Take a look at the LGBT folks featured in the 2014 Root 100 List

TheRoot.com, one of the most widely read and influencial Black news sites, has just published their list of the 100 most influential African Americans. Among the esteemed group of Black LGBT leaders are Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Rashad Robinson, and Yoruba Richen. GLAAD is proud to count these folks as esteemed colleagues in the movement and friends to the organization. Laverne was an honoree at the 2014 GLAAD Media Awards, Janet was a presenter at the GLAAD Media Awards, Rashad Robinson is the former Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD and Yoruba Richen's work has been featured on GLAAD's website several times. Congratulations to them! 

Laverne Cox
As the sassy, sanguine Sophia Burset on Netflix’s breakout hit Orange Is the New Black, Laverne Cox’s very work is revolutionary, giving face (and depth) to transgender women of color, one of this country’s most marginalized,objectified and battered groups.  They say that the new frontier of civil rights is around sexuality, and though Cox may not quite be Rosa Parks, she is certainly at the fore. This year, Cox was nominated for a prime-time Emmy and landed a solo cover of Time magazine, both firsts for a transgender woman. She was also honored by GLAAD for her tireless advocacy on behalf of transgender communities the world over.

Janet Mock
We were first introduced to Janet Mock in 2011 with her groundbreaking Marie Claire profile about growing up as a transgender girl of color in her native Hawaii. In the years since, Mock has been an advocate for women of all stripes. Earlier this year, she authored the New York Times best-seller Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Mock is also the brains behind #GirlsLikeUs, a social movement aimed at empowering transgender women, who she says are just girls with something extra. “You can take that literally or figuratively, which is how I choose to read it: We are extra, we are more, we are special, we are everything.”

Rashad Robinson
Rashad Robinson serves as executive director of ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online social justice organization. In light of the police killing of Michael Brown, ColorofChange.org rallied in front of the White House this summer, delivering a #JusticeforMikeBrownpetition (signed by more than 900,000), and calling for the Justice Department to establish federal standards for police oversight across the nation, including anti-bias training and data collection on police brutality broken down by race. As the only openly gay leader of a black civil rights group, Robinson also seeks to bring LGBT equality under the civil rights umbrella: “Oppressed people, regardless of who or where they are, want something better.”

Yoruba Richen
Yoruba Richen is an award-winning film director and producer and creator of The New Black, an award-winning documentary that examines the complicated and often combative relationship between African Americans, the black church and gay rights. This is the third film for Richen, who also made Sisters of the Good Death, which is about the oldest African women’s association in the New World and its annual festival celebrating the end of slavery. Yoruba is a former Guggenheim fellow, a 2014 featured TED speaker and the 2014 recipient of the Tow professorship at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, where she teaches documentary film.

Charles Blow
The beauty of Charles M. Blow’s weekly commentary in the New York Times is not just his eloquent coverage of the news, though there is that: “What psychic damage does it do to the black mind when one must come to own and manage the fear of the black body?” It is not that he is at once studied and sometimes stark in his convictions: “Let me be clear here: Pointing a gun at an innocent person is an act of violence and provocation.” Blow’s genius lies in his ability to touch us, as the best writing always does. His much-lauded memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is due on shelves in September 2014.