As we mark the start of Black History Month, HRC honors all of the Black LGBTQ and allied trailblazers who have helped us in our fight for justice and equality for all.
It is artists like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Audre Lorde who gave a voice to the Black LGBTQ community, amplifying our struggle through poetry and literature.
Celebrities like Jason Collins, Laverne Cox, Robin Roberts, Wanda Sykes, RuPaul, Raven-Symoné, Lee Daniels and Don Lemon are role models for young Black youth. They live proudly, openly and authentically, aspiring others to live their truth.
Politicians such as Cory Booker, Eric Holder and John Lewis continually advocate for LGBTQ people on the local and federal level. They have been bright lights in dark times, reminding us that our shared struggle is far from over.
“I fought too long and too hard against discrimination based on race and color, not to fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Lewis once tweeted.
It is advocates like Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson, Candis Cox, DeRay Mckesson and Janet Mock who remind us that bias, discrimination and prejudice exist in America and that it disproportionately affects LGBTQ people of color.
We look to these leaders, and so many other Black LGBTQ and allied leaders, who stand with us in the fight for full equality. We are inspired by their passion, dedication and persistence and are proud to honor them for Black History Month.
To learn about the experiences of LGBTQ people living in the United States who identify as African American, click here. For more on the experiences of Black LGBTQ people living outside of the U.S., click here.