Historically, icons were typically elevated to such status because their sexual orientation remains a topic of debate among historians.
The women most commonly portrayed by drag queens are usually gay icons.
The definition of what it means to be a "gay icon" has come under criticism in recent years for a lack of substance.
In 2012, Key was honored with the "Pink Triangle Award," a Brazilian LGBT award, considered the "Gay Oscar".
The 1930s saw a number of writers, political activists, and celebrities garner reputations as gay icons.
Lesbian icons, sometimes called "dykons" (a portmanteau of the words "dyke" and "icon") are most often powerful women who are, or are rumored to be, lesbian or bisexual.