24 Absolutely wonderful LGBT women and allies

To celebrate International Women’s Day, PinkNews takes a look at some the most inspirational LGBT women and female allies out there.

1. Janet Mock

Janet Mock says 'racism, sexism and transphobia' hampered her career
Janet Mock on the red carpet for Pose. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Janet Mock has worked tirelessly to achieve trans equality and shine a light on the issues many trans women face. In 2015, during a powerful interview with Oprah Winfrey, the writer said she will always “proudly and unapologetically” stand up for her identity as a trans woman. She also conducted all 11 interviews in The Trans List, a powerful HBO documentary starring Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner.

2. Penny Wong

Senator Penny Wong
Senator Penny Wong

Penny Wong was the first member of the Australian Labor Party to come out while still sitting in parliament. She continues to be a leading voice in the ongoing fight for marriage equality in Australia as the first lesbian Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ultra-liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has long supported equality, attracting fury from conservatives for performing same-sex weddings herself ahead of the court ruling which saw marriage equality legalised across the US. She also dissented to President Trump in the sassiest way possible back in November, wearing her famed “dissenting collar.”

4. Vicky Beeching

Christian rock star Vicky Beeching came out as gay in 2014. She continues to discuss the struggles she experienced with her sexuality, as well as the challenges faced by religious members of the LGBT community, and campaigns for more LGBT rights in the Church.

5. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus confirmed she identifies as “pansexual” – and not bisexual as widely reported in the media – in 2015, and spoke in October about how much she hated the word bisexual being attached to her. The pop star revealed she had dated men and women in 2015, when she said: “There are times in my life where I’ve had boyfriends or girlfriends. I’m not hiding my sexuality.” The gender-fluid star also smashed gender boundaries with her performance at a variety show in June.

6. Amber Heard

It’s been a horrible year for the Danish Girl star, who has had to deal with a lot of abuse following her acrimonious split from Johnny Depp, not least when tabloids suggested her sexuality was at least partly to blame for the breakdown of their marriage.

Her response? Donating her $7 million divorce settlement to a domestic violence charity, then reached out to survivors in a PSA in which she spoke about her own experiences with abuse, urging victims to speak up and seek out help.

The actress came out in 2010 as she dated photographer Tasya van Ree. She later married Depp and adopted his two children, but said marrying a man did not define her sexual orientation.

7. Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne goes topless for Vogue and says 'it's all of our jobs' to fight for human rights
Cara Delevingne goes topless for Vogue and says ‘it’s all of our jobs’ to fight for human rights (Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)

World famous supermodel Cara Delevingne chose a suitably fashionable way to come out – in Vogue magazine. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognised that I had to accept it.”

The star of Suicide Squad and Paper Towns has opened up about her depression, and in August she said that “If people want to say I’m gay, that’s great” in reference to her relationship with Annie Clark.

8. Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie refused to marry her now ex-husband Brad Pitt until same-sex marriage was legalised in the US. In 2014, the A-Lister also announced her support for their child to self-identify.

She reacted to their break-up with dignity, and won sole custody of their six children. She then continued being a beacon of hope, saying the American people were “bigger than any President.”

9. Ellen DeGeneres

The popular TV host and LGBT advocate has talked about the fear she felt before coming out. “I didn’t think I was going to come out, period…I didn’t think I’d be coming out on a show, ever.”

Over the past year, she has banned a homophobic singer from her show, surprised an Orlando shooting survivor with Katy Perry, and even made George W Bush seem almost human.

10. Ruby Rose

Australian-born Rose was one of the very first celebrities to come out as genderfluid. The model-turned-actress-turned role model broke through into the mainstream after her appearance as Stella on Orange Is The New Black.

Since then, she has talked about feeling empowered by her sexuality and how she considered gender reassignment surgery when she was younger.

11. Hillary Clinton

She may have lost the presidential election, but her pro-trans stance won her credit, as did her decision to celebrate moves forward for LGBT people in her concession speech. The former Secretary of State and First Lady openly admits that she has “evolved” on the issue of same-sex marriage, and the Human Rights Campaign noted her raft of LGBT policy pledges as it supported her for President.

12. J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter author has taken no prisoners over the past year, savagely taking apart Piers Morgan, Donald Trump, Mike Pence and every Twitter troll who failed to realise that she’s pure magic. She also gave her blessing for a drawing featuring Harry, Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore to appear in a comic book which raised funds for the Orlando Massacre victims.

13. Kate Winslet

A staunch LGBT rights supporter, back in 2011 the actress shared an amazing exchange with her son – when he asked what would happen if he were gay, aged just seven.

14. Angela Eagle

Labour’s Angela Eagle made history in 2015 when she became the first openly gay woman to go head-to-head at the dispatch box during Prime Minister’s Questions.

15. Laverne Cox

Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox has continued to shed light the issues facing the trans community, from transphobia to what makes a beautiful trans women.

She recently told everyone at the Grammys to google Gavin Grimm, and found time to slay as Beyoncé on Lip Sync Battle.

16. Bea Arthur

The Golden Girls star, who died in 2009, left $300,000 in her will to the Ali Forney Center, which works to help LGBT homeless youths in New York. Seven years on, and the charity is putting the finishing touches on a new 18-bed shelter, the Bea Arthur Residence.

17. Kate McKinnon

What a year for Saturday Night Live’s outstanding performer. The comedian, who in 2012 became the show’s first openly gay cast member, stole the show in Ghostbusters before she stole our hearts on the post-election episode of SNL, singing the late Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in her guise as Hillary Clinton. She has also attracted plaudits for her spot-on portrayals of the homophobic Jeff Sessions and Kellyanne Conway. Oh, and she won (then lost) an Emmy.

18. Hari Nef

Transparent star Nef made waves last year, becoming the first trans model to sign to one of the fashion industry’s biggest agencies, IMG Models. She also became the first trans covergirl for fashion magazine ELLE.

19. Beyoncé

As well as her incredible feminist album Lemonade, the global megastar has also defended trans students and featured lesbian and gay couples in her video for All Night.

20. Kristen Stewart

Her iconic line about her sexuality – “Google me, I’m not hiding” – became even more appropriate this year, as she hosted SNL and spoken freely about her love life, saying she was not ashamed of dating women. And she had a new line to add to her collection of fantastic LGBT quotes when told Donald Trump on SNL: “I’m so gay, dude!

21. Adele

Back in 2015, Adele said she would be happy if her son had a boyfriend when he’s older. Turns out this was typical of the long-time LGBT rights advocate, who has invited two drag queen Adele impressionists up on stage to sing with her, as well as two dads and their baby.

As if that wasn’t enough, she won five Grammys while capturing the world’s hearts during the ceremony by repeatedly speaking about her love for Beyoncé and how Lemonade should have won the Best Album accolade. She also sung an emotional tribute to George Michael.

22. Jill Soloway

Soloway – the creative genius behind Transparent – came out in 2015. In September, she compared Donald Trump to Hitler after picking up her Emmy for Outstanding Director of A Comedy Series for Transparent. She also told viewers: “Topple the patriarchy!” as she left the stage.

23. Hannah Hart

The lesbian YouTuber has repeatedly spoken out about her journey to accepting her sexuality through her channel MyHarto, which now has 2.5 million subscribers. This work promoting equality and acceptance for the LGBT community resulted in her being honoured in September with LGBTQ media monitoring organisation GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award. Her relationship with fellow YouTuber Ingrid Nilsen – who has 4 million subscribers – also hit the headlines, as the pair spread a message of LGBT celebration.

The 30-year-old Californian has even found time to write a book about her life, called Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded, which covers her slowly coming to terms with being gay.