Black History and Black LGBTQ History Should Be Commemorated Year Round


Each year, Black History Month is celebrated throughout the entirety of February. Individuals and organizations take to social media, news outlets, and public events (among other platforms and activations) to learn about, uplift, and recognize the historic contributions that Black folks have made to culture and society. 

Although the importance of annual observance dedicated to the celebration and commemoration of Black history shouldn’t be understated, especially considering the historical silencing and erasure of Black voices, it’s important to recognize that Black history should be shared and celebrated year round. 

The suppression of Black voices, histories, and stories is a problem of pressing importance. Even as Black history is shared year after year, public campaigns to deter teaching Black history, in all its various forms and in all the ways Black people show up across time, persist. 

And, where Black history is shared, where Black voices, histories, and stories are told and heard, other Black identities and existences are simultaneously silenced and erased. 

Black queer people have always existed in history. We have and always will take up space, find and create joy in the spaces that were historically denied to us. Though this might seem a redundant point to make to some, it’s important to assert our presence and existence, both the joy and the pain, the challenges and the triumphs, throughout time and history. Black LGBTQ+ voices sit at the intersection of numerous lines of oppression and are increasingly vulnerable to marginalization; failing to make this history audible and accessible will only perpetuate it. 

Despite a lack of education surrounding Black LGBTQ+ history specifically, Black LGBTQ+ historical figures, both past and present, have made enormous contributions in shaping our world as we know it. The impressions Black LGBTQ+ people have left, and continue to leave, are deep and significant, and influence and achievement of this size cannot be contained to a single month, nor should it be.

While we’ll be spotlighting numerous Black LGBTQ+ trail blazers this Black History Month, it’s important to remember that Black queer people exist, and should be celebrated, during all twelve months of the year. GLAAD's Communities of Color and Media Department is committed to celebrating and elevating Black LGBTQ+ people and authentic, Black queer stories through the work we've done and will continue to do, in 2023 and beyond.

Below, we’ve compiled a list (that we expect will continue to grow with names and achievements) of Black LGBTQ+ people who have made and are in the process of making history, and whose work you should be supporting this year (and every year after that).


Black LGBTQ+ Authors:

  • Roxane Gay
  • Rivers Solomon
  • Kacen Callender
  • K. Ancrum
  • Julian Winters
  • Julian J. Walker
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • George M. Johnson
  • Danez Smith
  • Chloe O. Davis
  • Rasheed Newson
  • Audre Lorde

Black LGBTQ+ Historic Figures:

  • William Dorsey Swann
  • Alain Leroy Locke
  • Lucy Hicks Anderson
  • Bessie Smith
  • Gladys Bentley
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Dr. Danny Scarborough
  • Marlon Riggs
  • Sylvester

Black LGBTQ+ HIV/AIDS Awareness Activists

  • Tori Cooper
  • Dr. Ron Simmons
  • Gina Brown
  • Gracie Cartier
  • Trinity K. Bonet
  • Jericho Brown

Black LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs

  • Telfar Clemens
  • Brandon Blackwood
  • Chris Witherspoon
  • Kylo Freeman
  • McKensie Mack
  • Angelica Ross
  • Chef Joya
  • Kiyanna Stewart & Jannah Handy
  • Kingsley Gbadegesin
  • Danielle Gray & Brande Elise
  • Braxton Flemming
  • Dani Lalonders

Black LGBTQ+ Living Legends

  • Jewelle Gomez
  • Terence Alan Smith
  • Lena Waithe
  • Andrea Jenkins
  • Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
  • Phill Wilson
  • Kye Allums
  • Angela Davis
  • CeCe McDonald
  • Janet Mock

Black LGBTQ+ Visual Artists

  • LaQuann Dawson
  • Adee Roberson
  • Obi Does Production
  • Texas Isaiah
  • Kehinde Wiley
  • Mickalene Thomas
  • Naima Green
  • Kendrick Daye
  • Wriply M. Bennet
  • Lee Laa Ray Guillory

Black LGBTQ+ Entertainers:

  • Sean Bankhead
  • Jerrie Johnson
  • Stephen Galloway
  • Asanni Armon
  • serpentwithfeet
  • Janelle Monae
  • Bay Davis
  • Chika
  • Kalen Allen 
  • Kaleena Zanders
  • Alima Lee
  • Kidd Kenn
  • Lil Nas X

Black LGBTQ+ Media Mavericks

  • Dyllon Burnside
  • Robin Roberts
  • Emil Wilbekin
  • Shar Jossell
  • Ryan Mitchell
  • Tre'vell Anderson
  • Eva Reign
  • TS Madison
  • Karamo Brown
  • Dashaun Wesley

Black Trans Trailblazers:

  • Sage Dolan-Sandrino
  • MJ Rodriguez
  • Ceyenne Doroshow
  • Jessica Zyrie
  • Aaron Rose Philip
  • Laith Ashley
  • Devin Michael Lowe
  • Sean E. Coleman
  • Marquise Vilson
  • Brian Michael Smith

Black Non-binary Trailblazers

  • B. Hawk Snipes
  • DD Nicole Smith
  • Milan Garcon
  • Indya Moore
  • Mauree Raja Salima Turner
  • Shea Coulee
  • Bob the Drag Queen 
  • Shamir
  • Akwaeke Emezi
  • Amandla Stenberg

Black LGBTQ+ Filmmakers

  • Elegance Bratton
  • Brad Bailey
  • Whitney Skauge
  • Olivia Peace
  • Brandon Nicholas
  • Michael Donte
  • Ish Brown
  • Alexander King
  • Nyala Moon
  • Riley Wilson
  • LaQuann Dawson
  • Brit Fryer

More Black LGBTQ+ Folks Whose Work You Should Follow & Support:

  • LaShawn McGhee
  • Dustin Ross
  • Elijah McKinnon
  • Ashley Ray
  • Alexandra Gray
  • Chimee Adioha
  • Durand Bernarr
  • Daniel Willis
  • Kyra Jones
  • Jess Guilbeaux
  • Ayana Reece
  • Darnell Moore
  • Cakes Da Killa
  • Fred Sands IV