As is the case in real life, the world of social media is far more diverse than many of us can even fathom. There is seemingly something for everyone on social media, with an endless stream of creators who possess unique interests and perspectives. Whether searching for inspiration or even just a community of people to relate to, social media is the ideal platform for both diversity and inclusion.

A study conducted in 2016 by The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that about 1 in 250 Americans are transgendered, and the progressive nature of our current culture is likely to contribute to that number growing in the coming years. While there are currently no detailed statistics surrounding those who identify as non-binary, there has certainly been a rise in those who have bravely gone public with how they identify.

This increase in diversity regarding gender representation has had a positive impact on both the perception of the trans and non-binary communities, as well as people becoming far more comfortable with trans and non-binary individuals, having grown to understand them in more profound ways.

Social media has provided unprecedented access to the people and communities that may not conform to societal standards regarding orientation or gender. Let’s take a look at some of the best non-binary and gender-neutral influencers to follow on social media.

 

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is nothing short of a trailblazer. She was the first openly transgender person to receive a Primetime Emmy nomination for her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” She also claimed the title as the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own TV show (VH1’s “TRANSform Me”), and was also the first openly transgender person ever to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, but Cox is also well-known for her uplifting social media presence.

 

 

Rain Dove

Rain Dove Dubilewski was aware as a child that “there wasn’t language for how I felt” with regard to gender identity. The 28-year-old model was born in New York and grew up in Vermont. Dove has done numerous runway shows, presenting as both male and female for brands including Boyswear and Malan Breton. Before booking their first modeling job, Dove was working as a firefighter and had received their bachelor’s degree in genetic engineering from U.C.-Berkeley.

Dove is a self-described “gender capitalist”, further explaining, “Gender Capitalism is both Feminist and Masculinist. It’s everything-ist. It’s the recognition that I, as an organism, am treated differently based on my perceived genitalia and the identity surrounding that relationship.”

 

 

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I know a future is coming where everyone has a seat at the table. Where nobody feels the need to hide themselves, and self-expression is championed. It may feel like things are not changing fast enough, or even that they haven’t changed. However, just about 5 years ago I was told that I needed to pick a gender label in order to get work as a model. That not doing so would be political. Years later here we are. Things have changed. Things ARE changing- We together are doing so. A little at a time all within our own powers. Equally. Especially now in this chaotic world, We could use some hope and light! Who do You know that is creating a better future for themselves and others today? Post them below so we can celebrate that goodness is occurring everywhere. What do you do with Your #airmax? In partnership with @nordstrom and @nike. #lgbtq #grsm #lovewins #genderfluid #genderisthematrix

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Vittorio Franco

Vittorio Franco is diverse in so many ways, describing themselves as a fashion lover, music producer/songwriter, artist, and model. Their Instagram feed is filled with artful experiments of color, gender, and sexuality. Vittorio immerses themself into every shade of the rainbow, where their artistic expression seemingly has no boundaries.

 

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul is more than just an influencer, he’s an inspiration and pioneer for the entire Trans community. The multi-talented model/musical artist/TV personality burst onto the scene in the 90s, achieving international fame as a drag queen with the release of his debut single, “Supermodel (You Better Work)”. In 1994, he became a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics, becoming the first drag queen to land a major cosmetics campaign.

But for most of the new generation, RuPaul hit the mainstream in 2009, with the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race — an uber-popular reality show where drag queens compete for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, including a $100,000 cash prize. Since debuting over a decade ago, he’s gone on to win four Primetime Emmy Awards for the show and is widely considered America’s most commercially successful drag queen. RuPaul is very active on Instagram, showcasing killer looks both in and out of drag, and sharing snippets of his otherwise very private personal life.

 

 

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Brasil amo muito voces 💋

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Eli Erlick

Eli Erlick is an influencer who is incredibly passionate about transgender youth activism. Erlick works as a public speaker and a writer who is also a key organizer of trans activism.  She experienced traumatic verbal and physical bullying at the hands of her peers after coming out as transgender. At age 16, she co-founded the organization Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) in her small town and has been an outspoken activist for the fair treatment and equal rights of transgender people ever since.

 

 

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Elevator thoughts: do you ever wonder why so many of us scared of cis men? I have a weird story from a couple days ago. I sold some dude my old printer that was working fine. He couldn’t figure out how to connect it to WiFi, refused to read the instructions, and called and texted me nonstop for hours after buying it. I sent him the instructions online. Then he texted me “I will come your building and find you,” mentioning that he had my picture and was on his way. He accused me of not knowing how to use a printer. I reiterated that the printer is working but he was free to return it. Then he said he was going to wait until his wife to get home to see if she could do it. I never heard from him again. I can only assume it’s because his wife could fix it by actually reading the instructions. Don’t get me wrong – this is some of the more benign harassment I’ve received. However, it brought up memories of earlier experiences. It’s amazing that during quarantine some people will still find a way to get you. Have you experienced harassment during quarantine too?

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Alok Vaid-Menon

Writer; social media personality; performance artist; and media personality who performs under the moniker ALOK. Indian-American Alok Vaid-Menon is gender non-conformist and transfeminine and uses singular they pronouns to describe themself. Vaid-Menon’s creative work has been presented in countries around the globe and they are internationally renowned for their progressive art.

In an article for CNN Style, Menon eloquently wrote “Beauty is about looking like yourself, even in the face of social and cultural repression. Accessing this beauty can feel impossible in a system that rewards conformity over creativity. But, in my experience, a commitment to honest self-actualization yields unparalleled peace and conviction.”

 

Kai Wes

Kai Wes epitomizes an individual making a positive impact and creating social change in the world. Kai is gender-nonconforming but often portrays a more masculine style. Kai’s social feed is jam-packed with fashion looks and stories from their life that are aimed to inspire other youths who may be struggling with gender identity. Kai also runs and designs a clothing brand called Gender Eclectic, which is full of casual, comfortable clothing that is suitable for all ends of the spectrum.

 

Andreja Pejic

Before coming out as trans, Andreja Pejic was best known for being one of the first androgynous supermodels. While still remaining active in modeling, Pejic has begun making a name for herself as an actress when she starred in her first feature film ‘The Girl in the Spiders Web” back in 2018. Andreja’s social media feeds are filled with her modeling work, often alongside content surrounding her social activism.

 

 

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In reality one of these pictures was supposed to be on the cover of @elle_russia which is why I spent my own money flying myself to London to shoot all this taking into account what a beautiful and in some ways important moment that could have been. They’ve broken our agreement and decided to take me off the cover without even informing me or providing an explanation before the issue’s release which I think is extremely rude and ironic considering the theme of their last issue was supposedly anti-censorship? This kind of stuff makes it very difficult for me to step onto a photoshoot. I don’t think it’s too out of reason to say the effect I’ve had on fashion is significant but I guess its not enough for most people at the top of it to treat me with basic respect? Maybe that’ll change one day, maybe it won’t but I’m certainly not shedding anymore tears over it. However I still think a good model will always be a good model, a good picture will always last, a great film is still a great film and a good artist will always endure and make a REAL mark. No amount of bigotry or nepotism or marketing crap or conglomerate-profit-driven crap or narrow minded uncreative “gatekeepers” can change that. If you are a creative individual please stay true to yourself and your principles and work rather then lowering yourself to fit THEIR low standards which they always try to blame on “the public” or on something trivial but it’s THEY who might want to take a good look in the mirror. It’s THEIR elitism, lack of vision and basic intellect that is hurting the arts which actually exist not to make rich people look good but to enlighten and nurture all of humanity. I hope you enjoy these pics (swipe left) and please stay in the love, there’s honestly no need for anything else. Photo by @dunan Hair by @bjornkrischker Makeup by @adamdecruz

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Jamie Windust

Non-binary creator Jamie Windust is a must-follow for those of you who love fashion and edgy, vibrant makeup. Windust is the Editor-in-Chief at Fruitcake Magazine, an award-winning magazine focused on LGBTQIA+ creatives, and is also an accomplished freelance writer that has contributed to publications like The Independent. Jamie is also a powerful public speaker, and their Ted Talks series regarding trans awareness and activism has become a beacon for those who identify as non-binary.

 

 

 

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