4 Young Black Queer Advocates: Trailblazers You Should Know

4 Young Black Queer Advocates You Should Know

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Throughout history, social justice movements have been influenced by Black queer advocates and voices. As society progresses, the battle for equality pushes deeper into the intersectional issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as issues regarding race and socioeconomic status. Veteran advocates like James Baldwin, Marsha P. Johnson, and Angela Davis have left their mark on society by doing the groundwork, and the new generation continues to carry on that legacy. Here are five Black queer advocates you should know. 

Amandla Stenberg  

Amandla Stenberg attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

For years, Amandla Stenberg has been vocal about her passion for social justice. “The Hunger Games” actress has worked to draw awareness to gender equality and racial injustice. Her popularity in Hollywood and her drive to give young people a voice has also helped her become one of the most recognized young advocates of our time. In 2019, Amandla received the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award, and in 2018, TIME Magazine named her as a “Next Generation Leader” for her advocacy efforts, especially within the LGBTQ community.

Gerren Keith Gaynor 

Gerren Keith Gaynor
Gerren Keith Gaynor attends as Byron Allen & theGrio Celebrate Gayle King at the Washington D.C. Gala after The White House Correspondents Dinner at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on April 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Richard Chapin Downs Jr./Getty Images)

Gerren’s position as a White House Correspondent has given him the leverage to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Gerren is also the managing editor of politics at theGrio. Forbes also added him to their 10 Black LGBTQ+ Figures And Activists to Know.” Throughout his career, he has intentionally told the stories of marginalized and underrepresented groups. He’s spoken out about the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Arbery, as well as the racial disparities within the COVID health crisis. 

Yasmin Benoit

Yasmin Benoit attends the screening of “Love Lies Bleeding” at Picturehouse Central on April 30, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Ackerman/WireImage)

Yasmin Benoit is determined to educate people on what asexuality and aromanticism are so society can begin dismantling the stereotypes they have about this identity. The UK-based alternative model is well known in England for her advocacy work and modeling career. Yasmin shares her views on being asexual on her social media and website to increase visibility for asexual people and combat the stigma that surrounds them. She is also behind the popular #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike movement, and in 2021, she co-founded International Asexuality Day (April 6). She is also a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN).

Indya Moore 

Indya Moore visits the IMDb Portrait Studio at Acura House of Energy on Location at Sundance 2024 on Jan. 20, 2024 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for IMDb)
Indya Moore visits the IMDb Portrait Studio at Acura House of Energy on Location at Sundance 2024 on Jan. 20, 2024 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for IMDb)

You may have heard of Indya Moore from the TV series “Pose,” but they are also well know for the work they do off-screen as well. As a non-binary transgender person, Indya has used their platform as a way to raise awareness about the issues that affect transgender people of color. Their Haitian and Latinx background and growing up in foster care helped inform their approach to life and of the issues underrepresented people face. During the pandemic, they raised more than $20,000 to help transgender women of color cover food expenses.

When asked about what they had learned about being vocal on social media about the topics they care about, they told “Teen Vogue,” “I say things that are very uncomfortable with and make people angry, because they don’t want me to use my platform to tell the truth. They don’t want me to use my platform in ways that benefit the people that they help marginalize. They just want me to sit around and look pretty. That’s just not who I am… I’m going to bump heads with people that benefit from the oppression that they put trans people through. I’m putting my life at risk.”

These young Black queer leaders are helping to shape a more inclusive future for marginalized communities. There is an ongoing need to address discrimination, and organizations like Allgo, the African American Office of Gay Concerns, The Audre Lorde Project, and Lavender Light are just a few you can connect with to see how you can help. 

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