Every movement has its iconic pioneers.

The ones who had the courage to suffer the brunt of resistance to change so later generations may possibly enjoy the fruits of their hard labor and heavy burdens.

As we celebrate culture and orientation during PRIDE 2018, theGrio turns our focus to today’s Black groundbreakers and innovators who are reinventing and creating new ways towards acceptance. Certainly no an easy task in a country guided by a president and an attorney general who have supported policies that neglect and devalue the of the LGBTQ+ community.

We raise our collective glasses and wave our rainbow flags in honor of these 15 Black LGBTQ+ advocates who are inspiring the community with their vision and leading the way for a more inclusive future.


2Charles Blow

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 17: Journalist Charles M. Blow attends the Eighth Annual Brooklyn Artists Ball at The Brooklyn Museum on April 17, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Brooklyn Museum)

Twitter: @CharlesMBlow
Location: Brooklyn

He’s the outspoken New York Times columnist whose Op-Eds trend worldwide on Twitter. Blow has been an unapologetic voice that’s been calling out the Trump administration since the very beginning with his firebrand commentary on CNN and MSNBC.

Outside of politics, the proud Grambling State alum has never forgotten his Southern Louisiana roots, which he often highlights in his writing. His bestselling memoir “Fire Shut Up My Bones” took his level of recognition to new heights as he shared personal narratives of his childhood and bravely revealed to the world that he is bisexual.