LGBTQ+ trailblazers shine on this year’s TIME100 Next list

From musicians, to politicians, to sports stars, here are the LGBTQ+ names that appear on the 2022 TIME100 Next list.

Three of the LGBTQ+ icons on the TIME100 Next list.
Image: Via Instagram - @rinasonline, @ncutigatwa, @casey.mcquiston

The TIME100 Next list for 2022 has been unveiled, with a range of LGBTQ+ icons earning a much-coveted spot. Separated into five different sections, queer artists, phenoms, innovators and advocates all make an appearance.

The list is curated by TIME’s journalists and informed by their reporting. According to the publication, “What unites these individuals are their extraordinary efforts to shape our world – and to define our future.”

Each person included has a synopsis written about them by another famous figure, read on to find out which LGBTQ+ trailblazers made the cut!

​​Rina Sawayama
Just months after headlining the Mother Pride Block Party in Collin’s Barracks, musician Rina Sawayama appears on the TIME 100 Next list for 2022. American Trans actress Tommy Dorfman wrote the singer’s tribute, saying: “Rina’s the type of person where she could achieve world domination if and when she wants to, and I just hope more than anything that she continues to do what she loves and is afforded ample opportunities and space to do so.”

Casey McQuiston
Also appearing in the ‘Artists’ section is non-binary author Casey McQuiston. They were written about by novelist Emma Straub, who said, “Their three books – gay royal romance Red, White and Royal Blue; queer New Adult romance One Last Stop, which features an instantly classic sex scene aboard a Q subway train; and this year’s sweet YA romance-mystery I Kissed Shara Wheeler – are all deeply pleasurable, romantic, and very, very queer.”

Ncuti Gatwa
Made famous through his portrayal of Eric in Netflix series Sex Education, Ncuti Gatwa has also earned a place on the list. Set to star in the next Doctor Who, the production’s screenwriter Russel T Davies penned Gatwa’s synopsis. 

“The man is like a thunderbolt, and he keeps winning new ground,” Davies said. “He’s conquered the world. Now all of time and space is his.”

FKA Twigs
FKA Twigs is another queer musician to feature. Speaking about the English singer-songwriter, Grammy-nominated artist Courtney Love wrote: “I love how, over the years, she has toyed with us, as if she’s whatever we imagine her to be but you know she’s not.”

Alba Rueda
Argentine politician Alba Rueda appears in the ‘Advocates’ section of the TIME100 Next list. As the country’s first openly Trans politician to hold a senior governmental position, Jessica Stern said: “Alba’s voice was singular, because as the Undersecretary of Diversity Policies in Argentina’s Ministry of Women, Gender, and Diversity, she was both an expert and the sole transgender official in such discussions.”

Joel Kim Booster
Another queer advocate, Joel Kim Booster, who also wrote, produced and starred in Fire Island, earned a spot on the prestigious list. “He’s giving the queer Asian Americans something truly amazing to aspire to. And he’s giving laughter and lots of important observations on race, class, culture, sex, and being gay in all of those realms. He’s giving voice to the previously unheard and unknown,” wrote fellow comic Margaret Cho.

Law Roach
American costume designer Law Roach is described by Christian Siriano as someone with unmatched talent. “He’s a true creative visionary in every sense of the word,” Siriano continued, adding: “He’s the definition of a creative genius, and the fashion industry is lucky to have him.”

George M Johnson
Another non-binary author featured on the list is George M Johnson. Novelist and poet Jason Reynolds had a lot of praise for the writer of All Boys Aren’t Blue, saying: “Brave is an overused word. A word, I’d argue, that has become milquetoast and cliché. So despite the urge to do so, I will refrain from calling George M. Johnson brave. I’d rather consider George urgent, because urgency implies spark and pulse.”

Tyler Mitchell
New York-based photographer Tyler Mitchell, most famous for his Vogue cover photo of Beyoncé, was written about by portrait painter Amy Sherald. “Tyler’s photographs situate our lived experiences at the bounds of reality. The mundane becomes extraordinary with his gift of always making us, as he puts it, ‘feel good.’,” Sherald commented.

Sam Kerr
Queer female footballer Sam Kerr appeared as an ‘Innovator’ on the TIME100 Next list. The Australia captain and Chelsea star was paid tribute to by US Women’s National Team all-time top scored Abby Wambach, who wrote: “She leads not through bravado about her own skill, but by directing the spotlight to her teammates, celebrating their unique skills and effort. And they rise to the level that Sam sees in them. That’s a leader. That’s a legend.”

To see the full 2022 TIME100 Next list, click here.

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