It’s that time of the year when we celebrate love, equality, and individuality with pride. We, as an independent country, have developed our mentality and gradually started to accept love as it should be. However, there was a time when people used to antagonize anyone within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Today, we celebrate Pride month to mark the social event- The Stonewall Riots also known as the Stonewall Uprising which occurred at the end of June 1969. This movement was a powerful answer to the police brutality faced by the community in New York.
Famous activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Larry Kramer were the frontliners for LGBTQ rights in the 1980s. There are many people from the community who are standing up for their rights even today. Few people from the community stepped out into the world to change perspectives and inspired a lot of people across every field.
Here are the top 5 LGBTQIA+ figures you must know about:
1. Alan Turing – The Father of Modern Computer Science
Even though Alan Turing was the person who cracked the Enigma code during World War 2 by using his coding knowledge, he was mistreated for being gay. He was arrested by the police for confessing his homosexual relations with a 19-year-old man from Manchester.
Alan Turing was one of the most influential British figures of the 20th century and even today, after 68 years of his death, many people are inspired by him in the field of computer science.
2. Harvey Milk – The First Openly Gay Politician
Harvey Milk was a gay rights activist and one of the first openly gay politicians to ever be elected in California. He was loved by many and hated in equal measure, mainly as a result of homophobia. Many of his acquaintances used to say that he had predicted his death and he had also famously quoted, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door in the country.”
Unnervingly, in 1978 he was assassinated in City Hall, California. Many filmmakers have adapted his life story and created several Hollywood movies. He is a bona-fide inspiration for the people in the community.
3. RuPaul – The American Drag Queen
RuPaul aka American Drag Queen, is famously known for producing, hosting, and judging the reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1. Starting off as a regular fixture on the LGBT nightclub scene in New York City, he earned international fame as a drag queen after the release of the song, Supermodel in 1992. He is also the most-awarded person of color in the history of the Primetime Emmys with a total of 11 Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 2017, RuPaul was featured in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. Today, the show- RuPaul’s Drag Race has become popular worldwide, with a total of 14 seasons. This show has given inspiration and the opportunity to many drag artists to shine in the world without suppressing their identity.
4. Elliot Page – The Star Face Of The Oscar-Winning Film, Juno
The Canadian actor, Elliot Page, who has starred in many blockbuster films and OTT shows, came out as transgender in 2020 and now appears on any stage with blinding confidence, always supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. He recently opened up about the hate he has been facing due to his sexuality, identity and individual preferences.
Even after facing such criticism, he is loved by many for his performances and contribution to the film industry, and more so for his confidence and vocal support of the community. Many fellow celebrities adore and support him for who he is. Elliot has always been seen shining bright on the big screen and encouraging many people from not only within the community but also around the globe.
5. Gilbert Baker – Creator Of The Rainbow Flag
The American designer and activist, Gilbert Baker, popularly known as the “Rainbow Flag Creator” designed the symbol that represents the community as per the request of his friend, Harvey Milk. Baker crafted the flag by taking inspiration from the US flag and included rainbow colors to it which represented diversity and the spectrum of the community.
This rainbow pride flag was first flown on June 25, 1978 in San Francisco while celebrating Pride month. Today, this flag inspires and empowers every member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Everyone in this list has inspired the world through their work in their respective fields. They have made a strong impression, an impression that has changed opinions and the point-of-view of generations that have followed. Today’s members of the LGBTQIA+ community deserve this platform to be the next inspiring figures whom we can adore! Pride month is about celebrating every individual who forms the collective, as each one has their inspiring story to share.
Author: Riston Rodrigues – An introverted person who likes to create an imaginary scenario and give life to it through short films.