LGBTQIA+ Voices that Have Inspired Change in Today's World

LGBTQIA+ Voices that Have Inspired Change in Today's World

Pride is an incredible time to honor those who have helped pave the way for gay rights. Their powerful voices have risen high to embrace the power of acceptance, love, and inclusivity. The LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way and many of these inspiring individuals have fought to shape a more inclusive and accepting society for all.

Harvey Milk 

Harvey Milk was a human rights leader that became one of the first openly-gay United States elected officials. Serving on the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977, Harvey was a motivational voice to the LGBTQIA+ community and was forced to overcome hostility and hate.

“We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I’m going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out”

Frank Mugisha 

Frank Mugisha is another prominent advocate in the LGBTQIA+ community, who continues to prevail in a country where homosexuality is criminalized, Uganda. He was the founder of ‘Sexual Minorities Uganda’,‘Icebreakers Uganda’ and speaks internationally regarding the struggles of the gay community in Uganda.

“For me,” Frank says, “it is about standing out and speaking in an environment where you are not sure if you will survive the next day; it is this fear that makes me strong, to work hard and fight on to see a better life for LGBTI persons in Uganda.”

Sylvia Rivera 

Sylvia played a key part in the Stonewall Riots and continued to fight tirelessly for the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. She was also the co-founder of the STAR organization and made many strides assisting homeless youth in the community. 

“We have to do it because we can no longer stay invisible. We have to be visible. We should not be ashamed of who we are. We have to show the world that we are numerous. There are many of us out there.”

Audre Lorde

Audre was a poet and author who actively voiced her experience as a Black lesbian woman and demonstrated how we can work together from all different walks of life to achieve understanding. She took part in the women's liberation movement as well as the civil rights movement and focused on social justice. Audre was a voice needed and unique during her time. 

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha was a black trans woman that played a huge role in the gay rights movement in New York City in the 1960s and 70s. She worked tirelessly to make a better life for homeless LGBTQIA+ youth and transgender individuals. Outspoken, passionate, and powerful - Marsha was a beautiful voice for the gay community.

“How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race?”

These powerful and inspirational individuals were and continue to be a resonant voice of love and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community. Even though so much work has been done, there’s still much to do. Continuing to educate ourselves, speak our truths, and advocate for this community is key to growth and acceptance.