The spheres of queer culture and fashion have been entwined from their very beginnings. Here are five sickening LGBTQ+ icons that are changing the face of fashion.
Not only is Laverne Cox an extremely talented and successful actress, singer and advocate for body-positivity, she is also a certifiable queer fashion icon.
As the first trans woman to feature on the cover of Time Magazine in 2014, there are few famous faces out there who have done more for trans visibility in modern pop culture.
What’s more, Cox brings undeniable glamour to every red carpet, rally or interview that she attends. She has been honoured by GLAAD for her work with the LGBTQ+ community, and is a significant voice in activism for those at the intersection of discrimination stemming from race and gender.
This year, Laverne made her red carpet look at the Emmys a political statement by carrying a purse protesting the Trump administration’s anti-trans laws.
Fresh from a collaboration with Opening Ceremony for their spring/summer 2019 collection, Sasha velour is well and truly cementing her place within the pantheon of queer fashion icons.
A renowned drag artist, known worldwide as the winner of series nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Velour takes drag deep into the depths of its vaudevillian, theatrical potential. AV club dubbed her finale lip-sync to “So Emotional” by Whitney Houston “the performance of the year” and caused an increase in streaming of the song by 500% in 2017.
As a gender-fluid drag queen, Sasha Velour is an advocate for LGBTQ+ artists and maps out new and diverse channels for performance and representation in the genre and beyond. Velour is truly the thinking queer’s drag queen.
Billy Porter exploded into the mainstream right when we needed him!
A mainstay on the Broadway scene for years, Porter has recently experienced an upwelling in career success, partly due to his viral red carpet looks.
Porter served as the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s ambassador for New York Fashion Week Men’s, absolutely slaying the Oscars red carpet competition in his show-stopping suit/gown. Not to mention his perfect rendition of camp at the MET Gala this year. Just wow.
The star’s performance as emcee Pray Tell on the queer TV show Pose has propelled Porter to household name status and queer fashion icon. He even has a fashion line on the way.
Sure, everyone knows about Lady Gaga. But Gaga is an important inclusion on this list, and not just for her monumental work with the LGBTQ+ community, where she has had a clear pop cultural impact.
Lady Gaga is also a notable member of the queer community herself, a fact that often gets overlooked and erased. Gaga identifies openly as bisexual but has spoken about how she often feels left out of the LGBTQ+ community due to bisexual erasure.
Her speech to a crowd outside the famous Stonewall Inn earlier this year prompted a much-needed conversation within the community about the doubt and exclusion that bi+ and queer individuals face.
The star has written multiple queer anthems expression her attraction to women. Let’s hope the world finally catches up as sees Gaga as the fierce queer icon that she is.
It just wouldn’t be a list of queer fashion icons without Janelle Monáe (be still my heart). The multi-talented musician came out openly just last year in an interview with Rolling Stone, a long-awaited moment for queer fans.
Speaking to Variety, Monáe revealed the difficulties she faced coming out as a queer black woman,
“My goal has never been to fit into any type of category. And when you colour outside the lines, and then you say, ‘Hey, also, I’m a queer black woman,’ some people can be a little afraid of that,” Monae said. “And what that means and how do you market that and all those things. But it wasn’t about that to me. [It’s about] walking in your truth.”
Monáe has had too many notable fashion moments to count, but her signature tuxedo outfits will always be truly iconic.
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