We try to include as much as we can from all across the LGBT spectrum, so why not a listing of some amazing black LGBT icons? They are truly world influencers and have put their own stamp on what it means to be gay and black at the same time.
1. Carolyn Mobley
Here is an interesting example of Christian mercy in motion. Carolyn Mobley was the first woman to co-chair the African-American Lesbian/Gay Alliance — it’s a smaller part of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. She was actually raised as a devout Christian, but get this…her church condoned her sexuality even though she was a Christian educator. The organization she served bridged the gap between the civil rights movement and the LGBT movement. Powerful!
2. Lorraine Hansberry
A lot of people were very shocked to find that yes, Lorraine Hansberry was indeed part of the LGBT community. She is the playwright and civil rights activist who wrote A Raisin in the Sun and gained immense popularity.
3. Josephine Baker
Red hot and wild in her heyday, Josephine Baker had it all — actor, singer, dancer, and all around entertainer. She fled to France in order to have more opportunities, but it didn’t stop her from becoming a worldwide sensation.
4. Sheryl Swoopes
A true LGBT icon in the sports world — she was the first woman that signed with the WBNA and paved the way for others to come after her. She has also won three Olympic gold medals and is an outspoken advocate of higher pay for female athletes around the sports world.
5. Wanda Sykes
While Ms. Sykes has only been openly gay in the media for a few years, she’s been a media darling for much longer than that. She is a stand up comedienne and an all around funny woman.
6. Andre Leon Talley
If you haven’t checked out Andre Leon Talley or know who he is, no problem! He is a top fashion icon in the industry, a man who has been a key part of Vogue and other fashion portals for many years. He is consulted, admired, and carries his own sense of style in a really big way. In his own way, he is also a spokesperson for the healthy at any size movement, given his proportions. He proves that you don’t have to be thin in order to be…well, fabulous!
Gays of color should have their own role models, because it can be hard to look into a community and not see anyone that looks like you. The black community has traditionally been very conservative and religious, which hasn’t always meant a lot of tolerance for its black gay youth and young adults. The tide is changing though, thanks to the stylish, powerful, and influential black LGBT’s of the past, present, and most certainly the future.