"Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender women represent a vibrant and visible portion of the LGBTQ community. In addition to the legends of the Harlem Renaissance and the decades of groundbreaking activism spearheaded by women like Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith and Angela Davis, many of the most prominent coming out stories of the past two years have been black women like Brittney Griner, Raven-Symonè, Diana King and Robin Roberts. Meanwhile, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have become the most visible transgender women in media.
So, in honor of Black History Month, below you’ll find over 100 lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer and transgender women you should know about. If she was still alive, the oldest person in this list would be 189 years old. The youngest person on this list is a mere 21 years of age. Like all our lists of this sort, this post aims to contain a wide variety of humans of all ages and backgrounds, from reality TV show stars (despite its numerous failings, Reality TV has been a major mainstream source of LGBTQ visibility dating back to the early ’90s) to State Representatives to actresses to game-changing activists.
See the list here, and bookmark it! GREAT resource.
“I am a trans woman. My sisters are trans women. We are not secrets. We are not shameful. We are worthy of respect, desire, and love. As there are many kinds of women, there are many kinds of men, and many men desire many kinds of women, trans women are amongst these women. And let’s be clear: Trans women are women.” - Janet Mock / How Society Shames Men Dating Trans Women & How This Affects Our Lives
In April or May of 2013, I invited (as Janet Mock says) people into my life to experience this wonderful journey in becoming who I truly am. It felt so beautiful but I was fearful of offering the invitation because I didn’t know if my family and friends would still love me. I was afraid of losing my job and my career as an artist. I was afraid of not being able to fund my transition. I was filled with so much anxiety and that is because we are often targets of violence and abuse on a daily basis. The day my anxiety, depression, and fear decreased was the day I discovered an introduction video by Janet Mock on her website. She said, “I know that you can live the life of your dreams as well. I promise that it gets better. I know because I am you. I love you and I can’t wait to see you on the other side.” I honestly sat in front of my computer and cried. I needed to hear that I would still be loved. I needed to hear that it was okay to embark on this journey of self-discovery. I needed support.
Through Janet’s agency, she has inspired me to continue to live my truth and the importance of telling one’s story. Not only for me, but also for others within the trans* community. In the past 11 months, I have never felt so complete in my entire life. The struggles are THERE, believe me, but I feel so much stronger and beautiful than ever before. Janet.. thank you for your words, your encouragement, your hard work, your time, your voice, and your soul. You are truly an inspiration.
If you haven’t, please purchase Janet’s “Redefining Realness" here.