A big a part of becoming an ally to the LGBTQ community is looking for friends and investing in relationships. In the end, how can you honor someone who're widely judged and misrepresented if you don't become familiar with them? This June, as we celebrate Pride, consider following these LGBTQ influencers. They use their platforms they are driving change, to educate and to, of course, inspire all. Here, our top picks of the very most influential Instagrammers:
Peppermint, or 'Miss Peppermint' as she is widely known on Ru Paul's Drag Race and various other acting roles, shares glamour shots. But more to the point, she shares her Pep Talks, a series that streams survive Twitch each week. She also sprinkles (no pun intended) in snippets of her Twitch and YouTube videos, including a recent interview with John Cameron Mitchell, an actor, writer and director extraordinaire. She speaks up for trans rights and doesn't be put off by politics or essential issues – most recently, she discussed the Chauvin trial verdict and showed her support for BLM.
Once Upon a Journey
If you have been dreaming of far-away lands and exciting adventures abroad, you're going to fall in love with this profile – which love story. Roxeanne and Maartje really are a couple who travel the planet and document it on their own wanderlust-worthy Instagram. They were nomadic for three years, but as of 2022, they are based in the Netherlands. They travel around the world (in normal times, of course), sharing beautiful landscape shots in addition to inspiring shots of these two of them together. Along with their Instagram, they document their experiences on their blog Once Upon a Journey, which has filled a distinct segment being an online travel resource for lesbians. Together, they have visited 45 countries around the world – some which are LGBTQ-friendly yet others that aren't. As they say on their website, “visibility matters, and we hope our travels might help LGBT people globally to possess hope, to inspire these to think bigger.”
Kenny Ethan Jones
He's one, activist and entrepreneur who aims to lift people up and inspire meaningful conversations through engaging Instagram posts. His work focuses on menstruation, body politics, mental health insurance and intimacy. Like a trans man, he's centered on creating more allies by encouraging everyone to have candid, open and educational conversations around the transgender community. His lifelong goal is perfect for the world to have trans equality and to see trans people displayed positively in the media. He became extremely popular after Pink Parcel’s IM ON campaign. He became the first trans man ever to be one of the faces of the period campaign. Discuss game-changing! However when he isn't sharing something activist-related, he shares his experience working in the fashion world being “the shortest man around the runway.” (His claim.)
If you want to be wowed, you are going to be with this incredible Instagrammer. Chella Man is translates popular songs into American Sign Language via his popular YouTube channel. Not just is he a successful model and actor, but also, he fights for equality for Chinese-Americans and the deaf community. In 2022, he became a Calvin Klein model for their limited-edition Pride collection. When he isn't sharing chic fashion shots, he's shedding light on something that hits near to home: the significance of disabled actors playing disabled characters for correct representation and deconstructing stereotypes.
Nikkie de Jager, the woman behind the popular YouTube channel Nikkietutorials, came out in 2022 in a video titled, “I Am Coming Out.” In the video, she informed her followers to “live your lifetime without any restrictions” – something which she's done this boldly. But many of the time, you'll catch her posting incredible makeup looks on REELs together with her YouTube channel. To date, she has nearly 14 million subscribers on YouTube, grabbing the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, Selena Gomez and Lauren Conrad. Actually, Selena and Lauren appeared in videos on her channel!
Munroe was the first transgender model in the uk. Although she sprinkles in beautiful fashion shots (seriously, she's major outfit inspiration), she speaks up about political and social unrest all over the world, too. She's also not afraid to face up for herself: She famously called out L'Oreal in 2022 once they dropped her from a modeling campaign for comments she made about rampant racism. Since coming forward by what happened, L'Oreal offered her an area on their diversity board, which she welcomed, saying she was excited “to give a voice along with a champion for Black, trans and queer voices in the beauty market is essential for me.”
Ready to Stare
This plus-sized model uses her website and Instagram to champion the LGBTQ community. Most of her page shows colorful photos of her showing off her latest fashions – funky colors, bold designs, and her signature red lip. But she doesn't shy away from talking about the stuff that matters: Most recently, she celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia with a powerful message to her followers. “One of the issues I wish to draw attention to is happening in america. Transgender youth are under attack every single day with new bills targeting their ability to gain access to affirming healthcare, play sports and live his or her authentic selves,” she wrote.
The Queer model and advocate gives advice on gender fluidity, sharing her personal experiences together with her 35k followers. Her photos are wonderful, but it's truly the captions that drive her point home: In her own latest post, she wrote in regards to a recent transphobic comment she received and how she handled it. She offered a unique perspective around the situation, closing out her message with, “Or maybe, I don’t need revenge whatsoever. Maybe I'm able to just drink my coffee. And exist. And become happy.” For reasons like this one, her page has become a community for individuals who can relate, often asking for advice and voicing their support.
As a breast cancer survivor, this influencer confidently posts photos of her mastectomy scars. As a 'Black queer non-binary femme,' her goal is to encourage others to speak about their experiences and create equality and support for those. Along with some serious interior decorating inspo, you'll find out more about sexuality, race, sex, gender and health through Ericka's posts. She is here to shatter the norms about Black femme women: “So may this be a reminder that Black femmes do not have to be kind, easy-going, smile, vegan, thin, light skin, attractive or activists to be honored, celebrated and respected virtually or IRL. We're worthy of our autonomy simply by existing,” she wrote in a recent post.
Devon Gibby is a single dad with two adorable children. He resides in Salt Lake City and always appears to be exploring the area, documenting it all for his followers. Sure, he's got abs along with a super hunky boyfriend, but it is really by pointing out positive energy on his page. He often touches around the complications that come with divorce and residing in a far more conservative state like Utah: “Though parents are raising my kids with completely different views, there's much common ground to be found. I am hoping more Utahns and people in the church will be able to open their hearts towards the plight of the LGBTQ individuals included in this and discover more acceptance and love for them. Those in the rainbow community deserve to have a place in every community, including religious communities, if that’s where they prefer to get,” he wrote inside a recent post.