5 LGBTQ Thought Leaders You Should Be Following

Diversify your timeline.

Social media can often feel like a toddler’s birthday party—a bunch of children running around incoherently yelling with their shirts off desperate for attention. A good way to break up some of the noise is to shift your mix of followers.

We know in a sea of shirtless selfie-takers and Instagram models it can be a tough task to know who to follow, so we’ve put together a short list of influential thought leaders who share insightful commentary on the LGBTQ community.

In the spirit of Pride Month, challenging ourselves, and seeking to understand the diverse issues of a diverse community, here are five LGBTQ perspectives often missing or erased from mainstream outlets.

  1. Corinne Kai

    Matched the red carpet tonight at my first @glaad media awards! #GLAADawards

    A post shared by Corinne Kai (@corinne.kai) on

    Kai is a sex educator and writer. They look at the world through the lens of an anti-capitalist, pleasure activist, femme-of-center queer human. Kai also co-hosts the “Femme, Collectively” podcast where they have discussions on the intersections of gender, sexuality, emotional labor, sex, healing, and energy.

  2. Alok Vaid-Menon

    Vaid-Menon is a world-renowned gender non-conforming writer and performance artist. Their work centers on bringing awareness to the issues that trans and gender non-conforming individuals face on a daily basis. They travel around the world, using their platform to speak about the reality of being a trans or gender non-conforming person in a binary world, but also to share the joy that they cultivate in loving themselves even in light of that.

  3. Erika Heart

    Heart is a “kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer” whose work in sexuality education was influenced by her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia. They are a role model for queer and trans cancer survivors, activists, and even medical professionals.

  4. Pidgeon Pagonis

    When I was 18, and retrieved my medical records from @luriechildrens, I found out four important truths that changed the course of my life. ▫️ 1️⃣ I discovered that as a baby I was labeled a male pseudo-hermaphrodite 46XY. This was shocking because I had been assigned female at birth. ▫️ 2️⃣ I was born with undescended testes. No one ever told me this truth, instead my doctors lied and told me I was born with "cancerous ovaries" that had to be surgically removed in order to save my life. ▫️ 3️⃣ My clitoris was deemed too large (at a mere 1.5 centimeters when stretched) when I was 4 years old, and surgically altered with a medical procedure called a clitorectomy–very similar to #FemaleGenitalMutilation. ▫️ 4️⃣ At age 11, I was told by my doctors at Lurie that I needed a surgery on my urethra and bladder, but discovered thanks to retrieving my medical records that they actually gave me a complex vaginoplasty-like surgery instead. ▫️〰️▫️ All of these surgeries were NOT medically necessary, and done without my consent. ▫️〰️▫️ All of this happened, I would find out, because my genitals didn't quite fit the doctors' binary perception of what "normal female" genitals should look & behave like. No medical reasons whatsoever. My body was cut, put on display and medically violated because people with M.Ds pathologize (see last post) our beautiful healthy #nonbinary #intersex bodies. ▫️ I went back to the hospital where all of this went down and asked my best friend (& amazing Chicago movement photographer Sarah-Ji @loveandstrugglephotos) to take photos of me in front of the drive way leading into the entrance of the hospital that was then boarded up and being demolished. It was a driveway I was very familiar with as young person, a driveway that lead to the gates of a small personal hell. ▫️ Lurie Childrens hospital, and all children's hospitals that continue performing non-consensual medical unnecessary surgeries on intersex kids, claim to "care" for us when we never needed that "care" in the first place. If you go on Lurie's website today, they still have clitoral surgeries listed as a medical intervention for intersex babies. ‍♂️ ⬇️ (Capt. con't in comments)⬇

    A post shared by P I D G E n d Intersex Srgry (@pidgeo_n) on

    Pagonis is an intersex activist, educator, and filmmaker. They are a leader in the intersex movement’s fight for bodily autonomy and justice. Their goal is to deconstruct the dangerous myths that lead to violations of intersex people’s human rights, including common, irreversible medical procedures performed without consent to make bodies conform to binary sex stereotypes.

  5. Ruby Allegra

    People who have a disability and who identify as LGBTQ often feel marginalized within both communities. Allegra uses social media to change how people with both identities show up by advocating for intersectionality representation, inclusion, and body positivity. Even Levi’s took notice!

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.