We’ve heard the phrase so much it may almost sound trite: Representation matters. But the truth is, it really does. Whether people are seeking figures that look, act, or sound like them — in media, politics, or entertainment — representation holds a significant value to folks of marginalized identities.
Michael Morgan, a former professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a long-time media researcher, puts it perfectly: “When you don’t see people like yourself, the message is: You’re invisible. The message is: You don’t count. And the message is: There is something wrong with me.”
For far too long, LGBTQ+ folks have been fed that negative messaging from media and pop culture, and if they did see compelling representations of their communities, they were often portrayed by straight actors, or in small cameos without dimension or depth.
That is why social media creates such groundbreaking power for LGBTQ+ creators to be their authentic selves on camera for major audiences. Of course, social media isn’t always the safest place for queer folks to exist, but that is why it is so vital we continue to support and uplift their work.
It is tremendously generous for LGBTQ+ folks to share their wisdom, education, energy, talent, and stories with their digital audiences, and we must uplift them in any way we can (follow, like, comment, share, and pay them all year long).
Here are just a handful of the best LGBTQ+ creators and influencers using their platforms for good on Instagram and TikTok:
Follow these LGBTQ+ creators who use their platforms for good:
@alokvmenon on Instagram | they/them
Alok Vaid-Menon is a non-binary author, speaker, comedian, and activist whose work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to de-gender fashion and beauty industries, resulting in important conversations surrounding gender, beauty, and culture.
A guest on numerous podcasts and television shows, their appearance on the “Man Enough” podcast went viral, after they shared a beautiful perspective on the urgent need for compassion. Vaid-Menon is also the author of three books: “Femme in Public,” “Beyond the Gender Binary,” and “Your Wound/My Garden.”
@pattiegonia on Instagram | they/she/he
Pattie Gonia (AKA Wyn Wiley) is a queer drag queen environmentalist building community for LGBTQ+ folks, allies, and the planet. What started as a fun drag costume on a hiking trail turned into a platform of over 469,000 followers who care about coming together in the name of intersectional environmentalism.
Through brand partnerships with names like The North Face, Tazo, and Nuun, as well as speaking engagements and content creation with folks like Bill Nye and Jonathan Van Ness, Pattie Gonia uses her platform to spread awareness about climate change and inclusion in the outdoors.
Recently, Pattie, Teresa Baker, and José González launched the Outdoorist Oath, a nonprofit designed for outdoorist communities to think about the intersections of planet, inclusion, and adventure— and how they can uniquely show up for all three.
@theyaresam on Instagram | they/she
Sam Slupski is a non-binary writer, content creator, and fashion blogger in the Midwest. Known for their style of ease and comfort, Slupski engages with fashion outside of the gender binary and shares stories and insights about gender, mental health, chronic illness, relationships, and more.
Their Instagram platform became more active during the pandemic, as it allowed Slupski a new place to explore gender and fashion, alongside what has become an audience of over 25,000.
Before the pandemic, they toured their poetry around America and just recently announced that Game Over Books will publish their first book of poetry.
@nic.taliaferro on Instagram | they/she
Nic Taliaferro is also a non-binary writer, content creator, and fashion blogger. They are best friends with Slupski and share colorful looks into their “Nic-gendered” wardrobe, enabling intentional conversations about gender, living in our complicated bodies, and dressing for pleasure.
Taliaferro offers a digital personal style course called “Feel Good, Dress Better,” which empowers people of all gender identities and sexual orientations to align their identities with their closets.
With over 17,000 followers, Taliaferro is empowering queer femmes to embrace who they are — and dress like it, too.
@queerquechua on Instagram | they/them
Pınar Sinopoulos-Lloyd is an Indigenous environmental justice leader who helps queer nature lovers build upon their relationships with multiple species, wildlife, and a beautiful future. They share their stories and activism online to a community of over 49,000.
They and their spouse co-founded Queer Nature, a multidisciplinary nonprofit that stewards an earth-based queer community through activities and concepts like multi-species kinship, ancestral skills and rites of passage.
Their say their relationship with transness, hybridity, neurodivergence, Indigeneity, and belonging has guided their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology.
Sinopoulos-Lloyd is a founding Council Member of Intersectional Environmentalist as well as the Diversify Outdoors coalition.
Read Sinopoulos-Lloyd’s beautiful essay about their work, and how they have transformed ecological grief into a healing practice.
Sean Querino Snyder
@seanqsnyder on Instagram | they/them
Sean Querino Snyder is a non-binary, two-spirit dancer and activist who shares the spotlight with their partner Adrian Matthias Stevens. The two met on the powwow circuit years ago, and after being disqualified from a couple’s dance, launched them into activism.
Snyder and Stevens have become ambassadors for the two-spirit and LBGTQ+ communities, bridging conversations in both queer and Indigenous spaces. The pair has modeled for Nike campaigns, been featured in Vogue, and profiled in a documentary film: “Sweetheart Dancers.”
@marquimode on Instagram | he/they
Marquis Neal is a queer model and fashion creator with an infectious smile. His content includes loads of “get ready with me” videos and outfits of the day, all tracked with irresistible pop music and bright colors.
His platform — home to over 27,000 followers — brings much-needed representation to social media for queer men of color and brings together “big babes who like to get dressed.”
@charlie_craggs on Instagram | she/her
Charlie Craggs is a transgender actress and activist in the UK. Craggs gained popularity for her campaign, Nail Transphobia, which provided free manicures to folks and invited them to chat with a trans person, reducing transphobia and facilitating connections.
On Instagram, where she boasts over 43,000 followers, Craggs uses her wonderful wit and humor to share stories from her life and fight transphobia.
Craggs is also the editor of a compilation of essays called “To My Trans Sisters.” The book features words of advice from politicians, to musicians, to models, who impart their wisdom on transitioning into womanhood.
@queersextherapy on Instagram | they/them
Casey Tanner is a certified sex therapist who specializes in gender and sexual diversity, partnering with individuals, relationships, and institutions to empower meaningful change around gender and sexuality.
Their Instagram page is an extension of their clinical work, having safe and inclusive dialogues about sex, pleasure, and identity. With over 185,000 followers, Tanner playfully and thoughtfully explores topics from queer culture to gender-affirming pleasure.
@dylanmulvaney on TikTok | she/they
Dylan Mulvaney is a trans actress, comedian, and content creator who is best known for her TikTok series called “Days of Girlhood,” where she highlights her transgender journey every day.
With over 3 million followers and 200 million views, folks everywhere are resonating with her queer joy and delighting in her girlhood milestones. (Like, how could you not? She’s the diamond of the season!)
Prior to breaking through on TikTok, Mulvaney toured with Broadway’s “Book of Mormon” as Elder White. When she’s not sharing her makeup routines or giving us an eager “outfit of the day,” Mulvaney is writing and developing scripted content, and her greatest hope is to bring trans and non-binary stories to the stage and screen.
@thejeffreymarsh on TikTok | they/them
Speaking to a community of over 617,000 and receiving over a billion views on TikTok, Marsh is a revolutionary non-binary leader guiding LGBTQ+ folks to a place of safe, unconditional self-love. Their best-selling self-esteem guide, “How To Be You,” combines memoir, workbook, and spiritual advice, serving as an extension of their thoughtful online content.
@portia.noir on TikTok | she/her
Portia Burch is a queer Black TikTok creator who shares videos that educate and inform folks on anti-racism and LGBTQ+ rights. She centers her content around boundary-setting, unlearning, and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
@mx.deran on TikTok | they/she
Ty Deran is a self-proclaimed “professional unicorn” who makes affirming, educational, and healing content for LGBTQ+ folks and their allies. Whether they’re teaching folks about the importance of pronouns, affirming their audience with mom POV videos, or belting out a show-stopping ballad, their content brings us hope, joy, and newfound knowledge.
With over 475,000 TikTok followers, Deran’s platform is certainly bringing a much-needed sparkle to social media.
@mechanicshopfemme on TikTok | she/her
Chaya Milchtein is reclaiming the automotive industry for femmes one TikTok at a time. Her platform offers much-needed and non-judgmental auto advice for LGBTQ+ folks and femmes who have long been excluded from — and exploited by — the industry.
On her website, Milchtein clarifies that she is not a mechanic, but more like a mechanic interpreter, who helps people understand their cars and feel empowered. Her platform is also a place where she explores other passions, such as plus-size fashion, radical body acceptance, travel, relationships, and more.
@zoestoller on TikTok | she/they
Zoe Staller is a queer writer, social worker, and digital creator with a passion for spreading LGBTQ+ knowledge, mental health visibility, and overall authenticity through social media.
She works to break the stigmas surrounding these topics, create free and accessible resources for education, and empower her community to be their truest selves. With over 34,000 TikTok followers, Staller confronts misconceptions, offers educational resources about various gender identities, and explores LGBTQ+ history and symbols on their page.