These 8 individuals are my top 8 role models within the LGBT community. Being able to relate, and be inspired by an individual is something that keeps me going, and keeps me thriving towards my dreams.
1) Olly Alexander –
Olly Alexander is the lead singer out of Years & Years. I first heard of Olly when he published an article in the gay magazine Attitude UK in 2015 and I loved the article, he was honest about his own personal struggles with his mental illnesses and his sexuality which inspired me. In February 2016 I received an email from BBC Radio 1 regarding their one million hours campaign. They were getting young volunteers / campaigners from across England and Wales to have an interview to promote Youth Social Action. The person interviewing myself and 4 other young people was Olly Alexander and he was fantastic, I wish I said thank you personally for the amazing work he has done for our community and other important issues. Olly has tweeted my blog / shared my project which has helped me reach people worldwide which I am thankful for.
2) Riyadh Khalaf –
Riyadh is a worldwide YouTuber, he touches on LGBT+ issues, his own personal story and he allows the world to see how fantastic his parents are. I first came towards Riyadh on YouTube when he posted his ‘Mom reads Son’s Grindr messages’ which made me laugh and smile, you can view the video below. Whenever I feel sad, lonely, or if I can’t sleep due to my brain going on overdrive I just watch Riyadh’s videos because he has humour and he’s so inspiring. Recently he announced that he was creating 6 short programmes on BBC Three called ‘Queer Britain’ which highlights issues within the LGBT+ community, and I had the amazing opportunity to travel down to London and help with this program which should be released soon. You can view Riyadh’s YouTube channel here.
3) Paul Davies –
Paul is a fellow Welsh Man who I met last year during Pride Cymru. Paul was announced as Mr Gay Wales during 2016 and since this announcement he has been using his platform to share his own personal story, and help other LGBT+ individuals. Paul is very open about the fact that he has one hand and he shares his story of how his teachers in school told him that he would get nowhere due to his disability, and he has proved that teacher, and other individuals who thought the same wrong. Paul has shown that if you have the determination and encouragement to do something, then you can do it. When I spoke on stage at Pride Cymru last summer he was stood next to me presenting, and he made me cry after woods because he is so down to earth and he is one of the most positive people I have ever met! You can check out his Twitter here.
4) Calum Mcswiggan –
Calum McSwiggan is a British, Gay Youtuber who uses his platform to speak about a variety of different LGBT issues and his own personal story. He works with a range of charities which includes LGBT+ Switchboard, He has fund-raised thousands for charities and has helped LGBT+ individuals worldwide. Calum has provided a voice for young individuals and ensures that he speaks about taboo issues, like HIV, Porn, Sex, relationships, history and many more issues. Whenever I feel like I am having a bad day, I know watching Calum’s videos will motivate me to carry on what i’m doing. To watch Calum’s videos click here.
5) Ellen DeGeneres –
Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian on the Oprah Winfrey Show back in February 1997. Ever since Ellen has been a role model and idol for those within the LGBT community. Recently Ellen got give the Medal Of Honour by Barrack Obama which was given to her to celebrate her success through campaigning, helping others and making other people happy. Before I came out as transgender I went through a really rough patch and watching The Ellen Show helped me an awful lot because she is so positive and loves to help others, ultimately shes an overall amazing woman.
6) Tyler Oakley –
Tyler Oakley is a global American YouTuber who creates videos on a weekly basis about a variety of different issues. Back in 2007 Tyler started his YouTube channel and since then he has reached over 8 million subscribers worldwide. Tyler Oakley is open and honest about his sexuality, and has used his platform to raise awareness and money for American LGBT+ Charities and organisations. Tyler was one of the first YouTubers that I have ever watched and from that first video I connected with him straight away, I was lucky I got to meet him on his book tour, and to this day, he keeps me sane and gives me hope that one day, I can actually make a difference. You can view Tyler’s YouTube channel here.
7) Jake Graf –
Jake Graf is a British actor and film writer. I first met Jake at The Iris Prize Awards in 2015 and from the day he has amazed me with the fantastic things he has done for the transgender community. He has done several videos with other transgender individuals, He has travelled to variety of places around the world due to the work he does and he has recently made an amazing video regarding the struggles of being transgender. Every time Jake post’s something online its positive and that’s just inspirational. He has broken down barriers to show that transgender people can take part in acting and get roles, which is key in our society.
8) Laverne Cox –
Laverne Cox is a transgender woman, actor and activist. Laverne came onto our screens during Orange Is The New Black in 2013. Laverne was worldwide news as she was one of the first ever actors to play a transgender role as a transgender individual, which has made an amazing change in the film and television industry. After Orange Is The New Black became a big hit worldwide, whenever I told people that I am transgender they said ‘Oh like Sophia Burset of OITNB?’, this was an amazing moment as people were slowly starting to understand what being transgender meant due to her presents in such a hit programme. Laverne is an amazing activist for the transgender community and recently she has been campaigning for American Transgender Children to have basic human rights, which is important. Laverne is an amazing role model, and an amazing actor.
I would like to say to each individual that I have mentioned above, thank you for everything you have done for me, whether its campaign for basic rights, whether its keeping me going on a daily basis or whether its because you’re inspiring. You have helped hundreds, thousands or millions of LGBT+ individuals worldwide, which is something you should be proud of. So from myself, and everybody else worldwide, thank you very much!
I have been nominated for an award!!!
I have recently been nominated for the positive role model within the LGBT+ Community, which is awarded by the national diversity awards here in the UK. If you would like to vote for me, check out the link here.