Known as QUEEROES, 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, 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
ALOK (they/them) is a gender non-conforming performance artist and writer. Alok’s bleeding-edge style pushes back against the gender binary in ways that are redefining the very existence of gender. Their fierce determination and candor is educating and empowering several generations at once, showing what queer folks can achieve artistically and politically when they embrace “They.”
Mark Bingham (May 22, 1970 – September 11, 2001) is the very definition of queer hero. A quintessential gay jock and ruby player, Mark was already smashing gay stereotypes at 6’ 4” 225 pounds. It wasn’t until the events of 9/11 that he entered the pantheon of American heroes. He was on United Airlines Flight 93, and helped thwart the hijackers plans to reach Washington DC. In its grief, America also came to terms with what it considered a hero, bringing a deep pride to queers in a way that was seldom seen before.