Four Influential LGBTQ+ Personalities We Admire
As a fiercely inclusive brand, we aim to embrace and celebrate people of every ethnicity, gender and sexual identity. This month, more than 45 major LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations will be taking place in cities around the globe and in honour of this, we wanted to profile four well-known LGBTQ+ personalities that we deeply respect and give them the credit they deserve.
Any LGBTQ+ list would not be complete without the almighty Ellen DeGeneres. In fact, it doesn’t seem right to start this list off with anyone else! In 1997, she made the exceptionally brave decision to come out as a lesbian on her TV show “Ellen” – breaking new ground as she used her platform to speak about her sexual identity. This courageous decision did not come without consequences; she faced a storm of homophobic criticism from the public and her television show was discontinued the following year.
Nonetheless, Ellen has persevered and built an impressive career, one that includes a wildly successful daytime talk show, multiple Emmy awards, and a record for the second-most retweeted tweet of all time (it was that the selfie she took at the Oscars in 2014). We love her for her unique brand of comedy, but more importantly we deeply admire her for being one of the most influential gay celebrities of our time.
Without a doubt, RuPaul is the best-known drag queen on the planet. But behind the bombshell appearance lies a savvy businessman who has succeeded in bringing drag to the mainstream as the host of three TV shows (Logo: RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag U, and Untucked!) Winning an Emmy for his efforts was just the icing on the cake for RuPaul Charles, who is also an actor, author, podcaster, singer and songwriter. Ru has helped many queens build successful careers and more importantly, has helped introduce the world to the idea that drag queens are real human beings behind the glitz and glamour.
Not only is he an uber talented R&B singer and songwriter, but Frank Ocean has an inner strength that we are absolutely awed by. The hiphop industry has historically been a rather homophobic place, so his decision to publicly reveal that he identifies as bisexual could have damaged his career so severely that he’d no longer be a viable artist that a record label would keep around. Nonetheless, he chose to post this personal revelation on tumblr for the whole world to see, ending his open letter with the line “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely.. I can hear the sky falling too.”
Thankfully, the sky did not fall — celebs like Beyonce, Jay-Z and Russell Simmons expressed their admiration for Frank, and fans continued to support his music. Despite facing the possibility of ruining his career, Frank stayed true to himself by making this declaration loud and proud. We have nothing but the utmost respect for him, period.
As one of the most visible LGBTQ+ faces in the public sphere, Laverne Cox is smashing through barriers left, right and centre. She is the first transgender actress to play a trans character on broadcast television, the first African-American trans woman to have a reality television show, and the first openly transgender person in history to be nominated for an Emmy.
But what we most admire about Laverne is how she’s using her fame to put the spotlight on an issue that is rarely talked about: homicide rates in the trans community. In fact, she was one of the directors and producers of the documentary “Free CeCe”, which tells the story of a trans woman who was imprisoned in a men’s penitentiary after stabbing a man who attacked her during a hate crime. If it hadn’t been for Laverne’s tireless efforts, the film would never have been made and CeCe’s story would never have been told. Thank you Laverne!
Liked this post? Learn about the personal inspiration behind NoMiNoU!