By Catherine Ho
At Artisella, we take inspiration from strong women all over the world who not only stand up for their rights, but fight for others’ as well. In celebration of Pride month, we're are shining the light on 5 strong women fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. We are inspired by these women, and hope they inspire you as well.
Katlego Kai Kolayane-Kesupile is from a rural village in Botswana. She is a writer, scholar, designer and performance artist. She is a transgender “ARTivist” that uses various art forms for human rights activism and advocacy, such as film, music and writing. She has an EP of 6 songs about the connection between herself and her home country, and has a book of a collection of her poetry. She’s been featured as a speaker in Ted Talk in which she shares how she’s bringing queer pride to her rural village. She continues to create and share her work to inspire change makers to believe in themselves and make their dreams a reality.
Martina Navratilova is a not only a tennis champion from the Czechoslovakia, but is a dedicated and motivational leader who is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She is one of the first openly gay athletes in the community, however coming out has resulted in millions lost in endorsements and sponsorships because of her sexual orientation. Today, she advocates for many causes such as extending civil rights protections to the LGBTQ+ community, and equal rights to AIDS research.
Yoruba Richen is a member of the African-American community and LGBTQ+ community. She is a filmmaker that explores social and cultural issues. Her documentary, The New Black (2013) is about the gay rights movement in the African American community in light of the civil rights movement. Her film won audience awards and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award.
4. Janet Mock
Janet Mock is an author, LGBT activist and trans women. She is currently a talk show host of her own show “So POPular” on MSNBC, where she discusses various cultural matters. She came out as a trans-woman in 2011, and today, she is an advocate for the rights of transgender people. She is on the board of the Acrus Foundation, which is a charitable foundation that focuses on LGBT rights. She uses her platform to speak about the LGBT community, women’s issues and multicultural awareness.
Jeanna Kadlec is the founder of BlueStockings Boutique, an ethical lingerie boutique that fits the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Her mission is to “help people be seen, heard and empowered from their everyday lives.” She is an entrepreneur who strongly focuses on community either through empowerment, or donating to charities for women, LGBTQIA+ and those in financial need.
Who are women that inspire you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!