10 Incredible LGBTQ+ Icons Who Have Changed History Forever!

10 Incredible LGBTQ+ Icons Who Have Changed History Forever!

LGBTQ+ Icons Who Shaped History and Changed Society Forever

The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way in recent years, with major steps forward in terms of acceptance and equality. But the journey hasn’t been an easy one, and there have been countless trailblazers who have made it possible for us to be where we are today. From artists and activists to athletes and politicians, here are 10 incredible LGBTQ+ icons who have changed history forever.

1. Harvey Milk

The first openly gay elected official in California, and one of the first in the nation, Harvey Milk was a trailblazer in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. His life was tragically cut short when he was assassinated in 1978, but his legacy lives on to this day.

2. Marsha P. Johnson

A transgender activist and drag queen, Marsha P. Johnson was a key figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. She went on to co-found the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), an organization that provided housing and support for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.

3. Audre Lorde

A poet, activist, and essayist, Audre Lorde was a powerful voice in the feminist and LGBTQ+ movements. She wrote extensively about the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality, and her work has been hugely influential in shaping modern-day social justice movements.

4. Bayard Rustin

An openly gay man and civil rights activist, Bayard Rustin played a key role in organizing the March on Washington in 1963. Despite facing discrimination because of his sexuality, Rustin remained dedicated to the fight for equality until the end of his life.

5. Ellen DeGeneres

A comedian, actress, and television host, Ellen DeGeneres made history when she came out publicly as gay on her TV show in 1997. Despite facing backlash at the time, Ellen has gone on to become one of the most beloved and successful figures in entertainment.

6. Martina Navratilova

One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Martina Navratilova came out as gay in 1981, at a time when few high-profile athletes were openly LGBTQ+. She went on to become an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ visibility and equality in sports.

7. Barbara Gittings

Known as the “Mother of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement,” Barbara Gittings was a passionate activist and organizer who fought tirelessly for the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Her work helped to spearhead the movement for the decriminalization of same-sex relations, and she was a key figure in the establishment of the American Psychiatric Association’s removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

8. RuPaul

A drag queen, actor, and musician, RuPaul has become a global icon and LGBTQ+ trailblazer. Her show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” has brought drag culture into the mainstream and has helped to celebrate the many different forms of self-expression within the LGBTQ+ community.

9. Sally Ride

The first American woman in space, Sally Ride was also a lesbian. She kept her sexuality private during her lifetime but came out posthumously in her obituary. Her legacy as a trailblazer in both space travel and LGBTQ+ representation continues to inspire people around the world.

10. James Baldwin

A writer and social critic, James Baldwin was a powerful voice in the struggle for civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights. His work tackled issues of race, sexuality, and class, and he remains one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century.


These incredible LGBTQ+ icons have each made a significant impact on their respective fields, helping to pave the way for a more inclusive and accepting society. By celebrating their achievements, we honor the countless individuals who have fought for decades to get us to where we are now, and we help to inspire future generations to continue the fight for equality and justice for all.


Here are the most common questions about LGBTQ+.

What is the difference between sex and gender?

Sex refers to biological characteristics, such as reproductive organs, chromosomes, and hormones. Gender refers to the social and cultural roles, behaviors, and expectations associated with being male or female.

What is the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity?

Sexual orientation refers to a person’s romantic and/or sexual attraction and is typically categorized as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Gender identity refers to a person’s innate sense of being male, female, both, or neither.

What does it mean to be transgender?

Being transgender means that a person’s gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.

What is gender dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria is a medical diagnosis used to describe the distress that some people experience when their gender identity does not align with their sex assigned at birth.

What does it mean to be queer?

Queer is an umbrella term used to describe those who do not identify as straight and/or cisgender, and who may not fit within traditional gender and sexual orientation categories.