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Matthew’s Place

Young Black LGBTQ+ Activists you Should Follow

by Judy Bokao

Every movement needs people who are ready to stand up for what is right and campaign for a social change that will make the world a better place. Since the beginning of time, activists have played a major role in ending so many social evils and injustices. They helped in the abolition of slavery, challenged dictatorships, protected the environment, promoted women’s equality, protected workers from exploitation, and opposed racism. By challenging the status quo and working together to improve society’s functioning, they help others attain a better life and justice. Activists are important in any society because they focus on creating substantive changes in policy or practice of government and people. The world is always in need of social changes but today we are focusing on some of the amazing Black LGBTQ+ activists fighting and campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights as well as protesting racism.

via Raquel’s Instagram

Raquel Willis

Willis is a Black transgender activist. She is passionate about upholding the dignity of marginalized people especially Black transgender women. She founded the Black Trans Circles which focuses on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest by creating healing justice spaces . It is in these spaces that they can work through oppression-based trauma and incubating community efforts to address anti-trans murder and violence. She has also successfully led the Atlanta Trans Liberation Tuesday mobilization effort in conduction with the Black Lives Matter network .She continues to advocate for transgender rights and African American rights through different platforms in the media.

Jules Turner

Jules Turner

During his senior year in high school, Turner formed his area’s first gay-straight alliance. All his life he battled with racism, homophobia and discrimination; all of this led to him being deeply depressed. It didn’t help that his family and society ostracized him once he chose to reveal his sexuality. Even though this was hard, he realized that he could use his experience to impact the world for the better good. He decided to start making his community more knowledgeable about the struggles LGBTQ+ youth are undergoing. He wanted to help LGBTQ+ youth to have a more peaceful process of self-acceptance and finding themselves. He says that even though the process of helping others dredges up his painful memories, he understands the need to openly discuss these issues because not sweeping them under the rug is not a solution and in the end it leads to a bigger mess. He continues to open up about his powerful exploration of his identity as both Black and LGBTQ+.

via Ashton’s Instagram

Ashton Mota

After noticing a dire underrepresentation of people of color in mainstream LGBTQ+ spaces, he launched himself into LGBTQ+ activism by opening up about his experiences. He started lobbying for his high school community to address him by his preferred name and allow him to join the boy’s basketball team. He was successful in both endeavors which shows that people just need to speak up to be heard. He became a youth ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign in 2018 and used the platform to advocate for people to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their sexuality, race, or gender. He also advocated for the Equality Act which is a federal bill that would provide federal protection to protect LGBTQ+ people.

via LaSaia’s Instagram

LaSaia Wade

Wade has been a trailblazer when it comes to advocating for transgender people, and she has years of trans-activism and organizing experience under her belt. She founded the Brave Space Alliance which gives shelter to LGBTQ+ people in Chicago. It also offers programs to help them navigate financial issues, interviews for jobs, reduce the spread of HIV, and get access to safe housing and healthy meals. The Brave Space Alliance also provide resources and support groups for sex workers, and trans and nonbinary individuals. These types of intersectional organizations are important because they provide support every LGBTQ+ person.

via Gabriella’s website

Gabriella Alexa

Gabriella is a writer and a digital creator who is using her talented ways with words to educate people about identity and sexuality. She is hoping that through education, people will learn more about marginalized identities and also themselves. She founded the Bi Girls Club, which is a lifestyle brand for bi, pan, queer and fluid women/femmes. She is an ardent bisexuality + advocate hopes to increase bi+visibility. Upon learning that bi+ people receive less funding from LGBTQ+ organizations, she decided to raise money for those organizations by starting the Bi Girls Club. The club also helps to combat stigma through positive visibility.

These activists remind us that all it takes is one person to start the pursuit of change and that it can be done. We should never forget that we have the power to create, the power to protest, to organise for change, to strike, to work, to volunteer, to innovate, to influence, to give example, to learn, to access and share information, to communicate, to publicise, to experiment, and we have the power often forgotten, to make mistakes and to learn from them.

About the Author:

Judy Bokao is 20 years old and was born in Ethiopia but relocated to Nairobi two years ago. She is passionate about everyone having equal rights and is also big on conservation and speaking up for our planet. Judy loves reading and photography and is just a free-spirited young lady trying to grow into a woman her mom can be proud of.

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