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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » LGBT Heroes and Heroines

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Author Topic: LGBT Heroes and Heroines
Pumpkin_Pie
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So when I was younger, there was such a lack of role models for me as a young lesbian.

I sought them everywhere, online, tv, politics and sport and I was lucky enough to find a hugely influential hero in Heather here at Scarleteen.

It was so important to me to have an adult who was a member of my community that I could look up to, that I could model myself on and whose example I could follow and whom I could learn from, and I only wish I'd had more of them and especially ones I had real-life, in-person contact with in my daily life.


Who are your LGBT heroes? What people in your life, or in the world of celebrity or politics or sport do you look at and think, you know, they're pretty cool.

Why are they your hero?

What makes a good role model for young LGBT people do you think?

Rebecca

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Kawani3792
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Right now...
There's the woman who I got to know as she was the teaching author for my writing camp (and has an awesome sense of humor, she helped the adults play a trick on the kids, then the kids all managed to convince our chaperones that there was a bear outside and we were missing a camper...it was pretty darn funny), I knew she was serving in the Idaho Senate but didn't think anything of it until I saw on Facebook her relationship status said she was married, and I realized it was a woman's name she was married to. She's my conservative state's only openly gay senator, she's in the process of campaigning to make it illegal to discriminate based on orientation or gender identity, and she's all around awesome. Plus, she writes really great stories.

And Nancy Garden-she wrote Annie On My Mind, Good Moon Rising, and The Year They Burned the Books, and that's just the ones I've read. I consider her my hero because I was confused and awkward and had just come out to myself and was searching my library for books with lesbian characters, because I'm a reader. I found Good Moon Rising and nearly cried at the end, it was really emotional and well written and beautiful. So, I searched the author to see if I could post on a message board maybe about how much I loved that book. I ended up finding an email address, sent her an email remarking how much I'd loved her book, and how beautiful it was. And she actually took the time to respond to me, not a form letter or whatever, and was really nice.

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September
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Kawani - I am so excited to hear that about Nancy Garden. Annie On My Mind was actually the first book I picked up at the library when I started questioning my sexuality, and it went a long way towards helping me accept myself. It's so neat to hear that she's an awesome person beyond her books, too.


My biggest gay role model at the time I was struggling with my sexuality was the character of Jack on Dawson's Creek. This was right around season three, when Jack was struggling with his identity himself (and how much am I dating myself right now?), and it was so helpful to see someone else in the same situation, even if it was on TV.

I did not really have any real-life heroes for a while, because I lived in a very straight world. The first lesbian I was really aware of was Ellen DeGeneres, and the first person that I looked up to in terms of gender non-conformity and just generally not giving a crap about gender and sexuality norms was Brian Molko (lead-singer of the band Placebo).

Since then, I've also been really grateful to the handful of out gay politicians we have in Germany (when the mayor of Berlin came out in 2001, I was in Italy and found out about it via a newspaper headline in the hotel lobby, I literally jumped up and down and squealed), and a couple of actors/singers/politicians who manage to prove that being LGBT doesn't make you fundamentally different.

And by now I also have quite a few kick-*** non-straight friends in my life who never cease to inspire and amaze me.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Kawani3792
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(I was really happy to find out she's such a nice person also. I hadn't even realized she'd written The Year They Burned the Books, but I loved it because I feel so strongly about censorship. And, ooo, Germany! How neat!)
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Bonnie.N.Clyde
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I love Annie on My Mind!

My role models were Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club and my counselor at GLTBQQ group therapy. Brent, because he is smart, encouraging, and came to speak to the teen writer's group I was in as a kid. He also facilitated Oasis in the 90s, which is a free, safe group for GLTBQQ youth AND he supported the new GSA in his old school Bellarmine (a Catholic school in my area)-- he is an alum but would attend meetings. My counselor, who I can't name because I don't know if she is out now, is an amazing queer woman who encouraged us to love ourselves and be true to ourselves. She gave us books, literature, told us empowering stuff, took us to events and took us camping and hiking. That was the one time I felt confident in the outdoors because it wasn't about competition-- everyone put up their own tents, helped cook all the meals, hiked at their own pace... it was sooo awesome! Woo!

Right now, I'm super into Jane Lynch as a role model. She's smart, funny, silly, and good looking to boot. I loved reading about her and her wife!

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"And when everyone is super, no one will be."

-Syndrome, "THE INCREDIBLES"

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feefiefofemme
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Not gonna lie, Heather was my biggest role model. Scarleteen has helped me figure myself out at all different stages of the development of my queer identity. I cannot praise it and Heather enough.

But aside from that, I've always adored and looked up to Rachel Maddow. Also, the ladies of Cherry Bomb, the now-discontinued vlog on After Ellen. Jane Lynch is one of my favourite celesbians as well!

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Bonnie.N.Clyde
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[Smile] Celesbians! I love it! Borders is selling a Jane Lynch poster (from "Glee", which I've never watched) and I'm oh-so-tempted to buy it.

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"And when everyone is super, no one will be."

-Syndrome, "THE INCREDIBLES"

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SouwaLyn
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My role model is Lady GaGa. Even though she is just a celebrity. She does so much more to help out. She helps with the Trevor project and she helped repeal DADT. Her songs also speak so much about life and oriantation issues. I look up to her.
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bump on a log
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Sylvia Rivera was the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas and everything else in my opinion. She was a transwoman who'd lived on the streets from age eleven, a participant in the Stonewall Riots, an advocate for the homeless, for transgender people, for queer kids with nowhere to go.

Zackie Achmat is an HIV-positive 'Coloured' South African, a former anti-apartheid activist, and a founder of the Treatment Action Campaign, which advocates for everybody, not just those who can pay, to have access to medication for HIV and AIDS. He refused to take his antiretrovirals until they were freely available in his country to everybody who needed them. How brave is that?

I also really admire Rupert Whitaker. Terry Higgins died of AIDS in his mid-thirties; he was one of the first people known to die of AIDS in Britain. Whitaker, only nineteen at the time, was his boyfriend. Whitaker ended up cofounding the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK's biggest HIV and AIDS charity. He also became a doctor, specialising in HIV immunology, and a community advocate for people with HIV.

Everybody should know about people like these. Celebrity icons are great, but these people, whose efforts go unrecognised by many of us, were and are massively important too.

[ 07-04-2011, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: bump on a log ]

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