PART 1: Frida Kahlo Frida Kahlo, the queer queen of art, was known for her bold strokes and bolder decisions. Frida’s artwork principally involved anatomy, sexuality, society, and femininity. Frida’s artwork and lifestyle were largely influenced by her Mexican roots, and a predominant part of her artwork was metaphorical self-portraits cloaked in vintage […]
Frida Kahlo, the queer queen of art, was known for her bold strokes and bolder decisions. Frida’s artwork principally involved anatomy, sexuality, society, and femininity. Frida’s artwork and lifestyle were largely influenced by her Mexican roots, and a predominant part of her artwork was metaphorical self-portraits cloaked in vintage hues. Frida Kahlo was one of the most openly bisexual artists around the 1900s, and was later looked upon as an queer and feminist icon whose artwork is relevant to this day.
Audre Lorde was a woman who wielded words as if they were a powerful sword. Her passionate verses of poetry and writing spoke of strong advocacy for queer, black, and women’s rights. A lesbian and an early intersectional feminist, she was known for her bold speeches. At 58 years of age, the literary icon passed away after a prolonged war against breast cancer, leaving behind her life and work, which continue to inspire millions today.
Cara Delevingne is a model, actress, singer, and popular influencer. The model who is known for her quirky social media accounts identifies as being gender fluid and pansexual. In one of her interviews, she quoted that pride to her is a sense of belonging in her body, which was something that she never had as a child.
With a large youth following, this model has a very positive influence on the growing queer affirmative culture. An inspiration by example, she is an icon in her own right.
Leslie Cheung was Hong Kong’s popular Canto-pop star who came out as gay in the 1980s when the LGBTQIA+ movement in Hong Kong was in its initial phases and was socially looked down upon. The coming out of an icon like Leslie opened up much needed conversations around sexuality and created a positive impact on the budding queer movement.
Almost 18 years after he tragically took his own life, the star continues to be a symbol of hope and strength to queer folks still fighting for legal rights.
Karl Heinrich Ulrichs fought for the decriminalization of homosexuality as early as the 1860s. A pioneer of the gay movement, he was arrested several times for promoting queer culture.
In one of his famous quotes, he said that despite everything he faced he was proud of speaking up, and doing so courageously. His contribution to society is simply colossal.
Sam Smith is a soulful singer and songwriter who identifies as non-binary. They create music that helps an entire generation emote.
When they said, “Maybe I am not a man, maybe I am not a woman, maybe I’m just me,” it broke down definitions that simply didn’t have to make sense anymore.
Dora Ritcher is said to be among the first few documented people in the world to undergo gender affirmative surgery – Dora underwent the first-ever vaginoplasty. Despite being arrested initially on several occasions for cross-dressing, she never gave up on her fight. She died in the aftermath of a Nazi attack on Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science; the institution burnt down with her.
Prince Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh belongs to a royal bloodline in India and is said to be the first “openly” gay prince. Born in a royal but severely conservative family, he had to endure and make it through a tumultuous journey. He faced serious backlash from the public after choosing to come out, and threats of disownment from his own family. Today, he runs a trust that contributes proceeds to the queer community.
Maya, the drag queen
Maya, the drag queen can keep you glued to his radiant presence. A gay star who is deeply passionate about his art, he performs in stages across the country but predominantly in Kerala. He creates art from everyday reality. A feminist, an LGBTQIA+ advocate and educator, TEDx speaker, and influencer, he is all set to rule the world.
Writer: Annie Iniya J