Val’s Thoughts: Honoring Fierce Gays During Pride Month

June is Pride Month. Let’s not forget our LGBTQ friends!

I’ve been concerned that LGBTQ voices might be lost in the shuffle during this crazy 2020, and I wanted to honor some of my favorites since Pride Month is here. In fact, I’m hoping you’ll add to this list! I would love to find some more gay icons to follow.

For now, here’s some of my favorites who have done wonderful things for the LGBTQ community.

  • Jonathan Van Ness: Honestly, the whole Queer Eye team should be honored here: Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, and Jonathan Van Ness. They all do amazing work at inspiring confidence in so many! I suppose JVN stands out to me the most because he’s sooo not afraid to tell it like it is, henny! He’s very politically active, inspires us to try new things (do you see his gymnastics, comedy, and figure skating goals!? LOVE!), been vulnerable while revealing his experience with HIV, loves his cats, and makes the Midwest proud. Overall, he’s a fantastic advocate you should know.

  • RuPaul: I mean… DOES IT GET BETTER? All hail the Queen! Ru is not just a fashion icon, Ru is also an LGBTQ advocate. I could speak more about Ru, but I think this article covers it. Oh, and we have Ru to thank for this iconic piece of music too…

  • Andy Cohen: Your #1 source for Real Housewives dish! It’s a guilty please – sue me. My favorites are the New Jersey and Atlanta ladies. While he too is an LGBTQ advocate, he’s also been kind enough to share his journey toward having a son with us too.

  • Rob Halford: It does me (or any of us) no good to forget this wonderful man. Rob Halford is the frontman for Judas Priest. We don’t hear a lot of gay voices in heavy metal, and that’s why I think he’s such an important figure. His coming out story was pretty interesting! Rob regularly encourages LGBTQ youth to come out when they’re ready.

  • Jessica Guilbeaux: She’s a speaker, model, and activist in the LGBTQ community. She and her girlfriend Emma Larson have taken time to use their social media platforms as outreach for gay youth. Hell, they were even sweet enough to answer my questions about the gay community during a live on Instagram once. You probably know Jess from her episode of Queer Eye, which is where I first recognized her from too. Follow her if you’re not already.

Full disclosure: I’m a married, heterosexual female. Though I will never understand the gay experience or the hardships that this community still faces, when they’re killing it and doing some good in the world, I do want to shout them out!

I think these lovely people represent their communities well. I’ve learned from them. You should too.