These 31 models are actively increasing LGBTQ+ representation in fashion

“As long as gays don’t have their rights everywhere in America,” the late gay liberation activist Marsha P. Johnson once said, “there is no reason to celebrate.” The unsung LGBTQ+ activist and drag performer was a prominent figure in 1969 Stonewall Riots, a series of demonstrations confronting discrimination that would unite LGBTQ+ community members worldwide. Building on Johnson’s legacy, a group of LGBTQ+ role models continue to speak their truth and advocate for gay rights Today.

The LGBTQ+ community has made significant strides towards representation in fashion. From queer fashion designers to strengthen the community all year round to LGBTQ+ influencers to assert their presence in heteronormative spaces, the struggle continues with a new crop of trailblazers working across disciplines. Actress Laverne Coxfor example, recently helped design the first one transgender barbiea move that will help LGBTQ+ children and young adults get the much-needed representation they deserve.

The fashion industry is also slowly opening its catwalks and advertising campaigns to LGBTQ+ talent, thanks in part to some of these gay, lesbian, queer, nonbinary and transgender models who live their truth and unapologetically thrive in these heteronormative spaces. Although there is still much more to achieve, these inspiring individuals are paving the way for others to follow in their footsteps.

Read on for a list of headline-making LGBTQ+ models you should know about right now. Follow their work and content to educate yourself about the history of the Pride celebration, and be sure to actively show up for the community by attending Pride events, voting for candidates who support gay rights, and buying from queer-owned brands and companies.

—Additional reporting by Sarah Wasilak, Allison Ingrum and Zara Patel

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