Known as QUEEROS, our queer hero honorees have driven and inspired positive change through their vision, sacrifices, dedication and activism. QUEEROS to be honored, so far, include Alok Vaid-Menon, Alan Turing, Dennis Peron, Diane Jones, Glamamore!, Hector Xtravaganza, Juanita MORE!, Jose Sarria, Josette Melchor, Leigh Bowery, Mark Bingham, Paul Dillinger, Juanita MORE! and Sylvester.
Illustrations by Colton Long
A gorgeous queen to all and a mother to many, this year marks Juanita’s 27th year as a drag activist. She has long been a soldier in stilettos fighting on the frontlines for awareness and LGBTQ rights. Sharp and gorgeous, you cannot help but be pulled into her fashion fantasy for raising visibility and funds for the queer community and charities. To date, she has raised more than $500,000 for LGBTQ organizations through her efforts.
Sylvester’s earth-shattering falsetto, iconic disco anthems and an unapologetic androgyny made them The Queen of Disco, not only breaking the mold of what a pop singer could be, but defining the sound of a decade with the hits “Do you Wanna Funk” “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real” and “Disco Heat.”
Leigh was more than one of the original “Club Kids,” he was one of the innovators of the entire genre. His fashion creations, performance art and larger than life persona have been an inspiration for decades. Everyone from Alexander McQueen, to David LaChapelle to Lady Bunny have cited him as a hero who morphed the 1980’s and 90’s into the club utopia it was.