We kicked off our celebration of Black LGBTQ leaders for Black History as Ellington, but for the fact that he chose live as an openly gay man knowing the . Her passion for the rule of law and the constitution was well known.
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It was hopeless Long before he came out, rumors swirled about the sexual orientation of Puerto Rican singing sensation Ricky Martin. In fact in , Barbara Walters grilled the star about his sexuality, but he refused to confirm or deny the gay rumors. That all changed on March 29, , when Martin announced on his website that he is "a fortunate homosexual man.
He credited the twin sons he fathered with an egg donor and surrogate mother with giving him the courage to make the decision. Writing his memoir also played a role.
Honoring Black LGBTQ Icons
The couple have children. Before coming out, Sykes spoke out about gay rights and took part in a campaign to raise awareness about the danger of anti-gay slurs.
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At the time, the then year-old actor had been with his partner Brad Altman for 18 years. A survivor of a U. That would have been unthinkable when I was young. Gay in real life, the native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent has raised awareness about homelessness among gay teens. It was used as a marketing tool Rodriguez has received both acclaim and criticism for his works Hunger of Memory , Days of Obligation —a Pulitzer Prize finalist—and Brown.
Her most well known work includes "Sister Outsider," a collection of her essays and speeches, and the semi-autobiographical "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Civil rights leader and attorney Barbara Jordan was a political trailblazer. In , she became the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate, and then just a few years later, she became the first woman and first African-American elected to Congress from Texas. While Jordan never explicitly acknowledged her sexual orientation in public, she was open about her life partner of nearly 30 years, Nancy Earl.
Johnson was an outspoken transgender rights activist, and she is reported to be one of the central figures of the historic Stonewall Riots of When Oden was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, in , he made history by becoming the first openly gay African-American man elected mayor of an American city , according to The Advocate.
Gay Black Celebrities | List of Famous LGBT African Americans
In his autobiography, Duke Ellington noted what he considered Strayhorn's "four major moral freedoms": Everette Lynn Harris June 20, — July 23, was an openly gay American author who was best known for his depictions of African-American men who were on the down-low and in the closet. Many of the emotional struggles his characters experienced mirrored his own history of struggling with his sexual orientation. He also penned a memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, which chronicles his rise to fame and his struggles, including his suicide attempt in August Harris was among the most successful African-American or gay authors of his time.
Bayard Rustin March 17, — August 24, was a leader in the social movements for socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. Rustin was a leading strategist of the Civil Rights Movement from to A practitioner of nonviolence, he helped to initiate a Freedom Ride to challenge racial segregation.
Alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the chief organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
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Philip Randolph Institute, which promoted the integration of previously all-white unions and also advanced and campaigned for A Freedom Budget for All Americans, linking the racial justice to economic justice. As a result, he rarely served as a public spokesperson and instead acted as an influencer and strategy shaper behind the scenes.
Black History Month: 11 black LGBTQ trailblazers who made history
In the s, he became a vocal advocate for gay and lesbian rights. Part of his legal practice involves representing unaccompanied minors facing deportation to help them attain legal permanent residency within the United States. He obtained his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School as a Newborn-Johnson Scholar, where he was vice-president of the Black Law Students Association and worked with local start-ups in Detroit focused on improving life within the city. Elle Hearns is an accomplished organizer, speaker, strategist, writer and a co-founding member of the Black Lives Matter network.
Johnson Institute, an organization founded in that works to create a crucial entry point for Black transgender women to advocate for an end to violence against all trans people through advocacy, transformative organizing, restoration, civil disobedience, and direct action.
Zahara Green is the Founder and Executive Director of TRANScending Barriers Atlanta, a trans-led, trans-issue focused non-profit organization whose mission is to empower the transgender and gender non-conforming community in Georgia through community organizing with leadership building, advocacy, and direct services so that lives can be changed and a community uplifted.
Green is a formerly incarcerated trans women of color who spent five years incarcerated with most of her time in solitary confinement.
While incarcerated, Zahara rights were violated and she sued the Georgia Department of Corrections for violating her civil rights, which was the experience that inspired her to create TRANScending Barriers. She was also the first African-American woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention. Among numerous honors, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her passion for the rule of law and the constitution was well known. She once stated, "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total, and I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.
But through the process of amendment, interpretation and court decision I have finally been included in 'We, the people. Had she been out, she would have been the first lesbian known to have been elected to the United States Congress. Her work fosters important conversations around mass incarceration, sexuality and violence.
She is one of the founders of the Black Excellence Collective and the Black Excellence Tour, created with best friend Joshua Allen, and she is the focus of the recently released feature length documentary about her life and story, Free Cece! Alicia Garza is an African-American activist and editorial writer who has organized around the issues of health, student services and rights, rights for domestic workers, ending police brutality, anti-racism, and violence against trans and gender non-conforming people of color.
Garza also co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement. He has also been involved in national and international research efforts, coordinating the International Community Treatment and Science Workshop at the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th International AIDS Conferences.