On 2021’s LGBTQ+ Day of Silence–a student-led day of action to spread awareness about the effects of the bullying and harassment against members of the LGBTQ+ community–MEDIAGIRLS Editorial Intern Catrina Yang Farrell gives us a rundown of six inspiring LGBTQI+ individuals who we should follow on Instagram.
(Photo from Tanya Compas’s Instagram)
Tanya Compas is an all-around incredible individual. She is an award-winning youth worker who, in 2018, was recognized as one of the UK’s most inspiring women. Earlier this year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanya created a fund to help support Black queer youth worldwide. Her initial target was £10,000, but she raised more than £100,000! Tanya is the head of a youth engagement for @UKBlackpride, an organization focusing on uplifting and celebrating LGBTQI+ individuals of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent. She is also the co-founder of @existloudly, a London based organization committed to creating spaces of joy and community for queer Black youth.
(Photo from AC Dumlao’s Instagram)
AC Dumlao is a queer, trans, non-binary, Filipino American activist and educator. AC uses their Instagram to advocate for mental health! AC is a program manager at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), where they manage the Name Change Project, a project that works to connect low-income trans and non-binary individuals with volunteer lawyers during the legal name change process in civil court. They also lead TLDEF’s Public Education work by conducting presentations and workshops in trans cultural competency. In 2019, during the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Uprising, AC was named a NYC/WorldPride Community Hero. In 2018, AC co-hosted a talkback with Lisa Ling for the CNN Original Series episode This Is Life with Lisa Ling: Gender Fluidity.
(Photo from Jessamyn Stanley’s Instagram)
Jessamyn does it ALL. She is a yoga teacher, author, podcast host, and advocate. Jessamyn utilizes her Instagram to show that “plus-size women of color” can do anything they want, despite what others say. She uses her Instagram to document her work as an instructor and advocate for LGBTQI+, Black individuals, and plus-size women. In 2016 Jessamyn was awarded Best in Healthy Living, and in 2017 as Most Creative People in Business. Her classes provide a much-needed space of body positivity, approaching each class by celebrating bodies and focusing on “How do I feel?” rather than “How do I look?” when practicing yoga.
(Photo from William Scott’s Instagram)
You may not have known, but you’ve probably already seen some of Scott’s AMAZING work. Scott is a makeup artist who’s worked on Amandla Stenberg, Padma Laksmi, Karlie Kloss, and Indya Moore. Their work has also appeared in Vogue Spain, Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and more. On Their Instagram, you’ll be able to follow their awe-inspiring work!
(Photo from Roxane Gay’s Instagram)
“As a black woman, as a black queer woman, specificity is incredibly important because diverse experiences are rarely seen in literature,” Roxane told The Guardian. Roxane’s book Bad Feminist— a collection of essays focusing on politics, criticism, and feminism– was featured on The New York Times best-seller list and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and more. For any Marvel fans out there, she is also the author of World of Wakanda! Recently Gay became a visiting professor at Yale University, where she focused on her work as a journalist and author on feminism, race, gender, and their intersections. Her Instagram is full of book suggestions that cover various topics, tips for living life during COVID-19, and advocating for BLM, Police Brutality, and LGBTQI+ rights.
(Photo from Alok Vaid-Menon’s Instagram)
Alok is an Indian-American, gender-fluid/ gender-nonconforming author, performer, speaker, and fashionist@; through their mixed-media art, they explore the themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. Alok’s Instagram is full of book suggestions, educational posts on Trans rights, and fabulous outfits and makeup!
In 2017, they won the LIVE WORKS Performance Act Award. In 2018, they were featured in Vouge’s “9 Trans + Gender Non-Conforming Writers You Should Know.” And in 2019, they were honored as one of NBC’s Pride 50 and Out Magazines OUT 100.
Catrina Yang Farrell is from Taipei, Taiwan. She is currently pursuing a BA in English Literature with a focus on minority experiences at Simmons University. She hopes to use literature to instigate discussions with others on those oppressed’ history and narratives.