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NBC Out #Pride30

Meet the 2017 NBC Out #Pride30 innovators, change makers and rising stars. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, our inaugural list recognizes and celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people who are making the community proud. Follow their stories over the next 30 days!
Jaime Deer

Jaime Deer

June 1

BARRIER-BREAKING DEPUTY: Deer is one of the first openly transgender law enforcement officers in Washington state.

FUN FACT: "I was an extra twice on 'Grimm' — once as a 'perp' being escorted in handcuffs through the station, and once as a boxer."

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Siri May

Siri May

June 2

INTERNATIONAL ADVOCATE: Australian native Siri May is working diligently to help LGBTQ people around the globe live free of violence and discrimination.

TESTIMONIAL: Siri May was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by Tony Award-winning performer Alan Cumming, who said May "has dedicated her life to ensure the world is a better place for LGBT people and does so with such intelligence, grace, wit, and beauty that she is a treasure to behold and hero of mine."

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Leo Moore

Leo Moore

June 3

HIV-FIGHTING PHYSICIAN: As far as Dr. Leo Moore is concerned, awareness is the best prescription for reducing HIV in the black gay community.

PRIDE MEANS: "Owning and loving every facet of one's self. Pride is what drives me to use my seat at the table to advocate for others."

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Patricia Todd Patricia Todd Patricia Todd Patricia Todd

Patricia Todd

June 4

POLITICAL TRAILBLAZER: She's sassy, feisty, and committed to her district. Meet Alabama's only openly gay politician.

FUN FACT: Todd became an activist in her early 20's after her husband at the time bought her a copy of Ms., the feminist magazine founded by Gloria Steinem: "I read it cover to cover and was pissed off. I've been pissed off ever since!" she said.

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Kun-Yang Lin Kun-Yang Lin Kun-Yang Lin Kun-Yang Lin

Kun-Yang Lin

June 5

DANCE MASTER: Dancer and choreographer Kun-Yang Lin said dance is his language of choice and an art form he's loved for as long as he can remember.

PRIDE MEANS: “Pride is a sense of celebration and recognition of who we are — whether it is a difficult journey or just something you feel the need to share.”

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Hannah Hart Hannah Hart Hannah Hart Hannah Hart

Hannah Hart

June 6

YOUTUBE STAR: Hart got her start making "My Drunk Kitchen" videos, but the content creator has since used TV, films and books to share her message.

TESTIMONIAL: Hannah Hart was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, who called Hart a “Jill-of-all-trades who is using her platform to promote LGBTQ acceptance and to support LGBTQ youth.”

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Chase Strangio Chase Strangio Chase Strangio Chase Strangio

Chase Strangio

June 7

JUSTICE WARRIOR: American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Chase Strangio is building a case for trans liberation.

FUN FACT: "I know every word to every song in 'The Little Mermaid' and often sing it to my kid to annoy her."

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Anare Holmes Anare Holmes Anare Holmes Anare Holmes

Anare Holmes

June 8

FEARLESS FIREFIGHTER: The Atlanta firefighter is dedicated to saving lives and building community.

PRIDE MEANS: "Pride is a semblance of the courage that it took for people to stand up for themselves. All of it stems from the nightclub brawls that trans women were fighting in New York City on Christopher Street."

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Fran Dunaway Fran Dunaway Fran Dunaway Fran Dunaway

Fran Dunaway

June 9

INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEUR: Dunaway's company makes body positive underwear for women regardless of where they fall on the gender spectrum.

FUN FACT: "Before I became an entrepreneur, I was an avid video game player and for years played World of Warcraft as a level 80 gnome rogue named Franzie."

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Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas

Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas

June 10

PASSIONATE PASTOR: Rev. Cazares-Thomas is helping members of his congregation come to terms with their identity and their faith.

PRIDE MEANS: "A sense of purpose, a sense of commitment, a sense of achievement and paying it forward. A sense of feeling secure enough about myself. That I have nothing to fear from someone else's judgment or success."

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Jenny Miller Jenny Miller Jenny Miller Jenny Miller

Jenny Miller

June 11

TWO SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHER: Indigenous queer photographer Jenny Miller is shining a spotlight on Alaska's LGBTQ and Two Spirit communities.

FUN FACT: "When I was eight years old, I learned how to ride my first dirt bike."

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Aidan DeStefano Aidan DeStefano Aidan DeStefano Aidan DeStefano

Aidan DeStefano

June 12

STUDENT ADVOCATE: DeStefano is fighting for the rights of transgender students, like himself, to use facilities that correspond with their gender identities.

PRIDE MEANS: "Expressing yourself to the fullest and loving yourself no matter what people think."

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Ebonee Weathers Ebonee Weathers Ebonee Weathers Ebonee Weathers

Ebonee Weathers

June 13

SUPER TEACHER: Two-time San Diego teacher of the year Ebonee Weathers wants her students to have the support she lacked while a student.

PRIDE MEANS: "Pride means valuing who and what you are and not being afraid of it and sharing it with the world."

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Jack Turban Jack Turban Jack Turban Jack Turban

Jack Turban

June 14

TRANS HEALTH PIONEER: For the past five years, the Harvard University and Yale School of Medicine graduate has been focusing on the health of transgender children.

TESTIMONIAL: Jack Turban was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by Emmy Award-winning host, producer and author Andy Cohen, who praised Turban's efforts to "bring the stories of transgender youth to the general public" and "build empathy and support" for the trans community.

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Ruby Corado Ruby Corado Ruby Corado Ruby Corado

Ruby Corado

June 15

TIRELESS ADVOCATE: Corado has devoted the last two decades to advocating for the rights and inclusion of our most marginalized community members.

TESTIMONIAL: Ruby Corado was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, who called Corado a "tireless advocate and champion of equality in Washington, DC, inspiring LGBTQ people of all ages through her work and unyielding commitment to expanding opportunity for LGBTQ young people."

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Bruce Cohen Bruce Cohen Bruce Cohen Bruce Cohen

Bruce Cohen

June 16

AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER: The Oscar-winning producer of "American Beauty" was most recently one of the executive producers behind ABC's LGBTQ miniseries, "When We Rise."

TESTIMONIAL: Bruce Cohen was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by singer Melissa Etheridge, who said Cohen is an "amazing person" and credited him with inspiring her to come out publicly. "He has taken his fire inside about his desire for equality, and he's created art with it, which is one of the greatest ways to change our society," Etheridge added.

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Sloane Cameron Sloane Cameron Sloane Cameron Sloane Cameron

Sloane Cameron

June 17

POWER BREAKER: When it comes to the world of Tae Kwon Do, Sloane Cameron is a game changer.

FUN FACT: "I sing to my cat more than most people. He has a lot of songs that are specific to him."

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Luis Mancheno Luis Mancheno Luis Mancheno Luis Mancheno

Luis Mancheno

June 18

FREEDOM DEFENDER: Among Luis Mancheno’s many identities, the gay immigration attorney and refugee is most proud to call himself a U.S. citizen.

PRIDE MEANS: "It’s the celebration of being different. Celebration of [being] alive while being different, and I think that at the same time an occasion for our community to come together and say, 'We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, we’re happy, we’re fabulous, and we will put a fight for our rights."

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Gail Stratton Gail Stratton Gail Stratton Gail Stratton

Gail Stratton

June 19

PROFESSORIAL MINISTER: The biology professor and ordained minister is one of only a few openly gay religious leaders in Mississippi, and that's something she's working to change.

PRIDE MEANS: "Self-esteem, knowing deep in my soul that I have worth. And I would love for all people to feel that. I think if we could start with more people having basic acceptance of themselves, the world would probably be a friendlier place."

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Kyle Sawyer Kyle Sawyer Kyle Sawyer Kyle Sawyer

Kyle Sawyer

June 20

ALLY EDUCATOR: Sawyer's organization, Building Allies Together, offers training to schools, businesses and municipalities on how to be more transgender-inclusive.

TESTIMONIAL: Kyle Sawyer was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by actor Ian Harvie, who praised Sawyer's organization and described him as a "smart, passionate person who deserves recognition for his hard work in the community."

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Robert Garcia Robert Garcia Robert Garcia Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia

June 21

BIG CITY MAYOR: He's gay, he's a South American immigrant and he's the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city.

FUN FACT: Garcia loves Snoop Dogg and has attended Comic-Con for 19 straight years.

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Gabby Rivera Gabby Rivera Gabby Rivera Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera

June 22

SUPERHERO WRITER: Writer Gabby Rivera is providing inspirational characters for future generations of the LGBTQ community.

PRIDE MEANS: "Revolution and joy."

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Kate Brown Kate Brown Kate Brown Kate Brown

Kate Brown

June 23

HISTORY-MAKING GOVERNOR: Brown is the first openly bisexual governor in U.S. history.

PRIDE MEANS: “An opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments and rolling up our sleeves to figure out what we need to do next.”

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Dustin Rader Dustin Rader Dustin Rader Dustin Rader

Dustin Rader

June 24

THE ROLE MODEL: Transgender high school teacher Dustin Rader wants to be the role model he never had.

PRIDE MEANS: "Loving yourself and extending that love to others. If you love yourself — and I don't mean just being selfish, I mean really loving and caring for yourself — you become happier, and (this is going to be cliche) happiness is contagious. That's why Pride parades are so exuberant. It's people loving themselves and sharing that love with others."

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Kaila Adia Story Kaila Adia Story Kaila Adia Story Kaila Adia Story

Kaila Adia Story

June 25

INTERSECTIONAL PROFESSOR: Dr. Kaila Story, an associate professor of women's and gender studies at the University of Louisville, has been voted faculty favorite every year since 2007.

PRIDE MEANS: "Being proud of oneself means not letting society define you, but for you to feel emboldened enough to define who you are on your own."

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Rachel Levine Rachel Levine Rachel Levine Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine

June 26

PHYSICIAN GENERAL: Rachel Levine, the physician general for Pennsylvania, is the state's highest ranking transgender official and its only trans cabinet member.

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Dr. Brian Mustanski Dr. Brian Mustanski Dr. Brian Mustanski Dr. Brian Mustanski

Dr. Brian Mustanski

June 27

LGBTQ HEALTH CONNOISSEUR: As a professor and researcher, Dr. Mustanski aims to improve LGBTQ health and train future health professionals.

FUN FACT: Mustanski married his husband four times. The first was a commitment ceremony in Mexico in 2006, and the last was a legal marriage in Illinois in 2016 — 10 years after their first ceremony.

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Debra Fowler Debra Fowler Debra Fowler Debra Fowler

Debra Fowler

June 28

HISTORY KEEPER: A former teacher and military veteran, Fowler is now focused on bringing LGBTQ history to K-12 classrooms.

TESTIMONIAL: Debra Fowler was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by trans advocate and model Carmen Carrera, who praised Fowler and her organization for educating teachers and students about LGBTQ history.

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Dillon Eisman Dillon Eisman Dillon Eisman Dillon Eisman

Dillon Eisman

June 29

CHARITABLE DESIGNER: The high schooler is "upcycling" used clothing items, turning them into fashionable pieces and donating them to underprivileged youth in Los Angeles.

PRIDE MEANS: "Being comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid of being who you are, because every single person is different and everyone should feel accepted and feel confident with who they are, and not be afraid to express themselves."

Sue Fulton Sue Fulton Sue Fulton Sue Fulton

Sue Fulton

June 30

VETERAN ADVOCATE: After being honorably discharged from the military, Fulton dedicated her life to advocating for marginalized people.

TESTIMONIAL: Sue Fulton was nominated for NBC Out's #Pride30 list by U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who said "Sue is a great American and has been a trailblazer in so many ways. Sue was one of the first women to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point ... and she was instrumental in the fight to end the discriminatory policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

About NBC Out’s #Pride30 List About NBC Out’s #Pride30 List About NBC Out’s #Pride30 List About NBC Out’s #Pride30 List

About NBC Out’s #Pride30 List

Editor's Note

The majority of NBC Out's #Pride30 innovators, change makers and rising stars were nominated by the public. We received more than 1,600 nominations in April, and a committee of NBC journalists and executives narrowed down the list. A smaller number of our honorees, as noted in each of their profiles, were nominated directly by LGBTQ community leaders and celebrities. 

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