5 must-follow LGBT activists on Twitter
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people are celebrating along with friends and allies this month. June is LGBT Pride Month in the United States, and Twitter has more than a few people ready to offer advice and support to LGBT persons.
From a Nepalese legislator who quit Facebook over the site’s gender options and a journalist who wants LGBT youths to know It Gets Better, to an overwhelmingly popular daytime talk show host, there's a large number of smart people tweeting about LGBT rights.
For those interested in LGBT issues, here are 5 people well worth following on Twitter:
1) @JewishLGBT: 2723 followers
Lisa Finkelstein’s Twitter account is dedicated to celebrating the Jewish LGBT community, activism, and leadership, as she puts it in her bio. San Francisco resident Finkelstein tweets about these matters from the perspective of someone living and working as a “queer jew” in the city.
She links to articles about Jewish LGBT youth gathering to celebrate their identities, pays close attention to Proposition 8 legal matters, and tweets about the enviable February weather those in the Bay Area got to enjoy.
2) @fakedansavage: 84,448 followers
Few have done as much to aid LGBT youths as Dan Savage. The author and journalist, also known for helping to create an alternative definition for Rick Santorum’s surname, created the It Gets Better Project with his husband in 2010. It aims to let kids who are being bullied over their LGBT identities (or for any reason) know that things do get better.
Dozens of celebrities, from Justin Bieber to Kermit the Frog (and Neil Patrick Harris, whom we’ve established is awesome in many ways), recorded videos for the project, telling LGBT teens that no matter how difficult things are and how often they’re bullied, things will get better.
On Twitter, Savage jokes about the difference between gay and straight relationships and being backstage at a Scissor Sisters gig. He tweets about wanting to see horrible-sounding movies as well, though. No-one’s perfect.
3) @SunilPant: 176 followers
Back in March, Sunil Babu Pant—the first openly gay politician in Nepal—deactivated his Facebook account in protest over the site’s limited options for gender identification. Facebook only allows members to identify themselves as male or female. In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Pant asked for a third gender option so those who identify themselves as neither male nor female have the option of revealing their true identity.
Pant posts few personal tweets, instead choosing to link to articles about topics such as gays helping to liberalize ID cards in Nepal, third-gender toilets being built in the country, and his own attempts to further LGBT rights.
4) @DLanceBlack: 6,721 followers
Dustin Lance Black is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Harvey Milk biopic Milk. He’s also an advocate of LGBT rights and a marriage equality campaigner.
In April, he penned an opinion piece criticizing President Barack Obama’s public stance on gay marriage, but reaffirmed his backing for the commander-in-chief after Obama announced his support for gay marriage.
Black is deeply entrenched in LGBT activism, tweeting on June 3 that he was moved to tears when “Over 300 straight, active Mormons showed up to march with me at the Utah Pride parade in support of LGBT people.”
5) @theellenshow: 11,926,049 followers
And so we come to perhaps the most popular gay individual on Twitter: Ellen DeGeneres.
After North Carolina voted against gay marriage in May, DeGeneres tweeted: “Getting married was one of the greatest things I have ever done. I hope everyone in North Carolina gets the same opportunity someday.” With 12,919 retweets, that was certainly a popular message.
On her talk show, DeGeneres spoke out against a campaign to have her removed as the spokesperson for JCPenney. Conservative group One Million Moms claimed that being openly gay made DeGeneres “a poor choice for spokesperson,” but JCPenney—and DeGeneres’ many fans—begged to differ.
Photo via Twitter