LGBTQ+ Social Media Influencers to Watch

LGBTQ+ Social Media Influencers to Watch

By Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri

Social Media, once used to occasionally pass time and for mild amusement, is now the go-to medium when it comes to communication and connecting with the world.  As a culture, we have propelled the social media platform to higher heights than that of the phone, the television, and even to a certain extent, the internet that it operates through.  

Besides basic communication and connections, social media has also become a tool for artists to effectively express their art and share their talent with the world.  Coupled with its reach, social media propels creatives and artists to higher heights and the status of Social Media Influencer. Social Media Influencers call the shots and are the new trendsetters – they have the general public following their every word, statement, and photo.  The unfortunate thing is, due to intersectional issues such as homophobia, misogynoir, transphobia, sexism (and many more), some of the most creative and ground-breaking creatives don’t get their praise or credit.

Below are some of the LGBT creatives, fashionista, and movers-n-shakers who you should be following now:

fashionistas

Shauna Brooks

Instagram: @theshaunabrooks

While The transgender community continues to push for fair treatment and rights, trans social media personalities continue to fight as well.  One of the personalities at the forefront is Shauna Brooks. Shauna Brooks is a trans model; mostly known for her catchphrases #DoWut and #BananaPussy, as well as her sexy style and unapologetic personality.  Shauna Brooks was one of the first to wear the now signature bright, banana yellow hairstyle (that has now since been usurped by the cisgender masses).

fashionistas

ParisChea

Instagram: @parischea

While Parischea has styled the likes of iconic rapper Lil’ Kim, RHOA’s Marlo Hampton, and KashDoll, it’s Parischea’s own personal style that truly stands out, from the fashion-forward designer looks (head-to-toe Versace, Fenty x Puma) to the ever-changing short hairstyles (green fingerwaves, blonde pixie cut).  

fashionistas

Ryan Burke

Instagram: @ryburk

Ryan Burke is a makeup artist of epic proportions, with makeup looks that are closer to living forms of art; even catching the eye and praise of the makeup queen Pat McGrath.  Aside from creating avante- garde makeup looks (which can take several hours to bring to life), he is a photographer, working behind the camera to bring pictures, people, and art to life.

fashionistas

Richie Shazam

Instagram: @richieshazam

Shazam, the self-described “Renaissance woman” of NYC, doesn’t take to labels or the confines of any gender roles or boxes. Shazam has broken down the walls of the New York fashion scene, having modeled for Barney’s and Levi’s, as well as walked the runway for many others.  Shazam’s often androgynous, gender-bending look and style propels her forward as she continues to take on the fashion industry and gender identity.

Dapper Q

Instagram: @dapperQ

While the femme identity is often celebrated, when it comes to the intersection of gender, sex, queer identity, and masculine expression, there isn’t as much praise for visual representation.  DapperQ, created in 2009, continues to “ungender fashion” (commonly expressed as femme) and not only represent, but empower masculine-presenting women trans-identified people. With its wide range of content, DapperQ has received accolades and media coverage from HBO, Vice, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and many more.  

fashionistas

Jaymes Blond

Instagram: @jaymesblond

Jaymes Blond clever take on the alternative, high fashion scene of NYC is something to take note of.  Whether he is modeling, cultivating a specific mood board via Instagram, or styling a photo shoot, Blond’s aesthetic and creativity is undeniable.

While the social and political climate today can be seen as murky for the LGBT community, there is no denying our presence and effect.  We may not get fair recognition, the proper acclaim, and our due respect, but the world is glued to our every move, following our style, and looking to us to dictate the aesthetic.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and that imitation is what truly defines an Influencer.

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