June is Pride Month, a celebration of the extended LGBTQIA+ community to recognize their identities and stand up to bigotry against this group of people. The month-long celebration marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a series of events that marked the official LGBTQIA+ movement. During this turning point in history, the community took a stand against the unjustified police brutality so often committed against those who identified as anything other than heterosexual.
While Pride never truly goes away, June is the perfect time to uplift queer voices and speak out against oppression and discrimination, all coming together to build an inclusive community across all intersections–including those who stand up for animals and the planet by living a vegan lifestyle. The individuals on this list are only a small handful of those whose lifestyles embody a sense of justice for all.
11 Vegan LGBTQIA+ Activists You Need to Know About
1. Jacky Wasserman
Jacky Wasserman is the founder of the independent clothing label BEETxBEET, a brand created in order to raise consciousness around everyday choices we make. Her career in apparel graphics began after winning a t-shirt design contest for Obey Clothing in 2008. Wasserman later combined her passion for veganism, music, street art, and streetwear with her industry knowledge and design skills to start BEETxBEET in 2014. In addition to promoting a compassionate lifestyle, BEETxBEET apparel is ethically made in Los Angeles and uses eco-friendly inks in the printing process. The brand focuses on using sustainable materials and organic whenever possible, as well as eco-friendly packaging.
Wasserman has collaborated with animal rights non-profit Mercy For Animals and donates a portion of proceeds from her line to animal rights and social justice organizations.
2. Christopher Sebastian-McJetters
Christopher Sebastian-McJetters is a vegan activist and social justice advocate who divides his time between his role as a copy editor and staff publisher at Vegan Publishers, a lecturer at Columbia University, and a board member of the Peace Advocacy Network. His intersectional, often humorous approach to contemporary issues ranging from animal rights, racism, sexism, colonialism, heteronormativity, classism, media literacy, and other social issues are known to spark lively discussions among his followers.
McJetter’s work can be found in the anthology “Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice”, edited by Dr. Will Tuttle and a few of his lectures can be found online.
3. Sean O’Callaghan
Sean O’Callaghan is the founder of the popular London-based blog Fat Gay Vegan, where he uses his platform to promote anything ranging from the latest vegan events to addressing fatphobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, sizeism, ableism, and wealth disparity in and out of the vegan community. In an interview with The Vegan Society, the blogger revealed that he takes every opportunity to use his platform to raise awareness of the multiple forms of oppression in order to make the vegan community a safer space for all.
In addition to being an ally across various social intersections, O’Callaghan is the founder of the Hackney Downs Market, a weekly pop-up market created to support small vegan businesses. He is also the author of the book “Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink, and Live Like You Give a Sh!t”.
4. Katrina Fox
Katrina Fox is a vegan journalist, author, PR expert, founder of Vegan Business Media, and host of the podcast Vegan Business Talk. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes, where she writes about the global growth of vegan businesses as well as the individual stories of vegan business founders. Fox specializes in how to inspire conscious change and helping new plant-based companies grow and thrive through effective marketing and PR, which she further breaks down in her book, “Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business”.
5. Michelle Cho
Michelle Cho is the former vice president of celebrity and entertainment outreach at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), where she engages with celebrities, influencers, and other public figures in order to support the organization’s campaigns, programs, events, and more. In an interview with Her Campus, Cho said: “The best, most effective way to incite conversation with people who just might be the animals’ best allies is through kindness and an inherent willingness to reach across the aisle to those whose path or lifestyle may be vastly different from yours, but whose hearts for animals beat just the same.”
Prior to working at HSUS, Cho acted as associate director of communications at PETA. She now runs her own nonprofit consulting agency working with organizations including the Gentle Barn and Animal Equality.
7. Pax Ahimsa Gethen
Pax Ahimsa Gethen is a queer black trans vegan activist blogger and photographer who manages the Instagram for Black Vegans Rock, a site co-founded by author and activist Aph Ko after receiving positive feedback on her list, 100 Black Vegans in 2015. Gethen approaches veganism as a social justice issue rather than a diet or lifestyle and believes that access to healthy, plant-based food is a universal human right. The blogger has volunteered for local food justice organizations and helps to prepare and distribute vegan-friendly food to those in need.
Gethen’s work can be found on their blog, the funcrunch files, where they write about gender, veganism, and other social justice issues. Gethen is also a helpline assistant for the Transgender Law Center, the nation’s largest trans-led organization advocating for trans and gender non-conforming individuals.
8. Heidi Lovig
Heidi Lovig is the CEO and co-founder of the Portland-based vegan cheese company, Heidi Ho Organics, where she aims to inspire others to embrace healthy, environmentally-friendly plant-based food. Lovig found veganism after trying a series of diets in order to manage her weight. She later honed her vegan chef skills on the Big Island of Hawaii as the manager of an eco-hostel and organic farm. It was there that she was introduced to the spiritual side of veganism. Lovig’s vegan cheese company was featured on the entrepreneurial reality show “Shark Tank.”
9. Honey LaBronx
Honey LaBronx is a vegan drag queen and queer vegan activist who uses her platform as a drag artist to spread the vegan message to all. She is the host of “The Vegan Drag Queen Cooking Show” and a co-host of the podcast “Big Fat Vegan Radio.” A Wisconsin native turned NYC resident, LaBronx regularly performs at events benefitting animal charities. Her dedication to the vegan movement led to her becoming a finalist in this year’s edition of PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Next Door Contest.
LaBronx is heavily involved in queer activism and was once arrested for fighting for marriage equality with her drag mother, Bob the Drag Queen.
10. Saryta Rodriguez
Saryta Rodriguez is a vegan author, editor, social justice advocate, and educator whose writings have focused on veganism, gentrification, race, and food justice. Rodriguez is the current editor for Sanctuary Publishers while also working to uplift marginalized voices in the activist community. In addition to that, the author specializes in literacy tutoring for students in grades K-12.
Rodriguez’s first book, “Until Every Animal is Free,” was published in 2015 and they are currently working on a compilation that will address food justice issues through a variety of lenses. Their work can also be found in the book “Veganism in an Oppressive World.”
11. Jane Velez-Mitchell
Former HLN news anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell is one of the strongest voices for the animals today. You can find her at nearly every vegan and animal rights event in Los Angeles recording with her iPhone for her popular JaneUnchained website and Facebook page. She hosts daily “Lunchbreak Live” segments where she brings on vegans to cook their favorite dishes and talk about the work they’re doing for the animals (two LIVEKINDLY staffers have been featured). And in those brief moments when she’s not working, she’s spending time with her partner, artist Donna Dennison, and their cute rescue dogs and cats.