(Updated June 19, 2020) 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 police brutality.
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. The brand strives to spread awareness and raise consciousness around the 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. It 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
Christopher Sebastian is a vegan activist and social justice advocate who divides his time between being an author, a researcher, and a lecturer. He is the co-founder of VGN, director of social media for the Peace Advocacy Network, and he lectures at Colombia University.
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.
His work can be found in the anthology “Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice,” edited by Dr. Will Tuttle. You can support him on Patreon here.
3. Sean O’Callaghan
Sean O’Callaghan is the founder of the popular London-based blog Fat Gay Vegan. He uses his platform to promote the latest vegan events and address 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.
O’Callaghan is also the author of the book “Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink, and Live Like You Give a Sh!t.” You can support him on Patreon here.
4. Katrina Fox
Katrina Fox is a vegan journalist, author, PR expert, and founder of Vegan Business Media. She specializes in assisting vegan businesses and entrepreneurs with self-promotion by helping them develop effective PR and marketing strategies. She also offers writing, editing, and content creation services. Fox has written a book called “Vegan Ventures: Start and Grow an Ethical Business.” She has also contributed her own essay to “Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice.”
5. Michelle Cho
Michelle Cho is the former vice president of celebrity and entertainment outreach at The Humane Society of the United States. She engaged with celebrities, influencers, and other public figures in order to support the organization’s campaigns, programs, and events.
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. They believe that access to healthy, plant-based food is a universal human right.
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 currently working a part-time internship for the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives. They assist with communications and office administration responsibilities.
8. Heidi Lovig
Heidi Lovig is the CEO and co-founder of Portland-based vegan cheese company Heidi Ho Organics. 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. She worked as the manager of an eco-hostel and organic farm. 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. She uses her platform as a drag artist to spread the vegan message to all. She has a YouTube channel and co-hosts the podcast “Big Fat Vegan Radio.”
A Wisconsin native turned NYC resident, LaBronx regularly performs at events benefitting animal charities.
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. In addition to that, the author specializes in literacy tutoring for students in grades K-12.
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.
Velez-Mitchell hosts daily “Lunchbreak Live” segments. She brings on vegans to cook their favorite dishes and talk about the work they’re doing for the animals. She is also the host of the new Amazon Prime cooking show “New Day, New Chef.”
Velez-Mitchell told LIVEKINDLY: “we’ve upped our game and put on a full-fledged in-studio show. [We’re using] some of the great chefs we discovered along the way, along with some of the nation’s most well-known vegans.“