Every October we celebrate LGBT History Month. The month-long observance coincides with the National Coming Out Day in America on October 11.
LGBT History Month not only recognizes the important contributions lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have made to history but also highlights the need to continue the conversation on LGBTQ+ rights as well as mental wellness.
Since Taimi always strives towards raising awareness and providing information on LGBTQ+ issues, it is important for us to mark the LGBT History Month by inviting you to take the time to remember the past, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future in terms of LGBTQ+ rights in America and beyond.
Below is a list of great LGBTQ+ individuals that have made an impact on human rights around the globe.
LGBTQ+ Icons That Paved the Way
LGBTQ+ people are now much more visible in media, politics, and culture. So much so that sometimes it is easy to forget that it was a much different picture just a few decades ago. There were countless persecutions, arrests, prison sentences, and more.
For years, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary people have been subjected to harassment, abuse, and violence. That said, there were brave pioneers who were unafraid to live their authentic lives. These are the people that changed the course of history for generations to come.
Marsha P. Johnson
Johnson was a black, queer, trans woman who was at the front lines of the LGBT liberation movement in the 1960s. Marsha advocated for LGBTQ+ rights at a time when it was unheard of. She was a key figure during the gay rights movement and the Stonewall uprising.
Ifti Nasim is a world-famous poet whose poetry collection in Urdu is the first gay-themed book written in that language ever. Nasim was born in Pakistan but had to escape to the United States to avoid persecution for his sexuality. He was also the founder of an LGBTQ+ organization in Chicago supporting the South Asian Community.
Edith Windsor was a long-time LGBTQ+ rights activist. She is known for challenging the laws in the United States. After Edith’s partner of 40 years passed away, she was stuck with a huge tax bill despite getting married in Canada in 2007. Heterosexual couples would not have been forced to pay in a similar situation. So, Windsor took her case to the Supreme Court and won, setting the precedent for many LGBTQ+ couples.
Ron Oden was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California in 2003. Oden entered the history books by becoming the first openly gay African American man to be elected mayor of an American city.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is a tennis legend. During her career, King earned 39 Grand Slam titles. She also beat out tennis king Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match. Billie Jean King was outed as a lesbian in 1981. She went against the advice of her publicists and agents to keep quiet and publicly came out, making her the first woman to do so in professional sports.
Simon Nnkoli is a huge figure in the battle for equality and recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in South Africa. He is the organizer of the first ever Pride March in Johannesburg. He also pushed the African National Congress to recognize LGBTQ+ rights in the country. Nnkoli also spent his life working on destigmatizing HIV and AIDS.
LGBTQ+ People Changing History Today
Laverne Cox is one of the most recognized faces in Hollywood. The first openly transgender woman to be nominated for an Emmy is a long-time trans rights activist. Cox who appeared on the cover of Time Magazine frequently appears in the media discussing trans and LGBTQ+ rights.
Ellen DeGeneres is a veteran on television. She is a producer, television host, entertainer, stand up comedian, and a wife to another Hollywood heavyweight Portia DeRossi. DeGeneres not only hosts her daytime TV show which is now its final season, but is also known for supporting organizations helping LGBTQ+ people. This summer Taimi donated $25000 to The Trevor Project live on her show.
Ru Paul Charles
RuPaul Charles is the host of one of the longest-running, most successful reality TV shows “RuPaul’s Drag Race”. RuPaul started his career back in the ’90s with a hit single “Supermodel (You Better Work” in his drag persona. His show is instrumental in bringing LGBTQ+ issues and culture to the mainstream.
Elliot Page is a Canadian award-winning actor, producer, activist. Page who was assigned female at birth publicly came out as a gay woman in 2014. In December 2020, Page published an open letter on his social media accounts coming out as a transgender man. He thanked everyone for their support and said that he was lucky to have arrived at the place in his life where he was comfortable living his truth. Page is one of the most outspoken, visible, and active transgender celebrities in Holywood who is an inspiration to thousands of non-binary and trans people.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah is a British LGBTQ+ rights activist better known as Lady Phyll. She is the co-founder of UK Black Pride, an anti-racism campaigner, a fighter for human rights in countries where LGBTQ+ people are discriminated against.
CNN’s world-famous news anchor is one of the most recognizable faces in the broadcasting world. Cooper, who is known for being quite outspoken, avoided discussing his private life for years. However, in 2012 he publicly came out as a gay man making him the most prominent openly gay television news anchor in America.
Supporting LGBTQ+ Community
Marlon Wayans who is known for his light-hearted comedies is an outspoken ally. Wayans never shies away from discussing LGBTQ+ issues. In 2019, he wrote on Instagram that he is tremendously proud of his daughter and wished her a happy Pride month. He received quite a bit of backlash from conservative anti-LGBTQ+ followers but refused to delete the negative comments to show the world what LGBTQ+ people deal with on a regular basis.
Michelle Visage is one of the best-known LGBTQ+ allies. The star of RuPaul’s Drag race has been an ally for decades, she often speaks at LGBTQ+ events, takes part in campaigns promoting support for the LGBTQ+ community, shares her journey to inspire others like in her video for Attitude Magazine’s Pride At Home sponsored by Taimi.
Eugene Levy is a proud father to an LGBTQ+ child. Levy has been an active advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community for years. The success of his sitcom created with his son “Schitt’s Creek” won him a GLAAD Media Award for the portrayal of LGBTQ+ people on television.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
The former NBA star and his Hollywood actress wife are proudly supporting Wade’s daughter Zaya who publicly came out as a trans girl in 2020. Both Wade and Union believe in raising their children to live as their authentic selves. The family is now a familiar face at Pride and LGBTQ+ events often talking about support not only Zaya but all transgender and LGBTQ+ children.
Daniel Radcliffe is a long-time LGBTQ+ ally. Radcliffe won a Celebrity Straight Ally award back in 2015 at the British LGBT Awards. Nearly a decade ago he filmed a series of public service announcements for The Trevor Project to speak up on the issues of suicides among LGBTQ+ youth.
The COO and founder of Taimi - the world’s largest LGBTQ+ platform is a proud and open ally. Pasykov, who issued an open letter in 2020 to urge allies to speak out is known for being a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He was also recognized for his efforts to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people by Gay Times Magazine by being on the cover of their Gay Times Honours edition.
LGBTQ+ History Month is a great opportunity to find out and learn more about the inspiring individuals that have made a big difference in the world. It is also the perfect time to raise awareness of the ongoing LGBTQ+ struggles by talking about important subjects like mental health, suicide prevention, human rights, and more.