Growing up, I didn’t have a cool LGBTQ+ icon to look up to. Although I couldn’t make sense of how I felt inside, I knew I was instantly attracted to women like Da Brat and MC Lyte. I was intrigued by their style and drawn to the masculine energy they exuded. As I got older, I recognized that what I wanted to see was more stylish LGTBQ+ men and women represented in media.
Times have changed! When it comes to fashion, we have some of the hottest LGBTQ+ pioneers showing up and showing out with their personal style. Whether it’s Billy Porter in a ball gown, or Jonica Gibbs in a two-piece suit, these celebrities aren’t holding back when it comes to exuding individual style on the red carpet.
I’m thankful for the budding representation happening in media. Not only are these celebrities teaching people how to stay true to themselves, they’re creating a space for people like them to be seen and heard. Let’s not forget their style is completely on point! Take a look at 10 stylish LGBTQ+ pioneers killing the game.
1. Janelle MonaeSource:Getty
Janelle Monáe is a style icon; period. The singer turned actress loves to take all the risks in fashion. When she’s not shaking things up on the red carpet with her jaw-dropping looks, she’s standing in her authenticity. In 2020, the actress came out as non-binary, stating that she is comfortable with both they/them and she/her pronouns.
2. Niecy Nash and Jessica BettsSource:Getty
Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts surprised the world when they got married in August, 2022. The two, who were friends long before they started seeing each other, just might be the LGBTQIA+’s first Black lesbian couple in mainstream media.
3. Billy PorterSource:Getty
Billy Porter is the genderless KWEEN of the red carpet. From elaborate ball gowns to sway pants suits, the actor and singer loves to blur the very thin gender lines.
4. Cynthia ErivoSource:Getty
Fashion slayer Cynthia Erivo shits down just about every red carpet she encounters. And while the actress never officially announced her sexuality to the world, she has been in a relationship with actress, writer, and producer Lena Waithe for approximately 2 years.
5. 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards – ArrivalsSource:Getty
Speaking of Lena Waithe, the writer, actress, and producer does menswear like none other. She never misses an opportunity to put on for the LGBTQIA+ community with her
6. MJ RodriguezSource:Getty
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez has been making waves in both the fashion and entertainment industry ever since her appearance on the hit TV series, Pose. The actress recently made history as the first transgender woman to win a Golden Globe award.
7. Jonica GibbsSource:Getty
Can we get into the beauty that is Jonica T. Gibbs? The Twenties actress attended the premiere of BET’s “Boomerang” Season 2 at Paramount Studios on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, California clad in an all black ensemble with a brown, white, and blue color block coat over it.
8. 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards – ArrivalsSource:Getty
Can we get into the beauty that is Jonica T. Gibbs? The Twenties actress’ switch up game is strong! She is the definition of a woman who can pull off both feminine and masculine energies.
9. The Entire “Pose” CastSource:Getty
Pose changed the game when it hit FX in 2018. The show shared the untold stories of the Black transgender community in New York City during the late 80s and early 90s. Each star took fashion to another level both on and off the show.
10. Tokyo StylezSource:Getty
You’ve seen Tokyo Stylez behind the scenes, but when she hits the red carpet, she does it big! When the wig connoisseur isn’t creating looks for Cardi B, Kylie Jenner and Rihanna, she’s serving lewks for the masses.
In an interview with the Gay Times Stylez disclosed, “If I wasn’t being true to myself, then how would I help anybody else who might be going through the same thing? Being unapologetic has always been my attitude, so why change that during my transition to the woman I always was?”