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2018’s Icons, Innovators, and Disruptors

Our Favorite Innovators
The world of entertainment is progressing quicker than most of us realize, thanks to these incredible trailblazers.

Halsey Shutterstock

HALSEY The bisexual, biracial, bipolar singer’s “Bad at Love” (in which she sings about being in love with both men and women) from her second album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, became her first top five entry on the Billboard Hot 100. Last January, she shared a powerful poem at the Women’s March in New York City, talking about being sexually assaulted by an ex-boyfriend. She’s also open about passing as white (but being black) and dealing with mental health issues.

Lena Waithe Shutterstock

LENA WAITHE made history as the first black woman to win an Emmy Award for outstanding writing for a comedy series (on Master of None). Waithe thanked her longtime girlfriend, Alana Mayo, in her acceptance speech. Her Showtime series, The Chi, was renewed for a second season earlier this year.

Alia Shawkat Shutterstock

ALIA SHAWKAT The bisexual Arrested Development actor is branching out and gaining universal appeal for her Gracie Award-winning role in Search Party — a character she described to The Guardian as a “hipster Columbo.”

Munroe Bergdorf 2 Courtesy Loreal

MUNROE BERGDORF gained global recognition as L’Oreal’s first transgender model to front a campaign for the brand in the U.K. Later fired for sharing her views on white complicity in the wake of Charlottesville, the model wrote on Facebook, “Most big brands did not want to sell to black women. Most big brands did not want to acknowledge that there was a huge demographic that was being ignored.”

Amandla Stenberg Ap Photo

AMANDLA STENBERG Best known for playing Rue in Hunger Games, the nonbinary actor and artist makes no apologies for living life on her terms. “I don’t think gender even exists,” Stenberg said to Vogue. “My sexuality is very fluid and my gender is very fluid … I don’t think of myself as statically a girl.” Next up: Stenberg has three films out in 2018, including Where Hands Touch, The Darkest Minds, and The Hate U Give.

Ezra Miller Shutterstock

EZRA MILLER The queer and gender-fluid actor has become a box office darling, thanks to movies like Justice League and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Delightfully transparent, Miller holds nothing back when talking about his personal life. “I’m queer,” Miller told Out. “I am very much in love with no one in particular.” While we await his 2020 starring role in Flashpoint, next up is Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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