Throughout history, countless members of the LGBTQ+ community have worked towards pushing the boundaries of style, making the fashion world what it is today. We've had fashion designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as entertainment personalities, stir up the glamorous industry with ensembles like no other. As we celebrate pride this month, let's give a nod to those who continue to inspire not only our sartorial choices but our very own being as well. As they dress to express themselves, these LGBTQ+ fashion icons defy gender norms and redefine fashion, encouraging us to embrace ourselves and live our truths — wherever we stand in the rainbow's spectrum.
Dubbed "Lesbian Jesus" by her fans, the American singer and songwriter is a widely considered gay icon. Using her incredible vocals and music to share her struggles with coming to terms with her identity, Hayley Kiyoko attempts to normalise lesbian relationships, giving power to those who identify with her as well. Plus, who'd forget her unique looks that bring together femininity and masculinity into a wonderful burst of bold colour?
Speaking of LGBTQ+ fashion icons, one that awed us with his showstopping ensembles was Billy Porter. Who can forget the Christian Siriano tuxedo gown he wore when he attended the 2019 Academy Awards? And, of course, there also was the grand golden suit that made quite the entrance at last year's MET Gala; it stands out along with the other fabulous outfits he's worn in his appearances. More than his fashion, of course, his award-winning performances on Broadway musical Kinky Boots and TV series Pose gave us a dose of the much-needed representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the entertainment industry.
Next on celebrities with looks that slay is eight-time Grammy nominee Janelle Monáe. She's a complete powerhouse with her solid mezzo-soprano vocals and her penchant for androgynous outfits. The way she wears her signature structured suits, all tailored perfectly to suit her figure, is truly a visual delight. Her ensembles are never boring either; she's not afraid to play around with hues, florals, and glitter, making the traditionally masculine set completely her own. With this, her ensembles are far from stiff. Instead, they mirror her freedom as she explores her sexuality and identity.
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Laverne Cox is auctioning off her pride-themed, bespoke Edie Parker Emmy’s clutch in celebration of the landmark Supreme Court ruling stating the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the ‘I’ll Be There Project’, an organization that promotes kindness. The double-sided rainbow bag reads ‘Oct. 8’, ‘Title VII’ and ‘Supreme Court’ on one side. The other side of the clutch depicts the transgender flag and reads #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL The online auction will be on Charity Buzz starting June 22nd. Thank you @lavernecox @christinajpacelli And thank you @laylailchi @wwd #edieparker 🌈 #swipe
The Orange Is The New Black actress is a trailblazer for the transgender community. She has used her platform to share her experiences as an African American transwoman, consequently shedding light on the struggles of fellow trans people. That's right, Laverne Cox is not afraid to talk about these difficult topics. She even uses her style in her fight for gender equality. Remember that rainbow Edie Parker clutch she brought along at last year's Emmys? She personally customised it to direct attention towards a supreme court hearing that would decide if the LGBTQ+ community would be protected against employment discrimination.
Finally, there's also Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist of English rock band Queen. With his defiant choices, he made a mark in the music and fashion industries. Aside from writing the record-breaking "Bohemian Rhapsody", another notable track he released with his band was "I Want To Break Free", where he and his bandmates cross-dressed as housewives in its controversial music video. Not to mention that he'd also come on stage during their performances donning theatrical yet glamourous looks. His unforgettably flamboyant outfits that ranged from flowy to skin-tight inspired a generation to experiment and push the boundaries of style.
(Cover photo from: @hayleykiyoko)