L - lesbian
G - gay
B - bisexual
T - transgender
Q - queer
I - intersexual
A - asexual
This month we are spotlighting a few people who are making a huge impact, whether they know it or not, for the LGBTQIA+ community.
We conducted a mini survey to identify some of the people and resources that people are actually identifying with or learning from. We wanted to discover real people and real stories that are actually having an impact and educating through storytelling in a very personal manner.
Here is who we narrowed it down to:
Quoted by some as the funniest person on Instagram, Raven is definitely worth a follow. Former columnist for Vogue, he has also written two books. His first book Trivial Pursuits looked at himself as an astute, sharply funny millennial, journalling his way through life. Tackling the important things such as Ikea meatballs, holidays or the slightly deeper issues of coming out as gay and being raised by a single parent.
His second book, Men, looks at what it means to be a man in the modern world. “The title is Raven Smith’s Men – it’s possessive. These are my men, my experience of masculinity,” he continues. “I’m not here to critique masculinity. I’m here to talk about what I remember, how it felt and how it affected my sense of self.”
The book looks at a wide range of characters from Raven's life. For all it's humour, it also looks at darker themes such as suicide and his own interpretation of consent during the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.
The book also looks at a step-change to a more fluid way of defining gender. “I am a modern person, but I already feel like a relic of a more binary time,” he muses. “The binary understanding of gender is just exploding – I guess it’s exciting, but I’m so aware of being certain that I’m a man and being attracted to what I know a man is. And I think as difficult as that was to come to terms with in my adolescence, it’s a certainty that I feel in my heart and mind and genitals.” (i, 2022).
His openness, honesty and willingness to admit his own flaws has made him a relatable and crucial pillar of the LGBTQIA+ community. His followers and community feel safe to address what they are really feeling and thinking, without the fear of judgement and with a sprinkle of humour.
Trans content creator, Madison Werner is speaking out and providing educational content for all her followers. She advocates for transgender rights and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community through her bright social media platform.
She has openly shared her journey of discovering herself, some of the details gruesome but very important to who she is today. She has modelled for Coach, Marc Jacobs, Grindr and she also shares her love for fashion and make up on social media. Her authenticity is inspiring and her posts educational.
Matt creates queer educational content, through a bubbly and broad presence online. He has tackled topics like HIV, gay adoption and more, alongside fostering a community who are keen to share his content, which is easily digestible and real.
The self-proclaimed “queer jew fairy in stiletto nails” makes sure that people understand his role is in instigating social change and he is careful not to describe himself as an activist.
“I feel like I used to function more as a facilitator of gay meme culture than anything else — which is fine, I have no regrets about any of the older content. But I feel like what I'm putting out now is much more in my own voice.”
When conducting this survey I was introduced to Carmen through a friend who said, "I really love Carmen Machado, she writes about queerness so beautifully."
"Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House, the graphic novel The Low, Low Woods, and the award-winning short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of "The New Vanguard," one of "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.""
I don't really think much else needs to be said, except make sure you take a look at her books, essays and all other content.
A black, queer, femme activist and highly thought of speaker and sexuality educator. In 2016 Erika went topless, showing her double mastectomy scars in public. Since then she has been all over the place sharing her thought leadership around human sexual expression being an essential part of overall human health. She is radical, yet relatable and pushes way beyond the usual "sex" positivity we see a lot in the media.
Thought it would be nice to finish on something to put a seriously huge smile on your face.
Taryn Arnold and her partner Cammie Scott both make content and Taryn does a very insightful Q&A every Tuesday. Here is their seriously cute engagement reel if you fancy some joy - watch here.
We hope that you find one, if not all, of these creators inspirational and educational. Whether you find yourself in the LGBTQIA+ community or not, the importance of opening yourself up to learning and having a willingness to accept where gaps in knowledge may exist is going to be pivotal to the society we live in.
Trust me, give ALL these people a follow and you'll be nothing but enlightened.