On June 28, 1969, Marsha led the Stonewall uprising, which was the catalyst for Gay Pride marches and, ultimately, celebration.
Although we have Marsha, who died in July 1996, to thank for Pride Month, her legacy has been overlooked time and time again. Thankfully, various creatives continue to use their voices and Marsha’s vision for change.
Here’s our list of the top 20 Black and queer influencers to follow long after the Pride parades end!
1. Amber Whittington
Amber Whittington, better known on the interwebs as “Ambers Closet,” is a lesbian content creator based in Los Angeles, Calif. You may have seen her on her popular YouTube channel, where she discusses dating, LGBTQ+ issues, and her identity as a masculine-presenting queer person. And when she isn't educating folks, Amber is living her best life in LA with decadent dreadlocks!
2. Arrows Fitz
Arrows is a model and trans nonbinary artist based in LA. He/she/they/it became a fixture on YouTube in the 2010s as Ari Fitz and later came out as transgender after years online. Today, Arrows dresses and identifies however they prefer and uses their content to encourage others to do the same.
Follow Arrows on Instagram @angryangryarrows.
3. Baby Tate
Baby Tate, born Tate Sequoya Farris, is a bisexual rapper and influencer based in Atlanta, Ga. While she grew up in the music biz as singer Dionne Farris’s daughter, Baby Tate opted to forge her path with hits like “I Am,” “Hey, Mickey,” and “Sl*t Him Out.” She also proudly shares her truth of being a queer, Black rapper in the industry on social media.
Follow Baby Tate on Instagram and TikTok @imbabytate.
4. Baedri Nichole
While many influencers on this list are based in cities like LA, Atlanta, and New York, Baedri Nichole has made a name for herself in Columbus, Ohio. The bisexual content marketer and baking goddess found success on TikTok in 2022. Since starting her brand, Bae has used her influence to advocate for queer, Black entrepreneurs in similar spaces and help others find their branding success.
Follow Baedri Nichole on Instagram and TikTok @backinthekitchenwithbae.
5. Chris So Fly
Chris, a queer artist and influencer based in NYC, is all about aesthetics. His Instagram photos are a work of art, from his gorgeous makeup to his hairstyles. When he isn't serving a look, Chris uses his platforms to discuss his journey to finding himself and speaking out for Black and queer rights.
Follow Chris on Instagram and TikTok @chrissofly2.
6. Crissle West
Crissle West is a writer, influencer, and half of the phenomenal podcast, The Read. Along with her best friend Kid Fury, Crissle discussed pop culture's messiness while adding valuable mental health gems and defending queer, Black folks whenever necessary. Through the podcast's success, Crissle decided to pursue a career in the psychological field and is currently studying to be a therapist. Is there anything this woman CAN’T do?
Follow Crissle on Instagram @crissle.
7. Daquana White
Daquana is a plus-size content creator based in North Carolina. She often uses her platform to flaunt her stylish looks but has quietly opened up about her life as a queer, Black influencer through her photos and videos. To some, Daquana’s willingness to share her truth is just as influential as some of her more boisterous counterparts.
8. Denzel Dion
Denzel Dion made waves on the internet with his self-titled YouTube channel, which currently has 1.41 million subscribers. However, day-one internet comedy fans remember Denzel’s hilarious celebrity fashion commentary, with him ending most of his videos with “I said what I said, and I meant what I said.”
Since his Vine days, Denzel has continued growing his audience on other social platforms and has his fashion line, NOID, and a podcast with his BFF, Rickey Thompson, called We Said What We Said.
Follow Denzel on Instagram and TikTok @denzeldion.
9. Dev Doe
Dev is a transgender influencer and artist in NYC. They/she is a fixture in the New York drag show scene and is just as immersed in the fashion world. Through a quick scroll on their socials, Dev flaunts their fearless style, which has received attention from brands like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty line. And it isn't just us who think Dev is fabulous, as she received the Glam Awards Breakthrough Artist in 2022.
Follow Dev on Instagram and TikTok @devdoee.
10. Ebony of Team 2 Moms
Ebony is half of Team 2 Moms. Through Team 2 Moms, Ebony and her wife Denise discuss raising children as a Black lesbian couple and how they handle any controversy that comes their way. They have three children — Olivia, Jayden, and Lucas. We especially stan how the lovely family takes their adversity in stride with many TikTok dances and skits!
Follow Ebony on Instagram and TikTok @team2moms.
11. Essie Golden
Essie made a name for herself as a plus-size fashion influencer and model in NYC. She often uses her platform to promote her style or collaborations with brands like Nike, Louis Vuitton, and her shoe company, Thick Laces. However, Essie has no problem reminding her followers that she’s a proud bisexual woman and that being bisexual doesn’t have a particular look.
Follow Essie on Instagram and TikTok @essiegolden.
12. Jade Fox
Lesbian influencer Jade Fox describes herself as "Your authentic authority on all things culture and fashion." Through her YouTube channel, Jade discusses relevant topics in the Black queer community and her role as an influencer. Jade also used her love of style to create her T-shirt shop, Hillfox Club.
Follow Jade on Instagram and TikTok @iamjadefox.
13. Jay Versace
Another Vine favorite during the app’s reign was Jay Versace. Jay’s hilarious videos were creative and entertaining, mainly involving an unforgettable bob wig with bangs. However, after a few years of success as an influencer, Jay dropped comedy to pursue his true passion — music. Since reinventing himself as a producer, the openly gay influencer has worked with countless musical artists, including Summer Walker, SZA, and Childish Gambino.
Follow Jay on Instagram @jay.
14. Jazzmyne Jay
As someone who describes themselves as “the grown Dora Winifred Read” on Instagram, it’s safe to say Jazzmyne Jay doesn’t take herself too seriously. But Jazzmyne doesn’t play about creating safe spaces in the queer community, especially for plus-size models like herself. Whether showing off a cute look or getting tattoos with her boo, Jazzmyne has no problem reminding the haters that there’s enough room for everyone — especially LGBTQ+ folks — to thrive.
15. Kid Fury
Kid Fury’s first viral video happened when folks weren’t even using the term “viral.” The Miami-Dade County native found success on YouTube with his “S--t Black Gays Say” in 2012 and has reinvented himself repeatedly. Through his and Crissle’s podcast, The Read, Kid Fury brightens many people’s days with his hilarious quips on pop culture and his “Sports Shorts.”
In between the laughter, Kid Fury has been vocal about his mental health struggles, which has made him even more influential recently. Outside of the podcast, Kid Fury is a talented writer working on Issa Rae’s Rap S--t.
Follow Kid Fury on Instagram @kidfury.
16. Naomi Smalls
Naomi Smalls is a queer influencer and drag queen. You’ve likely seen Naomi from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8, where Naomi was a runner-up. Since the show, Naomi has continued performing with other Drag Race favorites and has returned to the show for Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars.
Follow Naomi on Tik Tok and Instagram @naomismalls.
17. Rickey Thompson
Rickey Thompson found SUCCESS through his comedy skits on Vine and later Instagram and TikTok. But these days, his followers have watched him evolve into an actor with his breakout role in Amazon Prime’s Swarm in March 2023. And while Rickey isn’t wholly leaving comedy behind, the We Said What We Said co-host is ready to take on Hollywood as a proud, Black gay man.
Follow Rickey on Instagram and TikTok @rickeythompson.
18. Preston Mitchum
Activist and influencer Preston Mitchum is best known as one of the residents of Bravo’s Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard. Though the show, which debuted in May 2023, is still new to reality TV fans, many viewers agree that Preston is the one to watch. When he isn't educating his co-stars on queer issues and the true meaning of “Black Excellence,” Preston is having a good time with loved ones while rocking a stylish outfit.
Follow Preston on Instagram @preston.mitchum.
19. Saucy Santana
Rashad Spain, aka Saucy Santana, began his career as the City Girls’ makeup artist. However, the openly gay rapper is now far removed from his old day job and landed success on TikTok and Instagram. Through his success, Saucy has established himself as a rapper with hits like “MATERIAL GWORRLLLLLLLL!,” “Booty,” and “Pinot Noir.” Fans also adore Saucy’s fearless comments about being gay in the music industry and his expressive style.
Follow Saucy on Instagram and TikTok @saucysantana.
20. Shea Coulee
Last but certainly not least on our top queer influencers list is trans influencer — Shea Coulee. Shea became famous after appearing on Season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2017. Although she didn’t win Season 9, Shea won the All-Stars trophy in Season 5. These days, Shea, who also uses they pronouns, fearlessly speaks out against LGBTQ oppression, especially the recent anti-drag bills placed in certain U.S. states.
Follow Shea on TikTok and Instagram @sheacoulee.