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.

 

3Andrea Jenkins

Twitter: @annapoetic
Location: Minneapolis

This trailblazing politician made history in 2017 after becoming the first Black openly transgender woman elected to office. Jenkins, a Democrat, is the  Minneapolis City Councilwoman who impressively won her race with 73 percent of the vote. A poet and historian, Jenkins decided to run after years of being a policy aide.

“As an out African-American trans-identified woman, I know first-hand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table,” Jenkins said about her win.