Pride Month is here! Pride Month is a month dedicated to the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is celebrated in June and dates all the way back to 1969, after a series of gay liberation protests happened in the United States. Pride Month is now celebrated by more than five million people worldwide!
In the past, the Pride flag was made up of six bright colours, which each held different meanings. Red represents life. Orange represents healing. Yellow represents sunlight. Green represents nature. Blue represents peace/harmony/art. Purple represents spirit. But overall, the rainbow flag represents the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.
However, in 2020 the flag was developed to become: the Progress Pride Flag. This flag was redesigned to include light blue, pink, brown, black, and the Intersex community symbol. The new colours represent marginalised people of colour in the community, together with the trans community, those living with HIV/AIDS, and the Intersex community.
Considering Pride Month is already upon us, what better time is there to find some queer icons to follow?
We have compiled a list of the most iconic redheads, but with a twist… they are all members of the LGBTQ+ community and people that should be celebrated for this month (and any time, really).
Having sold over 300 million records, Elton John is considered to be one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Having come out as bisexual more than 15 years earlier, Elton John finally came out as gay in 1992.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, actually said that Elton John was one of the first gay artists to give the LGBTQ+ community a voice!
In 2014, after gay marriage became legal in the UK (yes, that’s less than 10 years ago) Elton John and his partner David Furnish tied the knot and welcomed two sons born through surrogacy.
Natasha Lyonne is a new-age lesbian icon and natural redhead. The famous actor does not consider herself a queer person, but the way her character Nicky Nichols advocated for gay women on the Netflix Original Orange is The New Black (OITNB) is how she became the newest ‘straight queer icon’.
Nicky Nichols is a character played by Natasha Lyonne. Nicky is an inmate, who is extremely open about her sexuality on the show. She is a lesbian, who worships the beauty of women throughout the 7 seasons.
In an interview, Natasha Lyonne told reporters that: “I never want to feel like I’m taking ownership of an experience that’s not my own.”
Natasha Lyonne consistently inspires women to be open with their sexuality by speaking about her own sexual experiences publicly. She uses her platform to remind people that women should not be confined by the stereotypes attached to them and their sexuality.
For example, she has also revealed that, “Mind you, when I say I’m not gay, it doesn’t mean that I’ve never tried sleeping with women. Of course I have, I’m not a dumb-dumb.”
Olly Alexander is the frontman of the band Years & Years. The band is most famous for their hit single, ‘If You’re Over Me’. Olly Alexander’s natural hair is a dark brown with hints of red. However, he was rocking the box-dyed ginger top for years and years (pardon the pun).
Olly Alexander is openly gay. He is also an advocate for those battling mental health issues and eating disorders. In 2017, he presented a documentary on BBC Three investigating the link between being gay and struggling with bulimia and mental health disorders.
In 2021 Olly Alexander also played the role of Ritchie Tozer in the Channel 4 series, It’s a Sin. The series follows a friendship group, made up of five gay men, in London in the 1980s. The show is powerful and emotionally moving, as it depicts the friendship group living their lives to the full, despite the fast-spreading HIV/AIDS crisis impacting their lives.
Shawn Hitchins does not only have the brightest ginger hair, but he is also a queer storyteller, actor, and comedian. Hitchins grew up in a small rural region of Canada during the 1980s and 1990s, amid the AIDS/HIV crisis.
His most recent book debut was ‘The Light Streamed Beneath It: A Memoir of Grief and Celebration’. The book covers everything from HIV/AIDS, gay romance, death, pain, to being part of the LGBTQ+ community. He is well-known for being a unique author that consistently writes from a gay male perspective.
Theodora Quinlivan is a runway model, signed by Select Model Management and many more. She is a trans model who has walked for the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent. Not only that, but she was also the first transgender model to be hired by Chanel!
She is an iconic member of the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for people struggling with their gender identity. In interviews, Theodora Quinlivan regularly expresses how she recognises her privilege in growing up as a White trans woman.
The model has also spoken about how she wishes to use her platform to inspire other models to feel comfortable with their gender diversity, and to make the modelling industry more inclusive.
In 2019, Bella Thorne came out as pansexual. Bella Thorne is naturally a strawberry blonde, but she has been recognised for her ginger hair for years. She is a former Disney star, singer-songwriter, and author. She came out as pansexual on Good Morning America while she was promoting her new book, ‘Life Of A Wannabe Mogul’.
On GMA, she described her sexuality with: “It doesn’t have to be a girl or a guy or a he or she or they or that. It’s literally you like personality. You just like a being.”
Bella Thorne uses her platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and she also opens up about the abuse she faced as a child. Thorne also empowers women to be body confident and shows her support for people struggling with dyslexia. She has been open and honest with her 25 million followers about her own experience with the learning difficulty.
That was just a few of the iconic redheads out there, who just happen to be members of the LGBTQ+ community! I look forward to keeping up to date with the commemoration of the LGBTQ+ community, and I hope you all do too.
NYC Pride will be held on the 25 June 2023. The march will kick off at 25th Street and 5th Avenue at 12pm.
London Pride will be returning on 1 July 2023. As usual, the annual parade will start in Hyde Park. The specific time of the event is yet to be announced.
Brighton & Hove Pride will be held 5-6 August 2023, with the march beginning at Hove Lawns at 11am.
The Manchester Pride Festival will take place 25-28 August 2023. The parade will begin marching along Deansgate at 1pm.