Matthew’s Place
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Matthew’s Place

Taking Their Place in History: 12 Black Queer Instagramers to Follow

by Chaya Milchtein

Adrienne Muse

Adrienne “Madam” Muse is a visual artist who is completely self taught. Based in LA, Adrienne has been featured in the New York Times, Essence and others. “Her inspiration for the art she creates is to honor those who came before her and to be a representation for women of color in the art world.” —

Dexter Mayfield

Dexter Mayfield is a big and tall model, performer, dancer and choreographer. “Once we expand that spectrum of what male beauty is, I think that to continue to have that visibility is crucial. We need to be out there on billboards. I think that so many more young men will be confident in themselves and happy as the person they are if we can do that.” Dexter told Mic.


Writer, model and trans advocate, Devin-Norelle has written for Teen Vouge, Out and others. “I remember when I approached my friends about wanting them to use ze/zim, they were a bit confused at first. Many were not aware of gender neutral pronouns. I came prepared. I printed out a list of all known pronouns and presented it to them. I described a short of history of gender neutral identities, explaining how the binary was introduced to our ancestors via imperialism.” — Devin-Norelle to Gay Times

TIQ Milan

“Tiq shares his story of being transgender and how that informs his views on masculinity, race and gender. He travels throughout North America leading discussions on healthy modes of masculinity, inclusive leadership and creating cultures of consent.” —

Renée Bever

“I’m a multi-faceted visual artist producing abstract paintings, photography, as well as, short videos and those gram stories y’all love so much. I’m a public speaker, a story teller, a trauma survivor, non-profit consultant and inclusion expert. I’m good at making safer spaces. — Renée Bever

Laverne Cox

“A lot of people think ‘If this transgender person is able to have equal rights and access then they’re taking something from me.’ It’s a scarcity narrative.” — Laverne Cox to Marie Claire

Fatima Jamal

“Named by Teen Vogue as one of the “coolest queers on the internet,” Jamal is also known as ‘fatfemme’, a moniker that encapsulates life at the intersection of fat and femme identity — “spaces that people are afraid to occupy,” she names.” —

Aaron Phillip

“Aaron Philip is a trailblazer as a black, transgender, disabled model, who has risen to the top of the game. Signing on with Elite Model Management in NYC, she’s modeled for the likes of Sephora, Dove, Outdoor Voices, even landing a cover story with Paper Magazine and glowing profiles in Vice, Glamour. To say that Aaron is perhaps the breakout star of 2019 might even be an understatement.” —

Jeremy O’Harris

“A lot of people really want to believe that I wrote this play just thinking about all the white people who were going to line up and give me money for telling them that they were bad white people,” he said. “But actually I wrote a play about black people self-actualizing inside of a history that makes it very difficult to self-actualize outside of the rules and socialization that come with being a black body who has inherited the trauma of chattel slavery.” — Jeremy O’Harris to LA Times

Sade Giliberti

“Having been in the public eye since she was 7, SADE GILIBERTI (Half Italian, Half Zulu) is one of South Africa’s most loved TV personalities in the world of entertainment. Sade became a household name, when she started presenting a South African youth TV show YO-TV for local broadcaster SABC 1. Not only was she in front of the camera, but she started to work behind the scenes, producing and writing for several magazine shows on YO-TV.” —

Tyler Ford

“Tyler Ford is an editor and award-winning non-binary advocate whose creative and critical writing on queer and trans identity inspires, comforts, and challenges a diverse spectrum of audiences. A research editor at The New York Times, former deputy editor of Condé Nast’s them., and Grand Marshal of NYC Pride 2018; Tyler’s sphere of influence is wide, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers and helping LGBTQ+ people feel more equipped to express themselves with confidence.” —

DeRay McKesson

“Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics through deep conversations with influencers and experts, and the weekly news with fellow activists Brittany Packnett and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Clint Smith.” —

About the Author:

Chaya Milchtein is the driving force behind Mechanic Shop Femme. As an automotive educator, speaker and writer, she’s made it her life’s mission to educate women and LGBT people about their cars. Her website also highlights her work on her other passion: empowering women to live their best lives in the bodies they have, through fashion and modeling. Chaya’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Go Magazine, and others. She lives with her fiancée and tortoise in Wisconsin. Follow her on twitter @mechanicfemme.




Matthew’s Place is by and for LGBTQ+ youth and a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation l #EraseHate

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Matthew's Place

Matthew's Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email

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