As we pass the halfway point during this month designated to celebrate the journey and achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, we wanted to take a moment to recognize some of the most important faces throughout the course of this movement.
These historic black LGBT icons, while often invisible or erased from queer history, have been at the heart of our struggle for rights and inclusion.
Returning to what many refer to as our movement's beginning, the historic night of rebellion at the Stonewall Inn, the police backlash was predominately instigated by queer and trans youth of color. History itself often seems to forget the role that LGBT activists of color have played in the path to bring us to our current juncture of political and social progress.
In celebration of LGBT History Month and the journey and struggle of the past 40 years, check out the slideshow below of 21 influential black LGBT icons.