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Pride 2021: Gen Z activists are using their platforms to support Black, LGBTQ+ communities

From journalism and film to protests and politics, Gen Z activists are standing up for Black lives and the LGBTQ+ community

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Gen Z LGBTQ+ Activists
By: Alyssa Wilson

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated each June to honor the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Since its inception, members of the LGBTQ+ community have publicly used their voices to call for change and justice. For those who identify as members of both the Black and LGBTQ+ communities, the pursuit of justice and equality are two-fold.  

RELATED: Biden plans swift moves to protect and advance LGBTQ rights 

Generation Z, which is individuals born from 1997 onward, have become catalysts for change in key social issues, including racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights and the environment. With the help of social media, this demographic is using their voice to go against societal norms and inform others.  

According to Insider, roughly one in six members of Gen Z identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Many Black activists are using their platforms to celebrate Pride Month and speak against discrimination and anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives and legislation.  

Jess Guilbeaux 

 

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Jess Guilbeaux was featured on season three of Netflix’s Queer Eye. Now, the 23-year-old is using her social media platforms to stand up for issues plaguing her community. In a recent partnership with Listerine, she is helping Johnson & Johnson’s Care With Pride initiative that has raised more than $1 million for advocacy organizations since 2011.  

Ziggy Mack Johnson 

Stylist Ziggy Mack Johnson says LGBTQ+ pride is more than a month, but a movement. “I’m here to be your answer to pride. And I’m prideful being Black and gay,” the 21-year-old said in an Instagram video announcing a partnership with Inkbox. All of the proceeds of the company’s “Be Proud” tattoo will go to the Get Real Movement. The organization focuses on combating discrimination, racism and bullying.  

BNC reached out to Johnson about his activism and he said, “My passion for activism rose from my childhood. Growing up in New York City, I have had the honor to express my way other young LGBTQ members in other cities couldn’t. I knew the opportunities I had and I used them to the best of my advantage to inspire others who had the same spark as myself. I have always been aware of the attacks towards my community and I’ve always had a passion to stop it! I use my platform to raise awareness because it is my way of getting my message across to those I can not reach.”

 

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Oseremhen Arheghan 

 

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Activist Oseremhen “Ose” Arheghan uses her platform to fight anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The student, honored by GLSEN for her work, created a series about diversity that highlighted LGBTQ+ voices for her high school paper. She became instrumental in protests at the Ohio Statehouse and the Capitol, advocating for international rights for the LGBTQ+ community. In a recent interview with BrainPOP, she said Pride Month is a “time of acknowledging that LGBTQ[+] people are diverse and have contributed so much to our beautiful country.”  

Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino 

 

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Afro-Latinx activist, organizer, writer and public speaker Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino uses her platform and voice to advocate for Black trans teens. She has written numerous articles for Teen Vogue, shining a light on gender identity and legislation by the Trump Administration targeting trans people. Now, the college student is using her passion for the arts to empower the stories of the LGBTQ+ community.  

RELATED: Black Music Month & Pride 2021: Queer Musicians You Should Know