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11 Black LGBTQ+ Icons Who Paved The Way For The World We Live In Now

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Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Coal, The Black Unicorn, and The Cancer Journals.The bisexual legend had a storied and complicated history, being torn by her sexuality regarding herself and her fame, and played an integral part of Black history during her time.She was a known associate of James Baldwin, Angela Davis, and many other influential figures of the time who regarded her as a living legend.With a large gay following, Simone often found herself at the New York gay bar, Trude Heller’s, during her lengthy career.An author and critic, Baldwin's writings on the experiences of a Black queer man have made him one of the greatest writers of the modern era.

His essay collection, Notes of a Native Son, and novel Giovanni's Room, catapulted him to success, establishing him as a prominent voice in the conversation around Black queer rights well before the queer liberation movement began.Decades after his death, Baldwin's work is still celebrated, with his ruminations of life as a Black gay man still holding true for many today.While RuPaul's Drag Race would have you think that "death drops" are all it takes to be a vogue master, the art of vogueing goes back decades, being brought to the world stage by Willi Ninja.Called "The Grandfather of Vogue," Ninja, father of the legendary House of Ninja, was one of the stars of Paris Is Burning, the revolutionary documentary about Black and brown queer people in the vogue scene of New York during the AIDS epidemic.Ninja is a part of the primarily Black and brown queer legacy that has allowed vogueing and ballroom to remain a part of queer culture today.An LGBTQ+ rights activist, Rustin was an influential advisor to Martin Luther King Jr.

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