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LGBTQ Activists to Follow this Pride Month 

By Editorial Staff

Summer brings flowers, fresh peaches, and Pride Month — a celebration of individuality paralleled by none. Since the first Pride March was held in 1970, members of the LGBTQ community have gathered to commemorate a riot that would shape American culture for decades, a culture that these LBGTQ activists are continuing to influence on and offline.

While the beginnings of Pride Month are rooted in an unpleasant history, the reality of discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people persists. Thankfully, a vocal array of celebrities, educators, and content creators today continue to promote tolerance and inclusivity.

Our list of the top LGBTQ activists and influencers to follow this Pride Month includes some well-known public figures and some lesser-known individuals. Each has a unique message to share and displays a commitment to promoting acceptance and raising awareness about LGBTQ rights.

If you’re new to the concept of Pride Month, we’ve got you covered. We’re breaking down the significance of this month and how it all got started. 

What is Pride Month?

As many in the LGBTQ community know, the legacy of pride is political, violent, and more complex than a rainbow pattern. The first “Pride,” the event which triggered every other parade and celebration, was a riot.

In 1969, New York City police raided a gay club in Greenwhich Village. At that time, discrimination against LGBTQ people was widely accepted and often ignored. The police raid led to a six-day series of riots in the streets of Manhattan, spearheaded in part by two trans women of color Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Those riots, now called the Stonewall Uprising or just Stonewall, sparked a roaring flame for LGBTQ people.

Stonewall was just the beginning. For a while after that initial week, many celebrated “Gay Pride Day” on the last Sunday in June, though the actual day was flexible. Over time, LGBTQ activists in the United States have worked to officially adopt the entire month of June as a time to commemorate LGBTQ activists throughout history and to promote LGBTQ liberation.

Influencers and activists have a reach that extends far beyond their IG accounts. Read more about the wave of new media stars here.

Promoting Pride in Life and Work

Countless LGBTQ activists work behind the scenes on a daily basis to house, feed, and defend LGBTQ people. 

More than 200 anti-LGBTQ policies have been proposed so far in 2022, which would limit LGBTQ access to healthcare, home life, work, and school environments. Some would argue that activism in all realms of society is just as vital today as it was in 1969. 

We’ve created a list of LGBTQ influencers who are shining a light on diverse identities and calling-out discrimination. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow these change-makers today.

Ericka Hart (she/they)


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A post shared by Ericka Hart, M.Ed. (@ihartericka)

Ericka Hart (@ihartericka) is an educator and black queer femme activist who has dedicated her career to promoting sex positivity. With more than 481K followers on Instagram, Hart rose to prominence after attending Afropunk in 2016 completely topless. 

A breast cancer survivor, Hart had a double mastectomy in 2014 and still bears the scars. Her confidence in exposing her chest in public has been heralded as a bold way to encourage other breast cancer survivors to love themselves. 

Currently an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s School of Social Work and the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, Hart continues to speak about the importance of sexuality and sexual health.

Matt Bernstein (he/they)


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Matt Bernstein (@mattxiv) is a digital creator and queer influencer with 1.1M followers on Instagram and an astronomical engagement rate (24.8%). He dedicates his online presence to LGBTQ activist work. By sharing information about politics, beauty, and queer culture, Bernstein encourages others to embrace their full identity. 

Known online for his long colorful nails, intricate makeup looks, and commitment to inclusivity, Bernstein has exposed corporations and politicians in his posts. He has also shared his personal experiences to encourage others to be fearlessly authentic.

Representing the Q in LGBTQ, the self-identified “queer Jew” doesn’t describe himself as an activist. Still, he has embraced his platform as an agent for social change. He inspires others to embrace the fluidity of gender and sexuality without stigma or shame.

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Sara Ramirez (they/them)


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Sara Ramirez (@therealsararamirez) is a Mexican-American actor whose very existence has increased representation for LGBTQ people on television. As a non-binary person of color, with 2.3M followers on Instagram, Ramirez has helped to break down barriers on the new Sex and the City spin-off show And Just Like That as Miranda’s love interest Che Diaz.

In the face of mixed praise and backlash from fans of Sex and the City, which originally aired from 1998 to 2004, Ramirez has remained positive. They told Variety magazine that the role of Che, a proud non-binary person who breaks up Miranda’s marriage, is “complicated and messy,” which makes them vital. “The movement for liberation includes everyone, even people we don’t like,” Ramirez said. “…this party of pride, isn’t just for the people who make us feel cozy and cute — it’s for everyone.”

Elliot Page (he/him)


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Elliot Page (@elliotpage) is an actor, producer, and trans-rights advocate who stars in the popular Netflix show The Umbrella Academy. His decision to come out as trans in late 2020, during hiatus for the show, created a surge of excitement around himself and the future of his character on the series.

The Canadian actor has helped the American television show make history. Writers for The Umbrella Academy worked carefully to craft a transition story for Page’s character Viktor Hargreeves (formerly known as Vanya). The change intends to add dimension to the character without overshadowing other major plot points, according to show creators.

With more than 5.8M followers on Instagram, Page has used his platform to advocate for trans rights. He has spoken out about the discrimination he and others have faced, and he regularly encourages his fans to support trans youth.

Elton Ilirjani (he/him)


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A post shared by Elton ILIRJANI (@eilirjani)

Elton Ilirjani (@eilirjani) is a fashion influencer and one of the most-followed LGBTQ activists on our list. Born and raised in the People’s Republic of Albania, Ilirjani has devoted his life to improving the quality of life for LGBTQ people around the world. 

Ilirjani founded the HeadHunter Group, an HR, Recruiting and Staffing company originally founded in the Western Balkans. He also founded Dignity Global, a foundation that manages LGBTQ Employment Equality Indexes around the world. 

With more than 10.3M followers on Instagram, Ilirjani is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. Highlighting boundary-breaking fashion styles on his social media, he uses his own eccentric style to inspire his followers to embrace themselves and live authentically.

Like, Follow, and take action

In a world where brand ambassador marketing is the next big thing, influencers have the power to create change. LGBTQ influencers are bringing unique, uncensored perspectives to the masses. 

Want amazing LGBTQ+ brand ambassadors for your campaigns all year? Read more about ambassador marketing here.

LGBTQ activists of all ages have taken advantage of new media to increase visibility and orchestrate change. Petitions have been promoted and signed via social media. Average citizens have been made aware of proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation before it makes the news. 

Amidst the beauty and opportunity that social media create, LGBTQ activists and civilians have endured increased exposure to hatred and bullying as well. This month, you can support the LGBTQ activists and influencers who are bravely using their platforms to instigate change. You can also donate to organizations that actively work to support LGBTQ people and causes, like the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, or The Trevor Project.

This article was written by Kayla Beard

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