Black LGBTQ Heroes

Equality for HER has a global focus. In the United Kingdom, February is LGBT History Month while in the United States February is Black History Month. We took the opportunity to compile a list of people who have lived at the intersections of Black and LGBTQ identity. Here's a list of some earth-shaking Black LGBTQ figures who've reshaped the narrative of what it means to be both Black and LGBTQ.

Tracey Africa

Tracey is recognized as being the first Black transgender model and is well known for appearing on a box of Clairol. Tracey went on a thirty-year hiatus from modeling after being outed as trans, however she remained vocal about trans* liberation over the years.

 

 

Dr. Angela Y. Davis

Angela Davis is an activist, educator and womanist. Angela has dedicated her life to combating all forms of oppression nationally and internationally. Angela was a visible member of the Black Panthers and taught briefly at the University of California, Los Angeles. She continues to shine a light on injustice around the world.

We have to talk about liberating minds as well liberating society.
— Dr. Angela Davis
 

Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American activist, womanist and writer. Being an artist, Audre used her medium, poetry, to convey the hushed issues in our society. She also spoke about the importance of dismantling patriarchy and violent narratives.

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
— Audre Lorde
 

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul, or the mother of drag has used his voice and stature to reshape popular culture in many ways. RuPaul is an author, model, recording artist and icon. He is most known for the being the curator of the syndicated and adored show, RuPual's Drag Race on Logo.

 

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha Johnson was a core presence of the Stonewall Rots. Alongside her comrade, Sylvia Rivera, Marsha fought diligently for LGBTQ rights.

Pay it no mind.
— Marsha P. Johnson
 

Alvin Ailey

Activist, choreographer and creator of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin essentially formed the AAADT to allow modern Black dancers to showcase their innate and polished skills. His revolutionary decision allowed many Black dancers to share their talent with the world.

 

Bayard Rustin

Rustin was a civil rights activist, gay rights activist and organizer. He combatted injustice by using non-violent strategies; He was also Martin Luther King's personal advisor.

 

Janet Mock

Author, activist and television host. Janet is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Redefining Realness. In this book, Janet speaks intensively about her journey to womanhood , love and identity. Throughput the years, Janet has been an adamant advocate for transgender rights and ambiguously, LGBTQ rights.

 

Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was an activist, playwright, novelist and poet. Hughes is known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance and is the primary innovator of jazz poetry.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
— Langston Hughes
 

Laverne Cox

LGBT activist, actress and television producer. Laverne is an Emmy winning producer and an Emmy nominated actress. Despite being an immensely busy woman, Laverne still manages to speak at various places, informing people about LGBT issues.

 

 

Alice Walker

Alice Walker is an activist, novelist, womanist and author. She is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and is most recognized for penning the critically acclaimed novel, The Color Purple.

The most common way for people to give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
— Alice Walker