In a year marked by tragedy and unrest, Time magazine is giving the queer community reason to celebrate.
This week, the legacy pub unveiled its latest Time 100, an annual round-up of the year’s most influential pioneers, politicians, artists, and celebrities with bios written by other public figures. And this year’s list is one of Time’s queerest yet.
LGBTQ honorees include the likes of filmmaker-historian Tourmaline (Happy Birthday, Marsha!), prolific producer Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon), and everyone’s favorite gender-bending sartorialist Billy Porter (Pose). Janet Mock penned Tourmaline’s bio, and Cyndi Lauper wrote Billy Porter’s, which is absolutely giving me life.
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I am so deeply moved to be included in this year's TIME 100 most influential people in the world list. Thank you so much @janetmock for writing such moving words about my work. A lifetime of being in community with people not receiving huge recognition has taught me a deep truth: we all are shaping the world right now and we all are influencing each other. We are never not world making. The kind of influence I strive to have in the world is one that lifts up and reflects back the beauty of those who came before me who created space for me. People like Marsha P Johnson, friends like Miss Major. At its core, my artmaking seeks to remind myself and each other about our power and beauty. I am so grateful for my community, one that is dreaming freedom dreams of the world we need, a world that doesn’t reproduce the violence of the police or prisons, that releases scarcity logic knowing there is truly enough to go round, because “the more you share the less you need.” Being in the midst of a mess of a thing and reaching for joy, for pleasure, creating mutual aid to aid us into a full aliveness. My community knows we all deserve, we are all deserving. #TIME100 @TIME Photo by @kingtexas
Other LGBTQ people who made the cut include ACLU lawyer and transgender justice deputy director Chase Strangio, who worked on the historic Supreme Court case that established federal workplace discrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans.
Strangio’s bio was authored by trans trailblazer Laverne Cox, who lauded his “expertise as a trans person himself”:
Chase’s vital legal work and his selfless activism on behalf of LGBTQ+ folks has been essential in shaping my own activism. When I haven’t had the language to explain what was at stake, the consequences and implications of discrimination, I have turned to Chase’s writings, tweets and interviews. … Chase has the fortitude to speak with clarity on the messy contradictions and limitations of our legal system, while simultaneously wielding the powers of that system to help the most vulnerable. Now he is being heralded as the lawyer behind the biggest LGBTQ+ legal victory in history. I couldn’t be prouder to call him my friend.
The 2020 #TIME100 list includes our own Chase Strangio.
Thank you for leading the ACLU’s fight for trans justice. https://t.co/9P90hrImbb
— ACLU (@ACLU) September 23, 2020
Out celebs did some of the behind-the-scenes work too. Music legend Elton John nominated The Weeknd, likening the chart-topping artist to Prince. And Lena Waithe, a.k.a. the busiest lesbian in Hollywood, highlighted British writer-actor Michaela Coel, whose HBO series I May Destroy You premiered to great critical acclaim.
“Usually, with Black women protagonists, everyone’s mission is to make you like or root for them,” Waithe wrote. “But Michaela shows us that sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. She reminds me that the only person who can destroy me is myself. She’s showing us a piece of ourselves that is rarely captured onscreen.”
View the full 2020 Time 100 list here.
Main image: Billy Porter.