Black LGBTQ icons who made (and are making) history

André Leon Talley, former Vogue editor and fashion icon, dies at 73

Stars Insider

19/01/22 | StarsInsider


There have been Black LGBTQ people as long as there have been LGBTQ people, and there have been LBGTQ people as long as there have been people, but history gravely fails to remember their stories. They have been overwritten or excluded using a lethal combination of racism, homophobia, and gender discrimination.

Black queer people are forced to deal with multiple forces of discrimination and violence at the same time, and yet they have given and continue to give so much to society and the queer and Black communities.

André Leon Talley is one such figure, who has sadly died on January 18 at the age of 73, his cause of death unknown. Vogue's former American editor-at-large, Talley was also the first African-American male creative director from 1988 to 1995, and he quickly became instrumental to Vogue's vision and direction. A fashion icon himself, Talley—who described himself in the past as sexually fluid—made incredible strides for queer people of color in the fashion industry and pushed for more diversity at the famed publication and on runways. 

In 2017, Talley described the challenge of his specific position and explained, "I worked behind the scenes. I did it in dulcet tones, and I was persistent and tenacious....I always assumed a very quiet role. I didn't scream and yell and shout....That was the best strategy, because that was the world I moved in. After all, it was Vogue, darling," he told host Tamron Hall. The fashion and entertainment world are pouring out tributes for the trailblazer. 

Click through to take a look at just a few of the incredible Black LGBTQ figures of past and present.

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