Celebrity

Celebrities and the LGBT+ Community: Why Their Voices Are Important

As a very unusual Pride Month comes to a close, I wanted to shed some light on some celebrities that have used their platforms to positively impact the LGBTQ+ community. When someone has a large platform, it is important to speak out against injustices and support marginalized communities. It is especially meaningful when these celebrities come from similar backgrounds as the people that look up to them. Whether they identify as LGBTQ+ themselves, or simply know how to be a good ally, here are some celebrities that get LGBTQ+ support right.

Allies

[Little Mix performed their song Secret Love Song in front of a rainbow graphic in Dubai, where homosexuality is still illegal.] via KS-NOVOA on YouTube

Although these celebrities may not identify as LGBTQ+ themselves, allyship is important too.

British pop girl group Little Mix is a beacon for their LGBTQ+ fans. They have always been outspoken in terms of support, from dedicating their 2016 single Secret Love Song to the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting, to featuring a same-sex romance in the music video for their song Only You, to performing under a giant rainbow banner in Dubai where homosexuality is still illegal. Although these acts may seem small they speak volumes. They have also contributed in big ways as well, with member Jade Thirwall hosting a drag themed birthday party to raise money for Stonewall where she serves as an ambassador.

Michael B. Jordan is another name that comes to mind when I think allyship. His production company Outlier Society was one of the first to adopt an inclusion rider. This clause is a formal declaration of diverse hiring practices, stating that “women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of LGBT and marginalized communities who are traditionally under-represented be depicted on screen in proportion to their representation in the population.” This is huge when it comes to representation in media. Film and TV are huge vessels for highlighting experiences of marginalized communities, and this clause will help to ensure that is happening.

LGBTQ+ Celebrities

Allies are important, but LGBTQ+ celebrities are able to connect to the community in a way that allies can’t. Not only do these stars provide some much needed representation in a historically cisgendered and white establishment, they also use their platforms to bring visibility for those less fortunate than them. There have been great strides in terms of representation, but there is still work to be done. These celebrities know that and share in the struggle with the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is an actress and LGBTQ+ advocate whose achievements on and off screen have made her an inspiration for many. Her 2014 appearance on the cover of Time magazine titled “The Transgender Tipping Point” was a huge moment in paving the way for trans people to have further visibility in the media. Her activism goes beyond magazine covers and TV shows. This comes in many forms, like campaigning for the trans actors in Pose to secure Emmy nominations, or pushing for IMDb’s birth name policy to be changed. She even received an honorary degree from New York City’s The New School in 2016 for her work with the transgender community and in the fight for gender equality. She also was executive producer in the new Netflix documentary Disclosure which looks into Hollywood’s depiction of trans people and its effect on American culture.

Halsey

In the music scene, singer-songwriter Halsey is another star who has used her celebrity status to stand with the LGBTQ+ community. As an openly bisexual woman, she has songs reflecting on her romantic relationships with both men and women. She also has included LGBTQ+ storylines and elements into her live shows and videos, whether that is depicting a lesbian relationship in her music video for Ghost, or sensually dancing with a woman on stage. She has never been one to back down from showing her authentic self, and uses her platform to speak out against injustices within the industry and throughout the country. Just recently, she launched The Black Creators Fund to provide financial support, resources, and a platform to Black creators. Given the Black roots of Pride Month, Halsey giving her platform to these creators is admirable.

Whether it comes from a place of solidarity or personal experience, celebrities with large platforms showing support for the LGBTQ+ community is extremely important. These stars and many more will continue to use their voices to show that people of all genders, sexualities, races, etc. can be fully supported and protected.

Cover Photo via @REBELREDRM on We Heart It

About author

Articles

Jordyn Mihok is a senior at the University of Connecticut studying Communication and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her interests include movies, TV, travel, and music.
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