5 Iconic Pride Pioneers That Rocked the World of Hair and Beyond
Your hair is an extension of your personality. Even in the quietest of times, hair is used as a bold outlet of expression. This month, we are paying special tribute to five LGBTQIA icons. These legendary individuals inspired decades of people who identify with the community and its allies around the world.
5 PRIDE PIONEERS THAT DEFINE #INSPIRATION
"I did my time. I'm looking forward now, and you and your hair should do the same."
This iconic quote is from one of our fave shows, Orange is the New Black. Both on-screen and off it, we adore this Wicked American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox. On the show, Laverne plays Sophia Burset, an inmate who manages the hair salon at an all-women's prison. Despite being surrounded by concrete walls, fluorescent lights, and orange jumpsuits, she provides a safe space and an opportunity to feel good again. Laverne does this in everyday life too, dedicating her career to empowering people to feel good about their true selves. Laverne Cox was honored by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) with its Stephen F. Kolzak Award for all her work as an advocate for the transgender community. In addition to being a winner for a plethora of acting awards, she is also the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
When you tune into Drag Race, you know you’re in for an unforgettable ride. RuPaul is proof that you can be gorgeous with any hairstyle, from completely bald to hot pink with sky-high volume. He definitely does it all – he acts, sings, models, hosted a daytime talk show, and runs an international drag competition series. He has paved the way for today’s most fabulous drag queens and continues to inspire people around the world to express their inner diva through fashion, performances, and life. As the Queen of all queens, RuPaul has built a game-changing empire while making us all feel fabulous.
Jonathan Van Ness
Known for his luscious long locks and impeccable facial hair, Jonathan Van Ness seems to always be having a ‘gorgeous moment’ wherever he goes. Also known as JVN, he’s the grooming expert on the Netflix makeover show Queer Eye. As an iconic hairstylist, his bubbly personality is infectious. Many viewers (like us!) can’t help but shed a tear (or more!) when they watch people transform on the hit show. He bonds with the participants during the makeover and has a skill for bringing inner beauty out. JVN gives helpful tips on how to stay magnificent once they go back into the real world. Our favorite part? Watching the incredible glow in their eyes when they stand up from the salon chair, and check their new look.
Marsha P Johnson
When you think of Pride Pioneers, no list would be complete without Marsha P Johnson. The founding of Pride can be traced back to Marsha, who placed the “P” in her name to represent “pay it no mind.” This was the expression she frequently used as a response to questions about her gender. In 1969, Marsha led the march against the police raids during the Stonewall Riots. This fearless Black transwoman started the Gay Liberation movement and changed the world. She was Wicked in her approach for advocating for what she believed in. She was also a key activist in the fight against AIDS. Known for her dazzling smile and fabulous flower crowns, she will forever be an icon.
Ziggy Stardust (aka David Bowie)
Yes, this is a fictional character – but that iconic bright red mullet truly revolutionized the 1970s. Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie’s androgynous stage persona that changed what it meant to be glam rock. The ‘do was a symbol of liberation, inspired by different parts of the world from Texas to Tokyo. It became a truly legendary look and a shining example of the freedom of self-expression. Bowie intended for the character to bring messages of hope to those who enjoyed Ziggy’s music. The cut served up lewks in the 1970’s and many modeled that red mullet to truly make their own statements.
From the 1960s to today, these five amazing Pride Pioneers set forward a movement with their locks and their hearts. Some have left a legacy, while others are only just getting started making their mark.