June heralds the celebration of LGBTQ Pride, one of the many reasons we love this bright month so much. This year, Pride was different. We did not take to the streets to celebrate. Instead, we watched and listened and read and learned. Keeping queer history alive by telling the stories of those who made Pride possible, is just as important as parading through town, clad in rainbow. One way to truly commemorate these figures is to name our little ones born in this iconic month, after them. Here are 10 gorgeous baby names inspired by some key figures in LGBTQ+ activism.
After Magnus Hirschfeld, the father of transgenderism. This physician lived as an openly gay, Jewish man in Germany in the late 1800s. He established the world’s first gender reassignment surgery identity clinic. Here he treated clients like Einar Wegener, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. You may remember the 2015 Academy Award-winning film, The Danish Girl, that portrayed Einar (played by Eddie Redmayne) as he transitioned to become Lili Elbe.
After Marsha P. Johnson, American gay rights activist in the 60’s. Johnson was drag queen, sex worker, model and most notably, a major figure of the famous Stonewall riots that sparked the beginning of Pride. Johnson's death in 1992 was ruled a suicide, but those who knew her protest this verdict. Learn more about her incredible story by watching The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson a Netflix documentary that explores her life and investigates the dubious circumstances of her death.
After Rory O’Neill (Panti Bliss), Irish Drag Queen and prominent LGBTQ activist. A major figure of the Irish drag scene, O’Neill is known for his honest portrayal of growing up gay in rural Ireland.
After Audre Lorde, the 'black lesbian mother warrior poet'. Lorde is known for writing about freedom, civil rights, sexuality and health. She was the New York State Poet Laureate and the Audre Lorde Award was launched 2001, to honour writers of lesbian poetry.
After Bille-Jean King, one of the first openly lesbian athletes in America. Between 1966 and 1975, King won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles and beat Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes. When she was outed by the presses, her agents encouraged her to deny claims that she was gay. King decided to come out, confirming these claims in defiance.
After Dr. Lydia Foy, gender recognition activist in Ireland. After a 20-year battle against the Irish State, so she could change her birth certificate to reflect her gender identity, Foy became a key figure in Irish trans activism.
After Sylvia Riviera, another Stonewall trailblazer and American trans rights activist. She is known for working alongside Marsha P. Johnson and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. She also fought for the rights of marginalised groups such as drug addicts, incarcerated people and sex workers.
After Bayard Rustin, openly gay American civil rights activist. Advocating alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Rustin is said to have introduced him to Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and civil disobedience. He is also responsible for organising the March on Washington in 1963.
After Alexya Salvador, Brazilian trans rights and anti-violence activist. As a trans pastor, Salvador held a revolutionary LGBTQ-friendly mass in Cuba in 2017. She is a mother of two and was the first trans person to adopt a child in Brazil.
After Gilbert Baker, designer of the LGBTQ rainbow flag. He defined the LGBTQ movement by creating this universal symbol based on the stripes of the American flag, with each rainbow colour representing a different aspect of queer culture. The flag was unveiled at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978.