Happy women’s history month from us here at Come (Out) as You Are! Let’s get right into things and take a trip down memory lane – as we should per the occasion – and take a look at some notable figures throughout our nation’s and world’s history.

Lori Lightfoot, the 56th Mayor of Chicago. The attorney and politician has been serving her position since 2019, and is most known for being the first Black and LGBTQ woman to be elected in a major U.S. city. Lightfoot succeeds Chicago’s first female mayor Jane Byrne, who served from 1979 to 1983, and Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer as the first two Black mayors of the metropolitan city. 
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Andrea Jenkins, the first Black openly transgender woman to be elected to public office in the U.S. Jenkins is also a writer, performance artist, poet and activist. She made history in 2017 when she and another transgender individual won a seat on Minneapolis’s City Council, serving since January 2018. She was appointed as the council’s president in January this year.
Photo courtesy of NBC News
Barbara Jordan, the first LGBTQ woman in Congress. The lawyer, educator and politician was a key player in the Civil Rights Movement. Jordan was elected to the Texas Senate, and later became the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was also the first Black woman to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in 1976.
Photo courtesy of Boston University
Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet.” She spent much of her life dedicated to addressing inequities in society, such as racism, sexism, classism and homophobia. She is known for her publications of “Coal” in 1976, coining Lorde as an “influential voice” in the Black Arts Movement. Her 1984 publication “Sister Outsider” also emphasizes the need for shared lived experiences among marginalized groups.
Photo courtesy of the poetry foundation
Deborah Batts, the nation’s first Black and openly LGBTQ federal judge. She was a district judge for the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York, appointed by President Bill Clinton. During pride week in June 1994, she was sworn in as a U.S. district judge for Manhattan.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Amazin LeThi, athlete, cultural change leader, keynote speaker, LGBTQ advocate, author and commentator. She is the first and only Asian and LGBTQ athlete to simultaneously hold multiple sports ambassador roles around the world. She was also the first Asian LGBTQ athlete to appear in the Rainbow Laces campaign.
Photo courtesy of OutSports
Janet Mock, transgender rights activist. She is also a writer, TV host, director and producer. Mock has been featured in several LGBTQ-friendly documentaries and events nationwide, and is part of the Arcus Foundation. She was named one of the 50 most influential LGBT people in media in 2014. 
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Tammy Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ woman to be elected to the House of Representatives and to the Senate in 1999 and 2013, respectively. The lesbian politician has been a key component in passing LGBTQ rights bills in Congress during her time as a public servant. 
Photo courtesy of Smith College
Pragati Singh, an activist for the Indian asexual community. In 2019, she was featured on BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. The medical doctor and public health professional has worked for International SOS and the World Health Organization. Her research on asexuality in 2017 was selected and presented at the World Association of Sexual Health Congress and was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Singh, since 2019, has been running sexuality workshops, group counseling sessions and raising awareness for asexual communities.
Photo courtesy of SheThePeople TV
Lorraine Hansberry, the first Chicago native to be honored along the Legacy Walk, a display that celebrates LGBTQ history and people. The playwright and writer is known to be the first Black woman to have a play performed on Broadway. She is most known for her play, “A Raisin in the Sun.” Hansberry was also inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2013.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Sally K. Ride, astronaut and physicist, the first American woman in space and the earliest space traveler known to be LGBTQ. Ride was induced to the Legacy Walk in Chicago which celebrates LGBTQ history and poeple, and she will be one of the first two honorees of the American Women quarters series in 2022, making her the first known LGBTQ person to appear on U.S. currency.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Jane Addams, settlement activist, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator and author. Known for her key influence in the history of social work and women’s suffrage, Addams was a strong proponent of world peace. She became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the U.S.
Photo courtesy of the National Women’s History Museum
Josephine Baker, French entertainer, resistance agent and civil rights activist. She was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture – the 1927 silent film “Siren of the Tropics.” In August 2019, Baker was one of those inducted in the Rainbow Honor Walk, a walk of fame in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood noting LGBTQ people who have “made significant contributions in their fields.”
Photo courtesy of National Public Radio (NPR)
Renee Richards, one of the first openly transgender female tennis player on the professional circuit in the 1970s. She was known in this time for fighting to compete as a woman in the US open after gender reassignment surgery. Through this, Richards has become an advocate and icon for transgender athletes.
Photo courtesy of GQ
Roberta Cowell, the first known British transgender woman to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The racer and WWII fighter pilot began taking estrogen by 1950. She remained quite active in the motor industry from childhood and went to school for engineering. However, her legal change of gender by 1954 had prevented her from continuing Grand Prix motor racing.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
Dorian Corey was a drag performer and fashion designer and is known for her appearances in “Wigstock” and “Paris is Burning.” Writer Our Lady J based her anthology melodrama “Pose” on Corey’s lived experiences.
Photo courtesy of NewNowNext

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