Top 10 LGBTQ Influencers You Should Be Following
It’s Pride month, and as we approach the end of June, we get closer to the time when we would normally all be gathering at street parties and parades to celebrate all the beauty and diversity of the LGBTQ2S+ community. But this thing called a pandemic has — for the second year — interfered with our collective in-person celebration. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our community from inside our homes, though!
Let me introduce you to some amazing and celebrated members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. You should be putting these folks on your radar for simply being their amazing selves and giving us all a reason to celebrate our authentic selves!
Here is my list of the Top 10 LGBTQ Influencers of 2021. Happy Pride, y’all!
They’re a trans non-binary musician out of Nashville, TN, and they are on FIRE. From their incredible music and fashion expression to the amazing safe space they create on Instagram with inspirational videos for other trans folks to speak openly about issues that affect them, Freak Daddy brings it home as an up-and-coming trans icon.
This powerhouse of a human being has an amazing YouTube presence where he speaks about all the incredible intersections of his identity. As a self-identified artist, author, and director who is deaf, trans, and genderqueer, his online presence brings so much positivity to the trans community.
Kim is a German singer/songwriter who records music in the EDM/ dance pop genre and has millions of plays on Spotify. She identifies as transgender and she is just fantastic. She has blown up internationally and is not only a member of the trans community we can be proud of, but also a success in the mainstream music industry. YAY, KIM!
Although his Instagram follows aren’t sky-high, this British actor, who I first discovered on Michaela Coel’s revolutionary HBO series I May Destroy You, is an incredible presence in the LGBTQ2S+ community. He starred in the BBC sitcom Boy Meets Girl in 2015 and made history in 2019 with a role in the movie Spider-Man: Far From Home, becoming the first black trans man to be featured in a Marvel movie. SAY WHAT? Can you say proud trans papa?!
Sean is a Two-Spirit Native American (Navajo/Ute) artist, designer, dancer, and self-described Non-Binary Queen! This incredible human being is best known for the work they do with their partner, Adrian Stevens, as Powwow circuit dancers where they dance as a couple. Be still my beating heart! They’ve appeared in the pages of Vogue and In Magazine and are a force to be reckoned with. I highly suggest you go on YouTube to watch their performances.
This Indigenous Canadian singer/songwriter/performer identifies as Two-Spirit. She’s not only an incredible performer but she’s also extremely committed to supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth through music. She speaks openly about the challenges she faced in the music industry before coming out and how she reclaimed her Two-Spirit Indigenous identity. Not only is her music fantastic but she’s also an incredible role model for young queer folks.
That’s right. Richie Shazam, with whom I am so incredibly proud to co-host the TV series Shine True, has come a long way in their own right and done it by making their own rules. They are a native New Yorker, fashion model, and photographer, and a true champion of non-binary queer femme presenting folks. I may be biased on this one as they are also my friend, but there is no way you can deny the power Richie has in overcoming the barriers presented to folks like them in the fashion industry. I love you, Richie!
When it comes to LGBTQ influencers, there’s no ignoring Elliot Page. The Canadian born actor has starred in films like Juno, X-Men, and one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, Inception. They came out as trans and non-binary and now use the pronouns he/they. (BTW, did you know you can now add your pronouns to your Instagram profile?) Elliot made history when they were on the cover of Time and courageously opened up about their journey in an incredibly vulnerable interview with the one and only Oprah Winfrey. His advocacy and activism for the rights of trans youth in the US and around the world is beyond admirable and I am so proud of him that I could burst.
Indya is an American actor and model best known for her role of Angel on the FX TV series Pose. They identify as transgender and non-binary, using they/them and she/her pronouns, and their presence and visibility as a Black transgender icon is literally saving lives. They recently were part of a Pride campaign for aweinspired.com that honored trans activist Marsha P. Johnson with a special edition necklace. They also have a starring role in the upcoming horror sequel Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.
Alok is an author, performer, speaker and fashion icon. I am daily in awe of everything they bring to the queer community and to those looking to learn and become allies. Alok embodies everything that is light in our community. Identifying as non-binary and using they/them pronouns, Alok uses their Instagram profile to speak to issues that affect the trans and non-binary community and every intersection that exists within our community, including BIPOC folks and disabled folks .
Their unpacking of gender and many of the issues surrounding colonized systems of oppression are, in one word, brilliant. They have an MA in Sociology and another in Gender Studies (SMARTY PANTS), and have written a book called Beyond The Gender Binary that “deconstructs , demystifies and reimagines the gender binary.” Beyond all of this, what I most admire in Alok is their ability to move through their advocacy with immense compassion while also challenging those who refuse to honor the existence of trans and non-binary folks of every intersection. And also, their beautiful body hair!
Go show these wonderful LGBTQ influencers some love! Happy Pride, everyone!