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.
This transgender activist and businesswoman became one of the few Black trans delegates to ever participate in the Democratic National Convention after representing Pennsylvania in 2016.
Since then, Cooks has continued to champion LGBTQ rights while serving on several national and statewide boards. In 2017, she became the first trans person to ever chair a citywide commission when she was elected chairwoman of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia.
Cooks is currently the CEO of Making Our Lives Easier, LLC, a business that provides consulting and support for women, communities of color, and LGBTQ organizations.