Lesbians haven’t always been associated with style, let alone high fashion, but Amanda Moore isn’t the first supermodel to publicly identify as a lesbian.
Supermodel Gia Carangi was a Philly native known for her tough-girl antics as well as her Sapphic leanings. She is also known for her struggles with heroin addiction and her AIDS-related death in 1986 at age 26, as portrayed in the HBO film Gia by a knife-wielding Angelina Jolie.
More recently, model and actor Jenny Shimizu has been open about being a lesbian. It’s hard not to be, when you’re in a profession that requires you to show some skin and you sport a tattoo of a woman straddling a wrench.
In 1993 Shimizu was discovered while leaning against her motorcycle outside an L.A. club with her girlfriend at the time, and was later the object of Jolie's affections after the two co-starred in Foxfire together.
Carangi and Shimizu, like Moore, never hid their sexual orientation from the public, but most other top models over the years rumored to be queer have remained closeted.
Cindy Crawford — nicknamed Baby Gia early in her career after her resemblance to Carangi — played barber to a shaving-cream-lathered k.d. lang on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1993, delighting fans who were hoping the longstanding rumors were true. But Crawford and then-hubbie Richard Gere took out a $30,000 ad in the London Times trumpeting their heterosexuality and commitment to a monogamous relationship. Six months later they separated, but both still insist they're heterosexual.
Amanda Moore has always been open about being queer, and it doesn't appear to have been an obstacle in her career.
Although she doesn't do the New York club scene as much as she used to —"You get surrounded by the wrong people," she told The Fashion Wire — she says that scene is as glamorous as the L.A. club scene depicted on The L Word, which has been widely criticized as inauthentic. "There isn't anyone on the show who I can't compare to a woman I know," she recently told the New York Observer in an article about Showtime's lesbian series.
She praised The L Word for spotlighting a marginalized population, but worries about its appeal to "sapphosexuals" (bi-curious straight women): “It scares me that, in bringing out people's curiosity, there's going to be a lot of day trippers. And I don't want to be someone's experiment."
But Moore needn’t worry — she’s far more likely to inspire U-Haul renting than experimental day-tripping. Let's hope her career success inspires other lesbian models to come out, as well.