Diana was a gay icon not only because of the compassion she showed towards people with AIDS, but because her life was defined by a constant negotiation between royal protocol and personal authenticity. Many gay people naturally related to the struggle of living one’s truth in all its messy complexities versus fitting oneself into society’s confining, premade roles. It is therefore unsurprising that the Princess of Wales befriended prominent queer men of her time such as Elton John, Freddie Mercury, and Kenny Everett. Skylar Baker-Jordan, a gay British man, said that Diana made it easier for gay youths to come out, and when his family was struggling with his identity, he cited the Princess’ “example of kindness, compassion, and unabashed acceptance” as a guide (Independent).
Jeffry J. Iovannone