B. Scott, 33
Long before B. Scott publicly came out as a transgender person last year, he was already establishing himself as a smart, savvy multimedia personality through his well-read blog, LoveBScott.
Scott's ability to blend fashion, entertainment, and social commentary in easily consumed formats like tweets, photos, and video and blog posts puts him in a powerful position to have the ears of a wide audience who might not otherwise be exposed to transgender people.
His more than 150,000 Twitter followers retweet his posts with a fervent devotion, and Scott (who prefers the use of male pronouns) takes time to engage with many of his fans through social media and when he encounters them in real life. His message is ultimately uplifting and affirming to his fans and followers, encouraging them to seek their truth and live authentically.
Scott's blog, which he founded in 2007, focuses on entertainment and celebrity news, touching on Scott's additional passions of fashion and music. The blog has been named Best Video Blog by the Black Weblog Awards twice, and in 2009 it spawned a YouTube-sanctioned online interview and variety program called The B. Scott Show, where Scott featured big names he counts among his close friends, including Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Chaka Khan, and Ashanti.
As he's a contributing editor for Glam and an advice columnist for Ebony, and has a Twitter following of more than 150,000 people (which jumps to more than 200,000 followers on Instagram), Scott's voice was already echoing through much of the LGBT and entertainment community.
But after Scott was unceremoniously pulled from a hosting gig during the red carpet pre-show for the 2013 BET Awards and ordered to wear more traditionally masculine attire, the blogger and columnist's voice reached a new volume.
Scott stubbornly refuses to be brought down by his detractors — even when those include a massive, multinational entertainment company.
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit Scott filed against BET executives alleging discrimination based on gender identity was one of the first times Scott publicly identified as transgender — and he says the haters were quick to claim that his identity was nothing but a money-grabbing stunt.
"There's no way that I would ever claim that I was a transgender person, if it was not [true]," Scott told The Advocate last September.
"No amount of money would be worth me putting my life at risk," he continued, citing the staggering incidence of violence transgender people experience. "I'm not doing this for the money, I'm doing this for the people who don't have the voice, the people who are not supported, the people who can't push back like I've pushed back."
And although Scott's lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, he has remained steadfast in his identity as a gay, transgender person.
"I’m committed to change, progress, human rights and equality for all, and by no means do I feel defeated," Scott said in April.
The lawsuit and backlash Scott endured after coming out as trans has inspired him to push his community toward greater understanding and inclusion, and to embrace his identity, encouraging others to do the same.
"[Folks] remember people who challenge their thought process or their labels or what they're comfortable with," Scott told The Advocate. "And so I'm going to use that power to educate them about people like me. I want to use that power to show other people like me that they have that power too. And we can use it for good."