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LGBTQ+ Advocates


The amazing individuals working hard to improve the laws, rights and conditions for members of the LGBTQ+ community

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The brave and fearless LGBTQ+ individuals standing up against injustices and inequalities across the globe


Advocates are not only standing up for what they believe in, quite often they are persecuted for being vocal against the injustices that they see.

We wanted to showcase and shine a spotlight on these exceptional individuals and have dedicated this page to those people who are currently using whatever platform they have to make the world a better place for the international LGBTQ+ community.

The LGBTQ+ advocates' page will highlight individuals for three months, and every advocate featured they will remain on this page to showcase the exceptional people that we are proud are part of the community

To all those advocates, on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, we thank you


ELLEN LEE DEGENERES

 


Ellen Lee DeGeneres

Entertainer

Los Angeles, California – United States of America

b. 1958
 

A famous comedian, author, television host, actress and producer, there is not much that Ellen has not done in the world of entertainment, not only that, but Ellen is also a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Ellen was born in Metairie, the fourth largest city in the state of Louisiana. After graduating college, Ellen began her career in stand-up comedy. Ellen got her big break in 1986 staring on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and since then has had a meteoric rise to become one of the most beloved entertainers in the United States of America.

Ellen came out at lesbian at age 39; since then, Ellen has not only become a positive role model for young people coming to terms with their sexuality, Ellen also frequently uses her platform to highlight injustices and inequalities against the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019, when the nation of Brunei introduced the barbaric practice of stoning as a form of prosecution for those caught practising same-sex relationships, Ellen began a vocal campaign which resulted in Brunei, due to public pressure, stating that it will not enforce death by stoning. A small victory in a country of which same-sex relationships are considered illegal and one of many countries that still have the death penalty as a punishment.

Ellen's humour, compassion and fearless personality that makes her not only a fantastic individual but also a shining example of how talented and brave members of the global LGBTQ+ community are in a world that does not always see past a label to see the real person...., Ellen we love you.

 

TAYLOR ALISON SWIFT

 


Taylor Alison Smith

Singer, Songwriter & Actress

Nashville, Tennessee – United States of America

b. 1989
 

A singer, songwriter and actress to name but a few, it is hard to find someone that does not know of Taylor Swift, given Taylor’s public profile and internationally renowned music.

Taylor was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville, Tennessee at age 14 to start her recording career in country music. At age 17, Taylor launched her debut album, which went on to become one of the longest-charting albums in the US during the 2000s. Since then, Taylor has written countless successful and chart-topping songs and albums often narrating her personal life and experiences. A strong independent woman, Taylor through her work, has shown the hypocrisy that still exists with many commenting negatively on Taylor’s life when traditionally male counterparts would often be praised for the same behaviours or experiences. Even though Taylor has never publicly identified as LGBTQ+, she has used her fame, international platform and media interest to publicly lend her to support towards many LGBTQ+ related issues, especially around gay rights and equality.

Taylor is a talented, beautiful and independent woman, who is not afraid to stand up and be heard. Taylor is a shining example that even in 2019, that we are far from equal between genders, let alone within the LGBTQ+ community. Though many have fought hard over the years positive developments in equality laws and rights, we now face new problems, with the rise of staunch conservative-led politics and with many calling for the reversal of these progressive laws and rights. We hope you continue being a vocal supporter against injustice and go on to write many more songs and albums, Taylor; we love you

 

SAMUEL FREDERICK SMITH

 


Samuel Frederick Smith

Singer & Songwriter

London - United Kingdom

b. 1992
 

A unique voice, singer and songwriter who became an internationally recognised LGBTQ+ superstar.

Sam was born in London, UK and from a young age loved to perform and stared in a number of amateur productions. At 20, Sam got his big break when he was featured on the single “Latch, in 2013, Sam released his debut album “Lay Me Down” which was the start of Sam’s meteoric rise and international recognition. Sam has been open and vocal in the media about his gender and sexual identifiers and has described the many challenges faced growing up from being bullied as a child to gender identity issues. Sam came out as gay in 2014, early in their career and in 2019, Sam publicly announced that they identify as gender fluid and goes by the gender pronouns, they, them, their, theirs and themselves.

Sam is brave, open and honest. When many people starting their careers are afraid of how the world might react to their true self, Sam has been fearless, showing the world that talent, honesty and success can all be achieved without having to compromise. Sam has been a positive role model for many coming to terms with their sexual identities, but they have also raised the profile of gender non-binary and non-conformity, which is little known around the world. Sam, you are a true advocate, talented, and we hope you continue producing many more songs and albums, Sam; we love you

 

PETER TATCHELL

 


Peter Tatchell

Human Rights Campaigner & LGBTQ+ Advocate

Footscray, Victoria, Australia

b. 1952
 

An individual who has bravely dedicated their life by being an advocate for both human and LGBT rights around the globe.

Peter was born in Australia and was raised in a hard-working Christian family. Peter, due to family circumstances, left school early to work as a sign-writer and window decorator. It was during his time at college that Peter became a political activist, launching numerous campaigns in support of Australia's Aboriginal population. To avoid Army conscription, Peter moved to London and quickly became a leading member of the Gay Liberation Front.

Over the years, Peter has worked tirelessly to help promote and better the conditions for many people around the world. Throughout his adult life, Peter has been involved in many notable causes, from working with the ANC in South Africa to stop discrimination against the LGBT community to promoting the mistreatment of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. It is fair to say that not everyone fully understands the contribution Peter has made to the world, especially to the LGBT community, however, if it were not for people like Peter millions more would be suffering today, Peter we love you.

 

DAVID KATO KISULE

 


David Kato Kisule

Ugandan Teacher & LGBTQ+ Rights Activist

Nakawala, Mukono, Uganda

b. 1964 - d. 2011
 

An inspiring teacher and LGBT rights activist who was the first openly gay man in Uganda

David was born in Mukono, Uganda, within the Kisule clan. Uganda, a deeply religious country with over 84% of the population identifying as Christian, is known to discriminate and have anti-LGBT laws making life hard for individuals living in the country. David had long suspected his sexuality; however, it was after a two-years of teaching in South Africa that David came out publicly as gay at age 34. Upon returning to Uganda, he arranged a press conference in which David announced his sexuality and where he quickly proceeded to become an advocate for LGBT rights in Uganda.

David became involved in the underground LGBT movement in Uganda and was one of the founder members of the Sexual Minorities Uganda Group, which is also known as SMUG. Throughout his time as an activist, David was often targeted, from fears that he might be arrested during the controversial introduction of the "Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill" to having his picture featured in a Ugandan tabloid newspaper that named David alongside 99 other people that were being targeted amidst calls for their execution. Sadly, David was murdered in 2011; however, as the first openly gay man in Uganda, David quickly became the face for the movement that is still going on to this day. Uganda as a nation is becoming even more hostile against the LGBT community and it is even more critical today that more people have their voices heard in Uganda and around the world to stop the unnecessary persecution and execution of people that are just being who they were meant to be. David, we miss you and love you, may you rest in peace

 

BRENT HAWKES

 


Brent Hawkes

Canadian Clergyman & Gay Rights Activist

Bath, New Brunswick, Canada

b. 1950
 

An exceptional individual that promotes faith and LGBT equality in Canada

Brent was born in New Brunswick, Canada into a Baptist family. Before his calling, Brent worked as a teacher in Nova Scotia before becoming a pastor at age 28. Brent was appointed senior pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto and gained notoriety when he performed two same-sex wedding ceremonies in 2001 at his church. The weddings held significance because at that time, the city would not issue same-sex marriage licences. Performing the wedding at the church, provided a mechanism for same-sex couples to legally marry without government permission. The weddings created a lot of controversy at that time and the government did not endorse the marriages. It was only when the church sued the city, province and the federal government that in 2002 that the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the state legally recognise the marriages. The church and its approach to same-sex marriages allowed the legal barriers to be removed, making the two marriages the first in the modern world. It is impressive that Brent himself is an openly gay man and married his partner of 30 years, John Sproule in 2006.

The church and the LGBTQ+ community quite often have not had the best relationship; however, Brent shows that no one should ever have to choose between their faith and being their true self. Through Brent’s direct actions saw same-sex marriages legally recognised in Canada and the start of a movement that even to this day has 28 countries recognise these types of unions. Brent your faith and courage to stand up for what you believe in have benefited so many, Brent we love you.

 

MANVENDRA SINGH GOHIL

 


Manvendra Singh Gohil

Prince, Charity Trustee & LGBTQ+ Advocate

Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

b. 1965
 

The first openly gay prince in the world, who was brave coming out in a conservative nation.

Manvendra was born in Ajmer, India to the house of Paramara-Gohil-Rajput. Manvendra is the son and probable heir of the Maharaja (also known as king or ruler) of Rajipipla in Gujarat making him the first openly gay prince. Though attitudes have been changing in India, India is still conservative, and many within the LGBTQ+ community suffer in parts of the country today. India decriminalised same-sex activities in 2018 and same-sex unions and marriages are not recognised under the law. Manvendra was brought to the international media’s attention when he starred in a British TV series entitled “Undercover Princes” in which he and two other princes went undercover looking for love in the United Kingdom.

Manvendra struggled with his sexuality for many years and had an arranged marriage that lasted just one year. After the failed marriage, Manvendra had a nervous breakdown, and during his treatment, a psychiatrist informed his parents that Manvendra was gay. His parents accepted the truth, however, insisted that he not make it public. It was in 2006, four years later that the news broke across India about Manvendra’s sexuality, in which he received a backlash of hate following the story, people burnt his effigies, he was jeered and heckled when he made public appearances and it ultimately resulted in his family disowning him. Manvendra did not let these experiences hold him back and went onto set up an HIV/AIDS prevention charity and made several guest appearances around the world. In 2010, he became editor of a gay print magazine known as ‘Fun’. Manvendra is brave and his courage shows that no matter where you come from or how privileged you are, it is better to be your true self and be loved for who you are, Manvendra we love you.

 

LAVERNE COX

 


Laverne Cox

Actress & LGBTQ+ Advocate

Mobile, Alabama, USA

b. 1972
 

A stunning openly transgender American actress who is a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate

Laverne was born in Mobile, Alabama in the southern part of the United States of America. Laverne was a twin and learnt early on that she was different when at age 11, she started to develop feelings for a male classmate. Her attraction, coupled with the years of bullying that Laverne was subject to for not conforming to a stereotypically masculine behaviour resulted in Laverne attempting to take her own life. It was in New York City where Laverne decided to move away from dance into acting and in 2009, she appeared as a contestant in the show ‘I want to work for Diddy’. After appearing on the show was approached by VH1 to star in a makeover television series called ‘TRANSform me’ making Laverne the first African-American Transgender women to not only star in, but also produce a television show.

In 2013, Laverne was cast in the role of Sophia Burset, a transgender prisoner in the hit Netflix series ‘Orange is the New Black’. The success of the show raised Laverne’s profile, which she used to help advocate for LGBTQ+ and transgender rights. In 2014, Laverne became a vocal opposer of the ‘Manifesting Prostitution’ law in Phoenix, Arizona which gave the police additional powers to arrest individuals they believe were involved in prostitution. The impact of the law was felt to affect transgender women of colour and Laverne used her new international platform to raised awareness of the implications to the wider community. Laverne has been a trailblazer within the transgender community, a group that is often underrepresented and through Laverne’s hard work and commitment, has demystified and highlighted what many transgender people face in their daily lives. Laverne is beautiful both inside and out and Laverne, we love you.

 

ALEXYA SALVADOR

 


Alexya Salvador

Public School Teacher, Pastor & Transgender Advocate

Mairiporã, São Paulo, Brazil

b. 1980
 

An exceptional school teacher, transgender advocate, ordained cleric and mother to three children.

Alexya was born and raised in a suburb of Sao Paulo, Brazil in a country that was once trailblazing LGBTQ+ rights and is now moving towards more conservative, right-wing values. After graduating Alexya became a public-school teacher and the vice president of the Brazilian Association of Homotransaffective Families (ABRAFH). Alexya is now an ordained cleric and has become the first transgender revered in Latin America. In addition to being a teacher, advocate and reverend, Alexya is a mother to three children. Alexya adopted her first child, however, went onto adopt two transgender children.

Very little is publicised or known about Alexya outside of Brazil; however Alexya is an exceptional individual, she is a woman of colour, who has fought hard to achieve everything she has in life, Alexya has become an advocate for transgender rights in Brazil and even ran for the office of state representative in 2018, running on a platform focusing on LGBTQ+ rights and issues she faced throughout her life. Alexya is a perfect example that with hard work and dedication we can all achieve our goals, even in the face adversity, Alexya is standing firm, making her voice known in a climate that is becoming ever more hostile. Alexya you are a shining example of the exceptional LGBTQ+ and transgender individuals around the world and Alexya, we love you.

 


Thank you

Is there someone you feel deserves to have the spotlight shone on them for the work they do for the LGBTQ+ community? The individual does have to be a celebrity, just someone that is working to help better and improve the laws, rights and conditions within the international LGBTQ community, if so, please get in touch.


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