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.


6Janelle Monae

Twitter: @JanelleMonae
Location: Atlanta

When this powerhouse talent came out as pansexual and bisexual during the release of her new album “Dirty Computer,” she had the entire world on Google search. This is what makes Janelle Monae powerful and she continues to push the envelope with her bold and liberating visuals of love, sex, and empowerment in her art which isn’t just pretty. It also leaves an impression and makes you think long after seeing it.

This triple threat is sparking conversation worldwide and continues to entice audiences with her eclectic fashion, music, and film performances, further proving that this electric lady is here to slay.