When it comes to our community, what does it mean to live a full life?
Ask each of this year’s incredible Logo30 honorees—our fifth annual coronation of groundbreaking LGBTQ+ icons paving the way forward for representation, visibility and equality—and you may get 30 different answers. To me, it means the freedom to be the person you dream, wearing your inner spirit on your skin. It means being safe from harm, persecution or abuse. It means supportive friends and family, chosen or otherwise, that uplift you. It means access to proper and affordable healthcare. All of these are vital, but they are also rare, and so precious. Not everyone gets a chance at them.
The editor’s letter is meant to inspire, and I promise it’ll get there. But in our modern world, it’s hard to not consider life and loss. A few years ago, I tragically lost a very close friend who left the earth before he got to live the queer life he desired. It eats at me daily that this bright, wonderful person doesn’t get to live his potential. And then I think about Matthew Shepard. I think about Pulse. I think about the scores of lives, particularly those of black trans women, taken from us in cruelty, not to mention the generations of queer role models we’ve lost and still lose to the HIV & AIDS epidemic. Sometimes, like with my dear friend, life just happens. Other times, we are blatant, direct victims of hatred. The loss of opportunity to be who we are is the same.
Maybe you have someone, or some senseless tragedy, that you think about, too. This reality is not just for LGBTQ+ people, but many marginalized identities fighting against legislation designed to limit their rights, pushing for proper healthcare, and wanting to be safe in the grocery store, at church, or in an elementary school. You are not wrong or weak to feel afraid, or sad, or hopeless sometimes. These feelings, and how strongly we respond to them, are what make us human.
In the wake of a global pandemic, this is the first Logo30 since 2019 we shot in person, and I hope the joy we felt getting to laugh and dance and celebrate in the same room comes through in our content rolling out all month long. I love this year’s colorful, campy set design. I’m obsessed with this year’s class of voices. I’m so proud of our incredible team for months of tireless work to make this feel so effortlessly joyous. Because even in the face of fear, there is joy. Sometimes you just have to choose it because you can, and because you deserve it.
These Logo30 honorees are not just creatives, politicians, activists and trailblazers across industries and identities. From 15-year-old Zaya Wade to this year’s Logo Legend, filmmaking icon John Waters, they are shining examples of what it means to live a full life. With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation flaring across our country, much of it directly targeting our next generation of queer and trans kids, these leading figures are an example of our strength. They are living loudly for those of us who need to see it, for those still on the journey to our true selves, and for those we lost before they got their chance.
We have seen hatred and adversity before, in the streets and in Congress, and our response has never been to run and hide. Our brave community thriving is our collective response, during Pride month and well beyond. In every flag, in every shout, in every display of affection, and yes, every time we have our gay sex, we are showing it. This is what it looks like. This is how beautiful the world truly is.
This is our freedom. We claim our full lives by our very existence. And we will never be stopped.
Terron Moore, Editorial Director of Logo and MTV News