2018 has been a very eventful and progressive year for the LGBT+ community in India. On September 6, the Indian Supreme Court struck down Section 377, a British colonial-era law banning gay sex. The ruling decriminalised homosexuality for the country’s population of over 1 billion people.
Moreover, this year we’ve seen some of the biggest prides in the country! Social Media has been full of rainbow flags, pictures from Pride celebrations, and messages of acceptance and equality.
To mark the beginning of a new, more progressive and accepting India, we have shortlisted 8 of the most inspiring and prominent LGBT+ social media influencers who are changing the world one perfect post at a time.
One of YouTube’s top creators, Tyler Oakley’s known for his high quality content and a very energetic personality. Being one of the most influential figures in the LGBTQ+ community, much of Oakley’s activism had been dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth as well as social issues including health care, education, and the prevention of suicide among LGBT+ community. Oakley regularly posts material on various topics, including queer politics, pop culture and humor.
Andrew is a disability awareness advocate and founder of Deliciously Disabled.
In an interview with Mashable where he was asked his biggest pet peeve, he replied, “As a queer person with a disability, my biggest pet peeve is a lack of accessibility in queer spaces. There are so many places where queer people go to be themselves and express their sexuality that I, in my 300-pound wheelchair (or, as I refer to it, my sex toy on wheels), do not have access to. And then, if I do manage to find a club that is accessible, I have to overcome the attitudinal barriers of people not seeing me as sexually viable. They don’t really consider me an option. They think I’m invisible, and they don’t see all the delectable flavors within disability.”
Joey Graceffa has been an influencer on Youtube for over a decade now. He runs two active YouTube channels, both named after him. His main channel is dedicated to vlogging, while the second one features video gaming content. They both have a combined total of more than 2.2 billion views.
Graceffa came out on YouTube through a music video called “Don’t Wait,” which has been viewed more than 35 million times since it was released in 2015.
Sushant Divgikar is an actor, model, performer, singer and a drag queen (Rani-Kohinoor) from Mumbai, India. He also won the title for My Gay World India 2014. His drag character, Rani-Kohinoor was the first drag queen to appear on the National TV show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, 2018.
The two moms, Ebony and Denise are YouTubers who have been documenting the growth of their cute little family online. Moreover, the couple likes to cover a variety of topics from relationships, conceiving as a lesbian couple and even reactions to pop culture phenomena.
They also have three absolutely adorable kids: Olivia and twins Jayden and Lucas.
Devin-Norelle is a very well known writer, activist and model. Ze identifies as non-binary and uses ze/zim/zis pronouns. Zis IG account is a collection of fascinating pop culture observations and references, social justice and inspirational posts.
Transgender beauty and a famous YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous began uploading video blogs onto streaming platform YouTube. In 2013, Lazzarato gained media attention after coming out as a transgender woman. Lazzarato creates videos focused on makeup, life, and relationships. She also documented her transition through her social media profiles, notably through her videos revolving around her cosmetic procedures.
Anwesh Sahoo became the youngest ever winner of Mr. Gay World India when he got the crown in 2016 at the age of 20. Moreover, he is also a recipient of the Troy Perry Award that honor fearless LGBTQ people for their long standing activism. Anwesh is a multifaceted. He is an artist, blogger, writer, model, actor and a TEDx speaker.
By Khusboo Nanda