptively prepare the vehicle for the road ahead, ensuring more responsive, dynamic, and composed handling.

2. Antoni Porowski

For someone smolderingly handsome, Antoni Porowski’s whole vibe is refreshingly approachable — from his laidback style to his accessible recipes. Case in point: the Queer Eye food and wine expert’s off-the-cuff recommendation for a Friday night meal is an earthy, comforting, nearly effortlessly put-together chili.

The Montreal-born TV personality’s ethos of elevating the every day has undoubtedly been shaped by the Netflix series that made him a household name. “It’s not a cooking show. It’s not about my skillset,” he told GQ in 2018. “It’s about figuring out how we can contribute to these people’s lives in a very short amount of time.”

But don’t let Porowski’s down-to-earth wardrobe of vintage band tees and jeans fool you; he’s got a taste for impeccable Thom Brown pieces and ambition to match. In the six short years since Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot premiered, he’s released two cookbooks, hosted the streamer’s cooking competition show Easy Bake Battle, and even dipped his toes into acting with small roles in Spoiler Alert and Queen.

His next project, the Nat Geo docuseries No Taste Like Home, premiering next year, will find him crisscrossing the globe with celebrity guests like Florence Pugh, Awkwafina, and Henry Golding to discover how food shapes both culture and people’s lives.

3. Eric Radford

In 2011, while competing in the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Eric Radford’s skating partner Meagan Duhamel — with whom he’d already won a silver medal at the Canadian Championships that year — accidentally elbowed him in the face, breaking his nose. But Radford continued to skate through the intense pain, telling reporters later, “I could see, I could breathe, I’m not dying, I’ll finish the program and deal with it after.”

It’s that kind of dedication to the sport that made Radford a three-time Olympic medalist, winning silver in Sochi in 2014 and both gold and bronze in separate events four years later in South Korea. And with that 2018 gold medal win, he became the first gay male ever to take home the top prize in a Winter Olympic event. Though he retired in 2022, Radford continues to focus on inspiring a new generation of skaters through coaching and as an athletic service officer — an unofficial mentor — for Team Canada at last year’s Pan Am Games. Radford’s resilience and commitment to excellence stand out.

4. Mark Tewksbury

It’s been over 30 years since Mark Tewksbury won the gold medal in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, but the 56-year-old has never stopped — pardon the cliché — making waves. 

Tewksbury retired from competitive swimming shortly after the ’92 games and could have rested on his laurels while raking in cash from lucrative endorsement deals. Instead, he chose to use his platform to fight tirelessly for change. Even before coming out publicly as gay in 1998 — becoming the first Canadian Olympian to do so — he spoke out anonymously against homophobia in sports and has continued to advocate for equality, both in sports and more broadly ever since. In the early 2000s, he also became a powerful voice speaking out against corruption in elite sports, calling for reform within the International Olympic Committee system.

Bravery and an unwavering commitment to what he believes have fueled Tewksbury’s career and advocacy, and he has worked to impart those traits to others as a motivational speaker. “Show conviction,” he advises aspiring leaders, pointing to his coming out in the late ’90s. “I knew what I believed, and I had to do what I had to do at that time when I came out. I was willing to lose everything.”

5. Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh’s energy is positively electric. The actor, comedian, author, late-night host, and YouTube superstar is a veritable firecracker rattling off jokes with a mixture of both bravado and self-effacement that is, no doubt, the secret sauce to her undeniable charm. 

The 35-year-old rose to fame on YouTube in the early 2010s, posting video sketches that quickly earned her a massive following. “It was a time when a new type of celebrity was born,” she reflected in 2019. “I think the relatability the audience feels for what I’m talking about is strong, and authentic storytelling is more important than ever, and that’s what I offer.”

Singh seized that moment with gusto, becoming one of the highest-paid YouTubers ever, touring the world, releasing two books, and launching her own production company. In 2019, she shattered multiple glass ceilings with her show A Little Late with Lilly Singh, becoming not only one of the few women ever to host a late-night show but also the first person of South Asian descent and the first openly queer person to land such a gig.

With her upcoming film Doin’ It, which she wrote, produced, and stars in, she’s entering a new phase of her career, telling a crowd at SXSW this year that she’s now dedicated to telling entertaining stories, but that also helps change the culture for the better. “Storytelling is the intervention we need,” she said.

Explore the instinctive drive of the Range Rover SportWith Dynamic Response Pro anticipating the road ahead and a dynamic air suspension reacting in milliseconds, every journey offers a balanced and confident drive.

6. Theo Tams

Authenticity comes naturally to Theo Tams. Back in 2008, while competing on Canadian Idol, the then-22-year-old singer came out as gay simply and unexpectedly by spontaneously referring to a male partner on live TV. “I just started going stream of consciousness, not overthinking it,” he recalled in the 2022 doc Theo Tams: One Last Chance, “and I dropped the pronoun ‘him.’”

Tams went on to win Canadian Idol and, in the years since, has released countless bops and heartfelt ballads, all with the same naked honesty that characterized that life-changing moment on TV. His versatility and commitment to affecting positive change in the world were on display in his recent single “A Little Bit Off,” released as both a driving, up-tempo pop jam and as a moodier, slowed-down version for Mental Health Awareness Month.

He also recently brought together 21 Canadian artists for his latest charity single, “This Little Light,” which benefits Toronto-based 2SLGBTQ+ organization The 519. On his official Instagram, Tams called the song an “anthem of hope” — something we could all use.

7. Mark Kenneth Woods

As Mark Kenneth Woods himself says in the trailer for the latest season of his award-winning docuseries Pride: The LGBTQ+ History Series, he is a filmmaker with a passion for queer culture through a comedic lens in “hilarious” and “gutsy” projects like sketch comedy show House of Venus Show (2005–2009), feature film Deb and Sisi (2008), and reality TV satire The Face of Furry Creek (2013–2014).

In more recent years, Woods has pivoted to documentary filmmaking, taking on more serious topics like the precarious state of “gayborhoods” in 2013’s Is the Village Dying?, inclusion in sports in 2015’s Take Up the Torch, and the Inuit community in Canada’s Nunavut territory in 2016’s Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things.

With Pride, which returns for a fifth season this month on OutTV, Woods brings a vast array of perspectives on LGBTQ+ history and culture to viewers, traveling around the world to different Pride celebrations “to learn more about where we came from and where we are going.”

8. Zoie Palmer

In showbusiness, having a passionate fanbase isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity, and actress Zoie Palmer has built a connection with her fans both through her roles on sci-fi series like Lost Girl (2010–2015) and Dark Matter (2015–2017) and with her undeniably goofy warmth offscreen. 

That connection has earned her plenty of viewer-voted accolades. She’s won AfterEllen Visibility Awards for both “Favorite TV Actress” and “Best Tweeter” (back when X was Twitter), was voted “Girl on Top” by E! online readers in 2013, and has received multiple nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards’ Fan’s Choice Award, winning in 2014. “Our audiences show up for us every single week. I genuinely am so grateful that they do,” she said of her nomination in 2017.

While she’s continued to bolster her genre cred in series like Wynonna Earp and films like M. Night Shyamalan’s Devil and Saw spin-off Spiral, she’s also expanded into comedy and crime procedurals, starring in Canadian sitcom Jann and joining the cast of the final season of Pretty Hard Cases.

9. Rufus Wainwright

Throughout a decades-long career that has seen him release 11 studio albums and six live albums alongside various other creative endeavors, Rufus Wainwright has never stopped challenging himself and the standard mold of a pop musician. 

The songs on his early pop albums drew from his love of opera and the Great American Songbook. He’s continued to forge an eccentric musical path all his own, staging a tribute concert to Judy Galand in 2006 and recording with über producer Mark Ronson for 2012’s Out of the Game before making a hard pivot to opera on 2015’s Prima Donna and Shakespearean sonnets on 2016’s Take All My Loves.

“I have a tendency, it seems, in my career, to always try to create something more difficult,” he recently told Provincetown Magazine. “I think it’s always important to challenge yourself musically and never get too comfortable. That being said, I have moments now where I feel, ‘Yeah, that effort has paid off.’”

Experience true sporting luxury with the Range Rover SportEnjoy your journey with next-generation Active Noise Cancellation, using cutting-edge audio technology to filter out unwanted road noise.

10. Tegan and Sara

Siblings Tegan and Sara Quinn have never let the music industry define them. Almost from their careers, they’ve been out and proud. And they haven’t been afraid to surprise fans and critics. At the height of their success with their acoustic-driven indie rock sound on albums like If It Was You (2002) and The Con (2004), they took a big swing, releasing the synth and beat-drenched Heartthrob in 2013. “We didn’t want to take a small step. We wanted to take a big step,” Sara told Rolling Stone then.

They’ve also spent over a decade tirelessly advocating for equality, speaking out against California’s Prop 8 in 2012 and North Carolina’s HB2 in 2016. That same year, they founded The Tegan and Sara Foundation to help support LGBTQ+ organizations and activists. The duo sees their legacy in terms of their impact on the community and the music industry. 

“I see bands now coming out or artists coming out that may not even have ever heard of Tegan and Sara, but I know that our legacy is that those bands get exposure in ways that they wouldn’t have 20 years ago,” Sara told them in 2022, “that people’s minds were changed in important ways to make space for those kinds of artists and those kinds of bands.”

This Pride season we salute Tegan and Sara’s boundary-pushing spirit.

Explore the Range Rover Sport

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated