LGBTQIA+

Gwendolyn Ann Smith

Gwendolyn Ann Smith is a transgender woman who founded Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialise people who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender prejudice. In 1992, Smith lobbied America Online, getting the company to change its policies and allow discussions on gender issues on their service. A year later, she created the Transgender Community …

LGBTQIA+

Trans Day of Visibility

As today is #transdayofvisibility here are some of the amazing trans women we’ve featured so far on Illustrated Women in History! Please message with suggestions if you think anyone should be featured on Illustrated Women in History!  Laverne Cox is an American emmy-nominated actress and the first trans woman of color to have a leading …

LGBTQIA+ music politics

Danica Roem

Danica Roem is an American journalist and politician of the Democratic Party from Northern Virginia. In the 2017 elections, she was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She will become the first openly transgender person to both be elected to a U.S. state’s legislature and serve her term. Roem was born in Prince William …

LGBTQIA+ STEM

Edie Windsor

Edith “Edie” Windsor was an LGBT rights activist and technology manager at IBM. She became an gay rights icon in 2013 when she sued the federal government to recognise her same-sex marriage which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, giving same-sex married couples federal recognition for the first time. Windsor was born …

LGBTQIA+ women leaders

Christina, Queen of Sweden

This weeks Illustrated Women in History was submitted by Katharina Röser @katharinaroeser​. Christina, Queen of Sweden is remembered for her unconventional lifestyle, masculine dressing and behaviour and her lavish sponsorship of the arts and her influence on European culture. When Christina was born, she was initially proclaimed to be the son her parents desired but after …

activists black history Civil Rights LGBTQIA+ literature

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry was an American playwright, civil rights activist and writer. Her groundbreaking play, A Raisin In The Sun was the first to be performed on Broadway written by a black woman and performed by a black cast. Hansberry was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to politically active parents. Eight years later, after her …

activists LGBTQIA+

Mabel Hampton

Mabel Hampton was an African-American lesbian activist, a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, a founding member of the Lesbian Herstory Archive and a philanthropist for both black and LGBT organisations. Hampton was born in 1902 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was brought up by her grandmother following the death of her mother at the age …

black history Civil Rights LGBTQIA+

Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis was an African-American LGBT civil rights activist who became the oldest known American lesbian when reaching the age of 101. Ellis was born in 1899 in Springfield, Illinois. Her parents had been born in the last years of slavery, and her father would become the first African-American mail carrier in Illinois. Ellis and …

black history LGBTQIA+

Gladys Bentley

Gladys Bentley was an American blues singer, pianist, entertainer and lesbian icon during the Harlem Renaissance. She became one of the best known and financially successful black women in the U.S. during the 1920s and 1930s for the pioneering way she dealt with gender, sexuality, class and race in her act. Bentley was born in …