#FollowFriday, July 6: You Should Be Following These 5 LGBTQ Activists, Artists and Role Models
This week’s #FollowFriday offers up delightful humans who are striving to be their best selves, all around the world. From a Thai digital artist and an “archive” of LGBTQ art to a stylish trans activist living in the UK, these accounts are sure to add some much-needed color and queer sensibility to your Instagram account.
Bearskinofficial is a Thai digital artist based in Vancouver, Canada. Coming from a strict Thai family, creating gay art wasn’t something he was comfortable with for quite some time.
“Seeing such inspiring works of art gave me the courage to make my own creations that I’m proud of,” he says. “I never thought my work would be received so well. This support gives me the drive to push my own boundaries and challenge myself.”
In 2018 @bearskinofficial created a webcomic series called Bearly Danny. It’s the story of an interracial gay couple, exploring the love of two men throughout their relationship and sexual adventures in a very real, honest and open way. It’s sexy, romantic and full of relatable human drama, conflict and resolution.
Ericka’s Instagram is an inspiration to many young queer and trans POC, in addition to everyone else along the LGBTQ+ rainbow. She’s a “kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer,” who has been teaching across New York City for the past 10 years. She’s the kind of whirlwind of wonderfulness this planet needs to forge positive change and break down barriers.
New summer- very-pride-focused-hair, who dis!? And in all seriousness it’s very tender for me to have faux locs as I had to cut my real locs off right before chemo. So here is to stunting with this new lewk in honor of those babies that I miss growing out of my scalp. And if you ever have the opportunity to have @hairbysusy touch your head, run there as I have never laughed so much at the hair salon and walked out this cute! #newhair #fauxlocs #pink #blonde #home #nonbinaryfemme #qtpoc #happypride #pride #blackhair #melanin #jamesbaldwin #chemo ? by @ashluckyyy from @the.root ❤️
Her body positivity, confidence, openness and the bold, thought-provoking quotes and comments she posts alongside her beautiful photographs will shake you out of your socks.
We bumped into hairy hunk Kyriakos Avgoustis on a recent trip to Berlin. His travels around South America are portrayed through a fun and friendly Instagram feed. This guy is an inspiration to save up your pennies, plan the travels of your wildest dreams and go for it!
“I graduated from medical school but decided that this was not my path,” he says. “I’ve lived in Berlin for four years but with a lot of breaks in between. I’m a travel and adrenaline junkie, having backpacked a lot around the world. I’ve climbed up tons of mountains, swam down many rivers, hiked my way across countless valleys and a few glaciers. I am up for everything that will pump up my adrenaline.”
These days Avgoustis has a new love: “When I discovered skydiving, I immediately fell in love! I have 253 jumps and a few hours of training in the wind tunnel.”
Getting close and personal with Magellanic penguins in Isla Magdalena. Cutness level —> extreme! ? • • • • #instravel #instatraveling #instapassport #traveladdict #travelawesome #wanderlust #travel #travelphotography #backpacker #backpacking #potd #beardedtraveler #sky #nature #explorer #explore #landscape #adventure #beautiful #amazing #worldwithoutborders #southamerica #chile
Avgoustis is planning to become a tandem master soon, able to take people on their first jumps and thus share his passion for flying. We want more people in the world like this guy. Even penguins love him.
The queer archive is a platform for LGBTQ+ creatives working around the globe, with submissions welcome, whatever you’re up to or into. It’s a fabulous example of queerness at its finest (and maybe its most random, too). This Insta account is gorgeously trashy but also likely to get you as aroused as it’ll have you amused.
@thequeerarchive has everything from hilarious captions and high-camp humor to avant-garde art and photography.
This particular Instagram account is run by elected queer artists at different points throughout the month, so who knows what will come next? Some of its most recent posts have included Madonna’s butt (shot by Steven Meisel for the Sex book), Whitney Houston looking forlorn and a stunning self-portrait of our new crush, filmmaker and photographer Telémachos Alexiou (above). We can’t wait for future posts!
We love Charlie Craggs! Not only is she one of the sweetest human beings you’re likely to meet, but Vogue called her “the voice of a community” (referring to our LGBTQ community), and we couldn’t agree more. This UK trans activist and author made headlines around the world with her brilliant book To My Trans Sisters.
The book is a collection of letters written by trans women from all walks of life — politicians, models, scientists, athletes — celebrating their achievements and serving as a valuable resource for LGBTQ people on their quest to discover who they are and where they want to take their life.
“Each of these women have gone through the struggles of transition and emerged the other side as accomplished, confident women,” she says, “and if we made it, sister, so can you!”
Look out for dates for her fabulous talks and workshops on her Instagram feed.