“As long as homosexuals don’t have rights across America,” said the late gay liberation activist Marsha P. Johnson, “there’s no reason to celebrate.” The unfinished LGBTQ + activist and drag performer during the 1969 Stonewall riots was a prominent figure in a series of anti-discrimination demonstrations that would bring together members of the LGBTQ + community around the world. Drawing on Johnson’s legacy, a group of LGBTQ + models continue to speak their truth and support gay rights today.
The LGBTQ + community has made significant progress towards representation in fashion. From diverse fashion designers to wide-ranging communities throughout the year, LGBTQ + influencers continue to fight new crops of trailblazers working across different disciplines, ensuring their presence in different locations. Actress Laverne Cox, for example, recently helped design the first transgender Barbie, a move that will help LGBTQ + children and young adults get the much-needed representation they deserve.
The fashion industry is slowly launching its catwalk and advertising campaigns for LGBTQ + talents, thanks in part to some of these gay, lesbian, queer and transgender models who are living their true lives and making unexpected improvements in these heterogeneous spaces. While much more remains to be achieved, these inspiring individuals are paving the way for others to follow in their footsteps.
Read on for a list of title making LGBTQ + models you should know right now. Follow their work and content to educate yourself about the history of Pride Celebration, and be sure to actively attend to the community by participating in Pride events, voting for gay rights advocates, and buying from diverse proprietary brands and businesses.
– Additional report by Alison Ingram and Zara Patel