LGBT History Month: LGBTQ+ Creators You Should Know
This LGBT History Month, Nath is taking a look at all the LGBTQ+ creators we think you should know...
There is an incredible amount of LGBTQ+ creators who support the community in countless ways and nowadays there is lots of content telling different stories through various media. In this blog post, I’m going to be taking you on a journey through some of them and introducing you to some creators in the community.
To kick things off we’re going to be looking at a couple of influential podcasters in the LGBTQ+ community, both of whom are behind some really inspiring and feel good podcasts.
First up is Suzi Ruffell. Suzi identifies as a CIS lesbian who is known for her comedy, though she is also a writer and an actress. During lockdown, Suzi decided to take on podcasting and launched ‘Out with Suzi Ruffell’. She hosts an amazing line up of guest stars joining her in to help inspire the LGBTQ+ community in this series of chatty, open discussions. Available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.
Secondly, we have Tash Walker. Tash is so incredibly important to the community. She is currently the Co-Chair for Switchboard, a national helpline, dedicated to helping the LGBTQ+ community. As well as her amazing work, she is also the founder of Get In Her Ears, which a non-profit platform designed for promoting and supporting women and non-binary people in music.
If you are interested in more of what Tash has to say, she is also one of the co-hosts for the very successful podcast, The Log Books, which is designed to be a glimpse into the LGBTQ+ life from yester-year. Looking at a series of log books from the Switchboard, herself and her co-host Adam Zmith explore stories from British Queer History. Available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.
Authors and Books
There is so much great LGBTQ+ literature, including both LGBTQ+ authors and books about the community or specifically for supporting LGBTQ+ people. There is way too much to list, but I’ve compiled a small list of authors and their publications which I either already have on my shelves, or are now sitting patiently in my basket!
I absolutely had to talk about this Cipher Shorts, particularly this book from the series, as it doesn't just celebrate one creator but thirteen! These thirteen individuals come together to write a series of what it means to be queer in the Covid-19 pandemic. The stories, poems and essays are all meant to serve as "an antidote to the lack of social interaction". If that doesn't have you convinced, every purchase of Cipher Shorts will be donated to The Outside Project, The UK’s first LGBTQ+ homeless shelter and crisis centre.
Creators included in this book are Isabel Waidner, Mads Hartley, Peter Scapello, Elizabeth Lovatt, Saurabh Sharma, Sam J Grudgings, Cleo Henry, Erica Gillingham, Gabrielle Johnson, Helen Savage, Adam Zmith, Georgie Henley, and Annie Dobson.
Next up we have author, Casey McQuiston. Let me tell you, I’m very excited to purchase this book after looking into it for this blog post! Casey is openly bi-sexual, queer and non-binary, and they are a New York Times Best Selling Author. Their 2019 best seller Red, White & Royal Blue tells the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz, who is the son of the first female US President. Alex ends up falling in love and has a relationship with an English Prince in this moving read. After reading Red, White & Royal Blue, why not take a peek at Casey’s soon-to-be-released book, called One Last Stop? This novel puts a queer twist on an NYC subway journey, and is coming June 2021.
This is one for all my fellow graphic novel and comic lovers! Tee Franklin is a gay and disabled writer for Image Comics. She is the first-ever Black woman to be hired by the company and wants to pave the way for more minority comic book creators.
Tee’s most popular and renowned graphic novel series is Bingo Love. This illustrated tale tells the story of two young teens who meet at a church bingo game in the early 1960's and become best friends. This friendship turns to love, but social norms of the 1960's prohibited same-gender love. Fifty years later, when they are both grandmothers, the two ladies meet again.
Juno Dawson is an acclaimed author and former PSHCE teacher. Juno, who identifies as a trans woman, has written bestselling novels and screenplays. One of her amazing works is This Book Is Gay, which is an informative and fun educational book about LGBTQ+ life. In 2017 Juno wrote The Gender Games: The Problem With Men and Women, From Someone Who Has Been Both, which is not only a bestseller but also winner of the UK Black Pride Literacy Prize for non-fiction awards 2017, and is set to become a TV show soon.
Last up for this section, we have novelist Brandon Taylor. He is a gay creator who was responsible for the 2020 hit novel Real Life. The story is described as a campus novel and coming of age story and is partly based on Taylor's life; it tells the story of a gay, Black student, studying on a majority white PhD course.
Similar to the previous two lists, of podcasts and authors, the amount of LGBTQ+ content creators who have called YouTube their homes is endless. Two clicks and you can find endless support, advice, stories, and general chit-chat from friendly folk. To help you find some, I’ve compiled below four channels that you may just fall in love with!
First up is Kat Blaque, She is an Illustrator and Animator, who identifies as transgender, and has been on the YouTube scene since 2005. She is known for many things, but she talks about her personal experiences to create videos and teach lessons to her audience. She has a huge following of close to 340,000 subscribers on her YouTube Channel and her most popular series is ‘True Tea’.
Next up, Alex Bertie is a popular UK YouTuber, who identifies as a transgender man and is an openly supportive member of the LGBTQ+ community. He is open about LGBTQ+ issues and how to positively resolve them, talks through his advice on transitioning, and much more. Alex’s channel also has a huge following on his YouTube Platform, coming in at just under 300,000 subscribers.
Now we have Ash Hardell. Ash is a YouTube influencer in the LGBTQ+ community, and writer based in the US. Ash has developed a strong bond with her 600,000 plus viewers and has become a trusted voice of the community. As a result of Ash’s series on YouTube, talking about the "LGBTQ+ ABC’s", she released an Amazon bestseller called The ABC’s of LGBTQ+; the eBook version is also available for free here!
Last but not least, we have Hannah Hart. Hannah identifies as a Lesbian and is such a big and positive voice for the community. She is a YouTube star of her own making, as well as an actor and writer. When I first 'discovered' YouTube over a decade ago, Hannah was one of the first people I found who I knew was different, even if I wasn't fully sure why.
She has been around for so long and has massed an amazing 2.35 Million subscribers on her channel MyHarto. Due to her success, she has landed herself several YouTube Original Series and is currently taking on the podcast Hannahlyze along with film projects with other YouTubers and much more. You can listen to her podcast either on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
I hope that because of this post you have found some new LGBTQ+ content creators to get stuck into; I hope you enjoy watching, reading and listening to them all!
Vice President for Higher Education and LGBTQ+ Society Co-Lead