The New Gen (Z) of Queer Icons

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Photos: Instagram, PR, A24 Films, David-Simon Dayan

They are not only making waves in their industries – music, film, TV, and social media – but they are also bringing much-needed representation to the world. Here are the queer individuals who have reached new icon status right now.

Amandla Stenberg

The girl who played Rue in The Hunger Games has come a long way as a star in various coming-of-age films. She came out as gay in 2018 and has been open about her journey to self-realization. Currently, she plays a queer character Sophie, in the dark comedy horror film Bodies Bodies Bodies.

Bretman Rock

His hilarious TikTok videos that explore gender roles and gender-bending have awarded him millions of followers and a platform to discuss issues affecting the queer communities. He made history in 2021 as the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of Playboy.

Emma Corrin

Corrin broke out as Princess Diana in the Netflix series The Crown (season four), and earlier this summer, changed their pronouns to she/they while wearing a chest binder. She has since talked openly about gender fluidity and the experience of coming out as queer and nonbinary.

Lil Nas X

 Lil Nas X’s coming out was a personal protest to how the music industry perceived an openly gay Black man. He has since used his platform to make changes to the music industry, hopefully paving the way for other LGBTQ+ artists to come out without repercussions. His image as an unabashedly sexual gay man has propelled him to wide acclaim and platinum album sales.

Tove Lo

The openly bi, Swedish-born singer-songwriter has always written about her sexuality – just listen to songs like Talking Body and Disco Tits. Apart from creating LGBTQ+ anthems, she continues to talk openly about sexuality and gender.

Willow Pill 

Willow Pill was one of five trans contestants on season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and she made ‘herstory’ as the first trans winner of a regular season. Willow came out as trans in an emotional statement on social media following her win on the popular drag competition show.

Willow Smith

Actress and singer Willow Smith came out as bisexual in 2019 and has since spoken openly about being polyamorous. She has also touched on topics like gender fluidity with her brother Jaden and uses her platform to discuss sex and sexuality.

Yasmin Finney

Yasmin first gained recognition on TikTok, where she shared her experience of being a Black, British trans woman. She is best known for her role as the charming Elle in the Netflix series Heartstopper. She continues to use her platform to speak up about issues concerning the trans community and beyond.

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