At age 8, Andrew Sullivan asked his mother if God really was omniscient. Her affirmative reply terrified him: “Then there’s no hope for me, Mum.” Despite his success, conservatives, Catholics, and gay activists might agree—even though he belongs to each of their constituencies, Johann Hari writes in a More Intelligent Life profile of his friend and model-turned-blogger.
“I’ve never really had a place where someone didn’t dispute my right to be there,” says Sullivan. Hari credits him with pioneering blogs and supporting same-sex marriage before many gays. But Sullivan, who’s HIV-positive, finds his legacy in those he’s lost to the virus: “They’re my fuel. I’m a child of the plague, and I will never, never forget that.”