Queer Icons To Support This Pride Month
As most everyone knows, June is Pride month for LGBTQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer*) and I thought I’d compile a list if Queer media personas to look into this month ( Disclaimer: I will be using “queer” as a blanket term for the LGB community throughout this article, and “trans” when referencing to all transgender identities). Whether you are queer or not, if you’d like to show your support for the community this month I would personally recommend following these wonderful human beings on their social media accounts! A great way to show support and activism for the LGBTQ community is listening to and giving a platform to the many many different queer people that have bravely shared their personal journeys on the internet! So this month, consume some queer media, support queer actors, artists, and creators of all fields.
Chella Man is a queer, trans, and deaf artist. He shares his journey as a disabled, queer person of color on his Instagram account. Man’s most recent project is his new inclusive fashion collection, said to represent his personal journey on taking testosterone. He also has an art account where he shares his drawings and photos.
Aaron Philip has broken barrier after barrier at just 18 years old. She was the first trans and queer woman of color to be signed to a major modeling agency and has most recently been included in Dove’s newest beauty campaign. Philips has modeled for ASOS, Paper Magazine, and i-D Magazine.
Probably the most well-known person on this list, Bretman Rock is most famous for his online youtube makeup videos and vlogs. At just 20 years old, Rock has already accumulated over 12 million followers on his Instagram account and is continuing to shine! Throughout his career, he’s been vocal on his identity as a gay person of color and for me and much of the queer community inspires simply by existing confidently as his true self.
Alock Vaid-Menon is a genderqueer performer, artist, writer, and activist for the LGBTQ community. He is vocal on social issues plauging the LGBTQ community, including but not limited to non-binary community inclusion and what it is like living as a queer person in a heteronormative society.
MJ Rodriguez came out as transgender in 2012 and is both an actress and a singer. She is most known known for her appearance on the 2011 Off-Broadway revival of Rent and the new television series Pose on FX. The included picture is from her appearance on the cover of Out Magazine, a magazine that covers entertainment, fashion, and current events, all through an LGBTQ lens. Rodriguez’s appearance on Pose makes her the leading actress in a show that has the largest series regular trans actors.
Jeffrey Marsh is the first genderqueer author to be signed with a major publisher, following the release of their book titled How To Be You. In the LGBTQ community, a major response from self-discovery at a younger age is met with the immediate reaction of our identities being a ‘phase’ or impossible to truly live in. As an older activist, Marsh confidence and inspirational videos give thousands of LGBTQ youth inspiration to live their lives authentically.
Ian Alexander is a transgender actor and is one of the younger celebrities on this list. At just 18 years old he has landed roles like Buck Vu on the OA and Vic in the film Everyday. He remains vocal on the issue of seeing more trans people in media, and posts pictures and videos of himself with inspirational messages on his Instagram.
Josie Totah is the youngest member on this list at 17 years old. She is an actress and has most recently partnered with Ralph Lauren and The Stonewall Foundation to model their joint Pride collection. Coming out as transgender publically at the end of 2018, Totah is yet another example of how inspirational someone can be simply by living their most authentic life and motivating others to do the same.
Mckenna identifies simply as queer, and came out to his youtube fanbase as transgender in 2016. I’ve personally been a fan of Miles Mckenna for years now, and can confidently say his videos inspired me to come out to my family and start dressing in a way that reflects my unique albeit complicated gender identity. He makes videos inspiring thousands of young queer people, and says he simply hopes to be the icon for kids today that he would have looked up to when he was younger.
Melanie Murphy is famous for her youtube videos, films, and books on women’s rights and self-care as a bisexual woman. Her videos tap into the topic of biphobia and bi-erasure in media, and her first novel comes out later this year, titled “If Only”.
This is by NO MEANS a comprehensive “list” of queer creators! No single news article can encompass the hundreds of thousands of queer people on this earth that each have their own individual thoughts, experiences, and messages. Remember this Pride month to stand by your LGBTQ siblings and listen to the experiences of queer people if you’d like to learn or be a good ally. No matter who or where you are, the experiences of self-discovery as a queer or trans person is ever-changing and deeply personal to the individual. The LGBTQ community on a daily basis has to defend their simple right to exist, and this one month of the year gives everyone that has been pushed to the sidelines to celebrate their identity. A time where maybe, just maybe, our messages, our experiences, our lives can be heard.