The witty Irish playwright and author Oscar Wilde left an impression on the literary world before his death at the age of forty-six, having penned the classics “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Grey.” The wordsmith was involved in what could be considered the first of the modern “celebrity scandal” after he was convicted on the grounds of “gross indecency” for having male lovers.
Wilde would spend two years in prison, a sojourn that would wreck his health and lead to his untimely passing. The literary world remains forever in debt to the Irish man of letters.
Possibly one of the most famous trans people in the world today, Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Olympic gold-winning athlete, Bruce Jenner, is a force to be reckoned with. Jenner gained TV stardom on the hit reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" as Kris's former spouse. However, in 2014, everything changed, and she revealed in a Diane Sawyer interview that she wanted to be recognized as a woman.
The next few years consisted of more outings and her very own reality show called "I am Cait," which detailed her transition.
Marsha P. Johnson
The Stonewall Uprising marked a revolutionary change for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States after police stormed a well-known gay club known as “Stonewall.” At the time, Marsha P. Johnson was a popular and self-identified drag queen and activist. Johnson responded to the riots, as did many other LGBTQ+ community members, and became a spearhead for the turning point uprising.
Johnson, forever the activist, would go on to co-found S.T.A.R: The radical organization served to assist homeless LGBTQ+ youth. Alongside fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, Johnson acted as a “mother” for the disenfranchised youth.
Andy Warhol was one of the most eccentric figures on the modern art scene. The revolutionary American artist would immortalize many celebrities in his unique avant-garde pop art styles. Andy Warhol was an unabashedly out gay man throughout his life, long before the gay liberation movements took place.
He introduced many homoerotic themes in his artworks and even found himself being rejected for the pieces being too “explicit.” Warhol did find success with the thematic elements later on in his career as he drew inspiration from the underground counterculture of gay New York.
Actress and daytime television host Laverne Cox has trailblazed a path for transgender people throughout her career. The actress was first featured on the Netflix comedy-drama serial “Orange Is the New Black.” She won over fans and soon became a recurring character.
In addition to her acting, she hosted a daytime television show, “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word.” Cox would go on to win an Emmy for her executive producing skills on the highly rated show, a first for a trans woman.