There are several LGBT honorees on this year's Root 100, a list of influential African-Americans published annually by website The Root.
Among this year’s honorees are trans author, activist, and journalist Janet Mock; Orange Is the New Black star and Emmy nominee Laverne Cox; Rashad Robinson, a gay man who is executive director of Color of Change, an organization dedicated to “strengthening the political voice of Black America”; and New York Times columnist Charles Blow, who has written about his attraction to both men and women but expressed discomfort with the term “bisexual.” The list honors “standout black leaders, innovators and culture shapers” age 45 and younger, according to The Root.
Mock has risen to prominence as the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More as well as the creator of the popular hashtag #girlslikeus. She was recently named a contributing editor for the popular young women’s fashion magazine Marie Claire.
With her role as Sophia Bursett on Orange Is the New Black, Cox became the first transgender person to receive an Emmy nomination. She is also the first transgender person ever to be featured on the cover of Time magazine.
As executive director of Color of Change, Robinson is the only openly gay leader of a black civil rights organization. Selected for the Root 100 for the fifth straight year, he previously worked with GLAAD and the Applied Research Center. He is a writer as well, with work published in The New York Times, The Griot, and Newsday.
Blow is the visual op-ed columnist for the Times and the author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir.