Social media influencers play a huge role in the LGBTQ+ community, and work hard to create safe places for its members, normalising alternative lifestyles and showing people who may have not come out yet that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the notable influencers who stood out during Pride Month 2020 and deserve some extra attention. In no particular order, the top nine influencers to continue to support after Pride Month are as follows:
Creator of the website, Unite UK, self-proclaimed professional lesbian and active member of the LGBTQ+ community. Summers has created a successful safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and even links this with an engaging Instagram page (@unite_uk1) where followers can interact and support each other. On the weekend of 20-21 June 2020, the website hosted a digital Pride, which Summers organised. The event hosted online panels and fundraising for different LGBTQ+ charities. Summers also hosts a podcast called Les Talk with her girlfriend Aislinn.
(Instagram – @charlsummersuk)
Rose and Rosie
Next on the list is YouTube power couple Rose and Rosie. Married for more than five years now and with more than 900,000 subscribers, these women are an inspiration for young LGBTQ+ people. They recently released a book and a documentary followed by a going on a UK tour to meet their fans. Many of their fans look up to them as role models as there are few married same sex female couples in the public eye. As well as touching on LGBTQ+ issues, they also address issues surrounding mental health and they pride themselves in regard to ‘Oversharing’ with their community, which happens to be the title of their book, documentary and tour.
Next up is transgender woman Jazz Jennings. She is an LGBTQ+ activist and YouTube personality. She has nearly 700,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 1 million followers on Instagram. At 19 years old she is thought to be one of the youngest publicly documented people to identify as transgender. She is very open about her transition journey and even vlogs the process to help people at the same stage or earlier in a similar process. Her most recent video about the process, ‘The Next Chapter, Gender Confirmation Surgery’, has more than 700,000 views.
With nearly 5.2 million subscribers on YouTube, Franta has access to one of the largest audiences in this list. Franta came out as gay in a video on YouTube in 2014 – that video has 12 million views and shows just how many people this type on content helps. ‘Coming out’ videos are top searches among the LGBTQ+ community, and help them come to terms with their sexuality and brace themselves for the journey they are about to embark on. Franta’s video is one of the most viewed coming out videos of all time, making him a highly regarded LGBTQ+ influencer.
Alex Bertie is a transgender man who has nearly 300,000 subscribers on YouTube. As one of the few UK-based transgender men documenting their journey online, many young or newly transitioning people look up to him and follow his channel for guidance on their journey. Bertie also has a book called ‘Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard, which has been influential to many people in their transitioning journey, but also to many people who want to be an ally. This gives them an insight into a community they want to support but will never fully understand.
Jonathan Van Ness
Member of the ‘fab five’, from Netflix’s Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness is a non-binary person who is well known on Instagram for their LGBTQ+ activism. Van Ness has 5.1 million followers on Instagram and fills their feed with all things activism and discussion around how to be a successful ally. They gained their following from starring in Queer Eye, in which they are a hair and skincare specialist. Prior to being the self-proclaimed ‘fabulous queen’ on the highly successful TV show Van Ness was a professional hairdresser.
(Instagram – @jvn)
Transgender and deaf LGBTQ+ activist and YouTuber, Chella Man, has around 260,000 subscribers and makes videos of his transgender journey, also identifying as genderqueer and being deaf. His videos with his girlfriend, MaryV, regarding life dating someone transitioning have been very successful with people in similar situations. Another highlight is his video on life as a ‘deaf and hearing couple’, which has helped a different minority group of people.
Hannah Hart is a YouTuber with 2.4 million subscribers. She uses her platform to raise awareness and breakdown stereotypes of lesbians and lesbian relationships. Her channel is used to promote her activism and advocate to normalise same sex female relationships by having her fiancé in videos with her and allowing an audience to follow along on the journey to their wedding day.
Transgender man Jamie Raines has created a safe place for transmen on his YouTube channel, He has documented his whole journey for the past 8 years including staring hormones, top and bottom surgery and getting his Gender Recognition Certificate. He is seen as someone who is highly looked up by transmen and a huge help for people at any stage in a similar journey. On YouTube he has almost 500K subscribers and one of his top viewed videos is his coming out as transgender video with 1.4M views.