In honor of Pride, we here at Geek Girl Authority want to take the time to highlight some of our favorite queer content creators of color. These QPOC are out there making a difference in the media world; they run the gamut from authors to YouTubers to TV showrunners. We’re everywhere (mwahahaha). However, this list is by no means comprehensive, so let’s take a moment celebrate the fact that I couldn’t fit all the amazing people in this vibrant community into one listicle. Happy Pride and keep fighting the good fight! 

 

Adrian Molina 

Our first queer creator of color, Adrian Molina, is basically a Pixar god. He began there as an animator and storyboard artist on films such as Ratatouille and Toy Story 3. Molina wrote the award-winning film Coco and was promoted to co-director during production. Recuérdale.  

 

Angela Robinson

 
 
 
 
 
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Angela Robinson first made a name for herself working on The L Word and from her cult action-comedy classic D.E.B.S. She’s served as executive producer on True Blood  and more recently, wrote and directed Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, which recounts the steamy and queer origins of the character of Wonder Woman.

 

Brian Jordan Alvarez  

Brian Jordan Alvarez is known for randomly dropping entire series or movies on YouTube without any warning. His 2016 idiosyncratic web series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo brought him his initial wave of notoriety. Alvarez is also an actor and features in shows such as Jane the Virgin and Will & Grace. 

 

Brittani Nichols

Brittani Nichols Geek Girl Authority

Brittani Nichols is another writer-producer-actor-comic hybrid. She’s currently a writer for HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show. Her 2016 dark comedy Suicide Kale won an Outfest Award for best US Dramatic Feature. The film features a completely queer-woman cast (Woo-hoo!). 

 

Cherien Dabis

 
 
 
 
 
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Cherien Dabis’s first feature film, Amreeka (2009), was inspired by growing up the daughter of Palestinian and Jordanian immigrants in the US during the Gulf War. But did you know that Dabis got her start working as a writer on The L Word? She’s also worked on Quantico and Ramy as a writer, producer and director. 

 

Dee Rees

 
 
 
 
 
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Dee Rees is best known for her 2011 film, Pariah, which tells the story of a young Black butch lesbian coming to terms with her identities. The film won an NAACP Image Award for best independent film and a Sundance Film Award for Cinematography, among many other nominations and awards. Rees has been a force ever since; her most recent credits include The Last Thing He Wanted and Space Force. 

 

Desiree Akhavan 

Desiree Akhavan is another complete package; that is, writer-director-producer-actor combo. She established herself as such with her first web series, The Slope, a look into the life of a same-gender couple living in Park Slope. Akhavan later created the TV series The Bisexual and adapted The Miseducation of Cameron Post to screen. 

 

Eugene Lee Yang 

Eugene Lee Yang is part of YouTube comedy quartet The Try Guys, which started out at BuzzFeed before becoming its own company. Yang has become very publicly active in queer advocacy work in recent years. 

 

Ingrid Nilsen

Ingrid Nilsen is a YouTube personality whose content ranges from lifestyle, fashion and makeup to the extremely personal. She went from becoming the first YouTuber to represent CoverGirl in 2014 to interviewing President Obama just two years later. Nilsen organized the first nationwide period product drive in 2016, encouraging people to donate menstrual products to homeless shelters.  

 

Fatimah Asghar

 
 
 
 
 
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Fatimah Asghar is a writer and poet who is most well-known for her Emmy-nominated web series, Brown Girls. The series follows two twenty-something friends in Chicago; both friends are artists—Leila, a queer Pakistani-American woman and Patricia, a Black woman. Asghar recently co-authored Halal if You Hear Me, a poetry collection, featuring works by Muslims with intersecting identities.  

 

Janet Mock

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Juston Smith

Janet Mock started her career in the media as a journalist, working at People magazine upon college graduation. Her career became more advocacy-focused when she publicly came out in 2011. Mock made history when she started working on Pose: she’s the first openly trans woman of color to be hired on a TV show as a writer. Her 2019 exclusive Netflix deal earned her the title of first openly trans woman of color to get a deal with major content company. 

 

Jaz Joyner

 

Jaz Joyner’s work as an essayist has been featured in Teen Vogue, Pride and The Huffington Post; they are a former assistant editor of Time Out New York. Joyner published their first book, a YA fantasy novel, Juniper Leaves: The Otherworldly Magic of a Lonesome Magic Girl,in 2017.

 

Justin Simien

Justin Simien Geek Girl Authority

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Justin Simien began working on his awarding-winning 2014 film Dear White People all the way back in 2006. The film was developed into a series in 2017. Simien released the horror comedy Bad Hair earlier this year. It stars other QPOC icons Lena Waithe and Laverne Cox.   

 

Kat Blaque

Kat Blaque is a YouTube vlogger-activist. She uses her platform to talk about race, gender and social justice issues. Blaque has become a voice for transgender education, both in classrooms and on Comic Con panels. 

 

Leah Johnson

 
 
 
 
 
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Leah Johnson’s best-selling debut, You Should See Me in a Crown, is a YA novel about a queer Black girl, who never quite fit in in her Indiana town, blossoming. Johnson has been published in BuzzFeed, Autostraddle and Catapult, where she is a staff contributor. Her next novel, Rise to the Sun, is due out next year. 

 

Lena Waithe 

Lena Waithe Geek Girl Authority

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Yet another actor-producer-director-writer hybrid, Lena Waithe has been working in Hollywood since the late aughts. But her career really caught steam after she won an Emmy for Master of None. She was the first black woman to win in the category of best writing for a comedy series. Waithe has since created three series for television: The Chi, Boomerang and Twenties. 

 

Malinda Lo 

 
 
 
 
 
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Malinda Lo started out the 2000s as a writer and managing editor of lesbian culture site Afterellen. Not long after, she published her first YA novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella, with a lesbian twist. Besides writing, she does research into diversity of the YA writing landscape. Her next novel, Last Night at the Telegraph Club, comes out in January 2021. 

 

Nahnatchka Khan

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The roots of Nahnatchka Khan’s career are at Disney Television Animation—her first shows as a writer were Recess and Pepper Ann. She went on to create Don’t Trust the B- – – – – in Apartment 23 and Fresh Off the Boat. She currently has multiple projects in development. 

 

Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo Hopkinson Geek Girl Authority

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The Sandman Universe: House of Whispers author Nalo Hopkinson has been publishing her speculative fiction since the 1990s. Her work often features themes that integrate Caribbean folklore, class, race, gender and sexuality. Her book Midnight Robber was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2001. 

 

Nisha Ganatra

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Nisha Ganatra has been professionally working in the industry since she was in film school. She starred, directed and co-wrote (what can’t QPOC do?) the award-winning movie Chutney Popcorn, a movie about sexual and cultural identity. Ganatra has become a prolific director, working on TV shows such as Transparent and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

 

Rain Valdez

 
 
 
 
 
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Rain Valdez is an actor and filmmaker who got her start in the industry doing post-production. She is the founder of an LGBTQ+ focused acting class in Los Angeles. Valdez released her first web series, Razor Tongue, last year. 

 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Geek Girl Authority

Gage Skidmore

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is a comic-film-play-and-TV-writer. He’s been awarded at NYC International Fringe, then by GLAAD , he’s created TV shows. Aguirre-Sacasa created the series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and  Riverdale and is also the current CCO of Archie Comics. (I told you the community is multi-talented). 

Roxane Gay

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Roxane Gay has traditionally been an essayist who tackles themes of identity and privilege. However, in 2016 she wrote for the Marvel’s short-lived World of Wakanda comic series. She and co-author, Yona Harvey were Marvel’s first lead Black woman writers. Her memoir, Hunger, won a Lambda Literary Award for bisexual nonfiction. 

 

Steven Canals 

Steve Canals Geek Girl Authority

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Steven Canals wrote the pilot script for Pose while working on his MFA in screenwriting at UCLA. He’s said it was difficult to get the show produced due to how “niche” its queer subject matter was perceived to be. Canals signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox earlier this year. 

 

Sydney Freeland

 
 
 
 
 
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Sydney Freeland has directed episodes of shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Fear the Walking Dead and Nancy Drew. Her 2014 film Drunktown’s Finest about a group of three young Navajo native Americans won her a lot of recognition and awards. She directed the Emmy-nominated web series Her Story, which centers around the daily lives of two trans women living in LA. 

 

Tanya Saracho 

Tanya Saracho Geek Girl Authority

Erica Parise / Starz Entertainment

Tanya Saracho founded Teatro Luna, an all-Latina theatre group in Chicago in 2000. Then in 2012, she moved to television, where she’s worked on shows such as Devious Maids, Looking and How to Get Away with Murder. She is the creator and wearer of many hats for Vida, a show about two Mexican-American sisters who move back to their childhood home after their mom dies. 

 

Zal Batmanglij 

Zal Batmanglij Geek Girl Authority

Gage Skidmore

Our last queer creator of color, Zal Batmanglij, has worked with collaborator Brit Marling since college. They co-wrote his first two feature films: Sound of My Voice and The East (Batmanglij directed). They went on to co-create sci-fi mystery series The OA. 

 

This article was originally published on 6/24/20

Melis Amber
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