LGBTQ+ Celebrity Activists
One of the biggest issues in the modern LGBTQ+ community is the lack of representation in the media. Thankfully, many different LGBTQ+ individuals have become BIG in the public eye, and many have used their fame to bring attention, awareness, and support to the community. Especially in the last ten to fifteen years, LGBTQ+ actors, singers, leaders, and activists, in general, have made their way into the media, which really helps the community to have a voice and the proper representation.
Here are some of the most important and active LGBTQ+ celebrities and activists that have helped make strides in the community:
- Dan Savage: With the help of his husband Terry Miller, Dan Savage founded the extremely important “It Gets Better Project”. This organization is dedicated to the demographic that is the most susceptible and vulnerable to harassment and struggle, that being an LGBTQ+ youth. The It Gets Better Project reminds youth within the community that although they are having a hard time in the present, it’s important to push on because the future will be so much better. In that same vein, the group is determined to shape the future of the LGBTQ+ community and society as a whole so that it will be an equal place for generations to come.
- Laverne Cox: Arguably one of the most influential transgender women of modern times, Laverne Cox came into the public eye when she became the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a scripted TV show. After portraying as Sophia Burset in “Orange is the New Black”, Cox became dedicated to using her new, heightened platform to bring awareness and support to the LGBTQ+ community, especially to the trans individuals who are often put on the back burner.
- George Takei: Well known for playing Mr. Sulu in the famous Star Trek series, George Takei has never been outspoken about his role in the LGBTQ+ community. Takei is famous for discussing LGBTQ+ issues and has dedicated his fame and role in the media to remind the public of the oppression, discrimination, and overall existence of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Lady Gaga: One of the biggest bisexual celebrities out there, Lady Gaga uses her music as a form of activism. In fact, her song “Born This Way” hit number one on the charts, being the first song that’s made it that high that says the word “transgender”. “Born This Way” is completely dedicated to spreading the word that being any sexuality, race, or gender is something to be proud of. After this song was released, Gaga created the Born This Way Foundation, an organization that is committed to creating a better future. Another way that Lady Gaga used her fame was when she wore a dress made of meat at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010 to bring attention to the unfair policy at the time, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
Political and Legal Figures as Activists
Although LGBTQ+ celebrities and activists are a crucial component in the fight for equality, the individuals who are the most successful in creating change are those in political and legal fields. There are countless political and legal figures that have helped make huge strides in diminishing oppression and discrimination, while also fighting to make an equal society. Here are some of the most important political and legal leaders of our decade:
- Justice Anthony Kennedy: Justice Kennedy is known for fighting and winning against the Defense of Marriage Act, which originally stated that marriage was a union strictly meant for a man and a woman. However, in the case United States v. Windsor, Kennedy insisted that LGBTQ+ individuals are owed just as many rights and protections as their heterosexual counterparts. Many believe that Justice Kennedy’s efforts paved the road to the 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.
- President Barrack Obama: During his time in office, President Obama was committed to creating an equal society in the United States, voicing his opinions and dedication to achieving equality for all, including LGBTQ+ and women. Of course, Obama was also in office when gay marriage was legalized, and he was a huge proponent of gay rights and equality as a whole.
- Ted Olson and David Boies: When California passed Proposition 8, the law that made gay marriage illegal, Olson and Boies were the lawyers who fought against it. They did approach the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to legalize gay marriage on a national, constitutional scale, but were denied. After this, they were dedicated to challenging Prop 8. Olson and Boies continued their fight by joining the Virginia case involving banning civil unions and marriages of same-sex couples. These two lawyers are believed to be huge contributors to the eventual Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, when same-sex marriage was legalized nationally.