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11 Out Entertainers You Should Know

You know Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox and Sam Smith, but here are 11 other LGBTQ entertainers who should be on your radar.

by Alamin Yohannes /
Photo combination of Parson James, Mya Taylor and Carmeron Esposito.Getty Images /

You have likely watched Laverne Cox on "Orange is the New Black," and you've probably heard a Sam Smith song or two, but here are 11 lesser-known LGBTQ entertainers to put on your radar.

Parson James

 CARSON, CA - MAY 14: Singer Parson James performs on stage at 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango 2016 at StubHub Center on May 14, 2016 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic,) Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic,

Parson James left South Carolina at 17 for New York City, choosing to exchange his conservative hometown for the Big Apple’s possibilities. After signing with RCA, he collaborated with Kygo on the hit single “Stole The Show.” The singer channeled his experience as a gay man into his EP “Temple.”

Mykki Blanco

 NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: Mykki Blanco poses for a portrait backstage before his performance at 130 Hope Street on October 17, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images) Roger Kisby / Getty Images

Hip hop artist Mykki Blanco, who is also a poet and performance artist, is known for his music and vibrant style, but it was a string of tweets that pushed Blanco front and center. Twitter was set ablaze when the artist took LGBTQ media to task for frequently choosing cisgender, Caucasian men for magazine covers.

Adore Delano

 LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 04: Adore Delano attends "RuPaul's Drag Race" Battle Of The Seasons "Condragulations" Tour LA Event at The Belasco Theater on February 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images) Araya Diaz / Getty Images

Adore Delano is a Mexican-American drag queen and singer. While the entertainer started out as a contestant on the seventh season of “American Idol” (using his real name, Danny Noriega), it was a stint on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that took Delano’s career to the next level. You can catch her on the upcoming second season of "RuPaul's All Stars Drag Race."

Mya Taylor

 SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actress Mya Taylor speaks onstage during the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Mya Taylor was one of the stars of last year’s critical darling, “Tangerine.” The actress and her co-star, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, became the first trans actresses to be supported by a film producer for their Academy Award campaigns. While neither won, Taylor did win Best Supporting Actress at the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards. The actress will next be seen playing Marsha P. Johnson in the short film, “Happy Birthday, Marsha!”

Who Is Fancy

 ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 23: Who Is Fancy performs onstage during the Logo New Now Next Honors From Aspen Gay Ski Week on January 23, 2016 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Logo) Santiago Felipe / Getty Images for Logo

Who is Fancy, whose real name is Jake Hagood, started his career in secrecy when he released his debut single “Goodbye." After following up with a viral music video, the artist revealed himself during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Fancy later teamed up with Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor for single “Boys Like You.”

Lena Waithe

 BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 18: Actress Lena Waithe attends Netflix's "Master Of None" Emmy season screening and panel at The Paley Center for Media on May 18, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage) Vincent Sandoval / WireImage

Some may know Lena Waithe for her role on Netflix’s “Master of None,” but only because most of her work has been behind the camera. She was a staff writer on “Bones” and served as a producer on last year’s “Dear White People.” In addition to returning for the second season of "Master of None," Waithe has teamed up with Common for a Showtime drama set in Chicago.

Desiree Akhavan

 NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Director/Actress Desiree Akhavan speaks during the "Appropriate Behavior" New York Screening at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage) Daniel Zuchnik / WireImage

Desiree Akhavan is an Iranian-American director who is best known for her film “Appropriate Behaviour.” Like Akhavan, her character in the film is bisexual. Akhavan has appeared on HBO’s “Girls” and the dark comedy series “Flowers.”

Cameron Esposito

 HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 13: Cameron Esposito attends the premiere of "Mother's Day" at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 13, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic

Cameron Esposito is an American comedian known for her stand-up acts, which revolve around her lesbian identity and other LGBTQ topics. Her recent roles include parts in the film “Operator” and on the comedy series “Maron.” She is also developing a comedy series based on her life with “You’re the Worst” creator Stephen Falk.

Colman Domingo

 NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Colman Domingo attends the "Indecent" opening night at Vineyard Theatre on May 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage) Daniel Zuchnik / WireImage

The African-American actor has discussed coming out in Hollywood and has helped LGBTQ youth in the past. Domingo has appeared on Logo’s “The Big Gay Sketch Show” and in films including “The Butler,” “Selma” and “Lincoln.” The actor, who is currently a series regular on AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead,” will next be seen next in the film “The Birth of a Nation.”

Ryan O’Connell

 LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Ryan O'Connell attends the Night with Nick Jonas during 2015 Outfest Los Angeles held at Harmony Gold Theatre on July 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic) Michael Tran / FilmMagic

Ryan O'Connell is a blogger who got his start writing for the MTV series “Awkward.” O'Connell, who has cerebral palsy, wrote a book titled “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” Actor Jim Parsons and Warner Bros TV optioned the book, and they are developing a half-hour sitcom based on the story. If the series is optioned, O’Connell will serve as executive producer.

Big Freedia

 NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 30: Big Freedia performs during the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 30, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Big Freedia is a rapper known for raising the profile of the New Orleans hip hop genre known as "Bounce." The rapper, who has been honored by GLAAD in the past, was recently seen in Beyonce's “Formation" music video. “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” the reality show based on her life, returned for its fifth season on Fuse earlier this month.

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