The Top 30 LGBTQ Speakers
- By Brendan Egan
- Nov 22, 2022
An accepting, inclusive team or group is less likely to experience communication breakdowns and hurdles that are difficult to overcome. When you need to boost morale and supportive structure at your organization, business, or school, it’s important that you find speakers who are able to share their stories and get audiences to join the discussion without feeling judged or ignored.
Our top 30 LGBTQ+ speakers can lead and engage the audience on topics like identity, workplace inclusivity, allyship, mental health, and so much more.
Charlie Martin made a name for herself as the first transgender driver to race in the ADAC TOTAL 24-Hour Nurburgring-Rennan. She placed fourth in class. A year later, she placed third in the Praga class of the Britcar Endurance Championship. Her goal is to compete at Le Mans. Her experiences as a transgender driver have forced her to face adversity head on, but she’s used that to improve gender acceptance and inclusion in the world of motorsport and is an LGBTQ+ speaker on those topics.
2. Jared Milrad
Jared Milrad is an advocate for social change and inclusion and award-winning filmmaker. He’s the founder of A Show for a Change, a production company that focuses on social impact, and Movikarma, an award-winning empowerment nonprofit. He and his husband Nate are the authors of “So, You Want to Get (Gay) Married: Stuff You Need to Know Before Saying I Do.”
She’s a Korean-American, Jewish, queer, antibias, and antiracist educator. Liz Kleinrock’s talks can be geared for all ages, from K-12 to staff in large corporations and help support frameworks that ensure all workers or students, regardless of gender or sexual preference, are included and feel safe and respected in their enviroment. She’s an award-winning teacher and engaging LGBTQ+ speaker on topics like her TED Talk, “How to Teach Kids About Taboo Topics.”
4. Kate Fagan
Along with her partner, Kate Fagan is the host of ESPN’s Free Cookies. She’s had a wealth of experience coming out to others as a college basketball player. Her audience can learn about her insecurities and anxiety with her sexual identity in a setting where her best friends prayed for those “living a sinful lifestyle.” She eventually had to take that step and be true to herself first, whether her friends would embrace her for who she really was or not.
Hailee and Kendra are on TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch and have hundreds of thousands of followers. Their messages are honest and share their story of being true to themselves, meeting, dating, falling in love, and getting engaged and married. In times that can seem bleak, they laugh, smile, and have a lot of fun sharing their message, even after shadow bans due to their use of LGBTQ+ hashtags and hateful messages and comments. Hire them as your LGBTQ+ speakers and know that it’s going to be a time filled with love, humor, and positivity.
Israel Gutierrez became an ESPN NBA reporter in 2003. He’s currently the co-host of “Izzy and Spain.” After coming out in 2015, Israel would get married and lose his ex-husband to a terminal illness. He’s spent countless hours working with the LGBTQ+ community inside and outside of the sports world. He travels the nation talking about his experiences with gender identity and the ability to feel proud of who you are without fear of judgment.
Joey Gonzalez grew up in a Hispanic home and was gay, which made it seem impossible for him to feel like he was included. He’s built from those experiences to create both a business and lifestyle to make sure everyone he works with or interacts with feels included, accepted, and celebrated. In addition to his work as the Global CEO of Barry’s, he and his husband are busy parents to a son and daughter.
She’s a four-time Olympian and gold medalist for Team USA. Angela Ruggiero is also the first female to play a non-goalie role in men’s professional hockey. She’s the head of the International Olympics Committee’s Athletes Commission and shared her joy when the first openly gay male figure skater won gold at the Winter Olympics. She strives to ensure everyone feels free to accept who they are and be able to compete without fear or judgment.
While he’s not the nation’s first “pregnant man,” Trystan Reese, already a transgender activist, became a household name in 2017 when he became pregnant. He wasn’t a first-time parent. He and his husband had already adopted their niece and nephew. Five years later, they wanted to have their own child and Trystan became pregnant. It led to his memoir “How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned About Love and LGBTQ Parenthood.”
10. Amanda Lipp
Amanda Lipp is a filmmaker and mental health advocate. She’s also an LGBTQ+ speaker, as that’s what led her to the path of mental health advocacy. She links coming out and her struggles to navigate her sexual identity with her struggles with mental health. Amanda’s talks focus on her struggles coming out, being true to herself, and helping others find their path to wellness through her talks and shared experiences.
11. Kylar Broadus
Kylar Broadus is a Trans Trailblazer Award winner and GLAAD Awards honoree. He’s an attorney, activist, and public speaker on LGBTQ+ movements. He was the first out transgender American to testify in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2012. Kylar is the founder and director of Trans People of Color Coalition and one of thirteen transgender delegates for the DNC.
12. Greg R. Baird
Across the country, hateful messages and acts impact LGBTQ+ communities. Greg R. Baird shares his insights in keynotes and speeches on topics like bullying, hateful acts, transphobia, and anti-LGBTQ+ messages with the government, in schools, on social media, and on the streets. Listen to him talk about all he learned while filming “2:02 AM” about the Pulse Nightclub shooting or Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder. He’s an outstanding voice for any talk on acceptance, community, and inclusion.
13. Jose Rolon
José Rolon is a wedding planning expert, but it’s his personal experience as a widower and single dad to three. He’s pretty much a poster child for resilience. He came out at 18, met his future husband, and figured parenthood was unlikely. They learned otherwise after finding a surrogate and having their son, followed by twin girls shortly after. When their surrogate was almost three months pregnant with their daughters, his husband was on a business trip and died in his sleep. Understandably, José wasn’t sure he could continue as a single dad, but he reached out to his church and received the support he and his son needed the most. He’s turned his experience into a powerful platform about love, acceptance, and community.
14. Matt Lindley
Matt Lindley was a UK Royal Air Force Pilot responsible for flying the British Royal Family around for more than a decade. While in the RAF, he was a VIP-qualified captain and flying instructor, he was also one of the RAF’s first openly gay pilots, breaking through barriers after the law changed. He left the RAF in 2007 to fly the Boeing 777 on long-haul routes. He uses his experiences as a gay pilot to encourage and inspire others through keynote speeches and workshops.
15. Jason Brown
Jason Brown started skating at a young age, and he won bronze at the age of 11 in the 2009 U.S. Championships. This was just one of many medals he’d win on his way to the Olympics where he helped his team win gold in 2014. On June 11, 2021, he came out publicly on Instagram and now shares his story of accepting himself in a world that’s not always kind or understanding, but it’s also important to be courageous and share his message of equality, compassion, and acceptance.
16. Laura Barnard
She has more than 20 years of experience in brand building and marketing, but she’s also a noted speaker on closing gender gaps, breaking through barriers, and building community. Laura Barnard is leader in equitable designs, stopping discriminatory practices, and LGBTQIA+ topics that help companies and individuals develop strong, healthy workplaces and organizations.
17. Sam Cushing
Here’s the thing about Sam Cushing, he’s developed a huge following on social media thanks to his LGBTQ+ topics, but he’s done all of this while being honest and true to himself. He may be a gay man, but he also suffers from social anxiety. In high school, he faced bullying. After having one hateful Facebook group shut down, another one came out shortly after. In his senior year of high school, he started reaching out to groups to expand his support circle beyond his family. He's turned his personal experiences and journeys into an active YouTube channel that features everything from travel guides to his fitness routines. He also is always looking at supporting brands that have strong LGBTQ-friendly policies.
18. Kellie McElhaney
Kellie McElhaney is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL). She specializes in helping businesses and leaders make positive changes in the workplace or organization by showing how to break through barriers, strive for positive impact, and have the courage to demand change, diversity, and inclusion.
19. Brendan Jordan
Brendan Jordan went viral while dancing to Lady Gaga on a live news broadcast. Since that viral performance, Brendan’s traveled across the nation talking about LGBTQ+ issues, finding your identity, and mental health issues that can arise while trying to be true to yourself in a world that’s not always accepting.
20. Rob Graves
At the young age of 16, Robert Graves was diagnosed with chronic clinical depression, which wasn’t surprising to him given that he’d had his first thoughts of self-harm when he was nine. When he came out, he was bipolar, which continued to be untreated and undiagnosed until his 40s. It’s when he sought treatment for sex addiction that his bipolar disorder was properly diagnosed. He’s used his experiences to talk to audiences about acceptance, forgiveness, and mental health.
21. Buck Angel
Being comfortable in your own skin is essential, and it took Buck Angel many years to discover himself. He was born female, but he never felt comfortable in his skin. When he had the chance to transition from female to male, he struggled with the lack of information for female-to-male transexuals. He strives to change that by talking to audiences about acceptance, including self-acceptance, equality, and happiness.
22. Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown came out when she was in her early 20s, but she couldn’t find many openly gay female professionals to mentor her and inclusive leadership was not common. She used her experiences to become the founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting, a diversity and inclusion consultancy. She’s the author of “How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive” and the host of “The Will to Change” podcast.
23. Jay Cambridge
He’s the founder of The Intentional Movement. Jay Cambridge left military service and became a Yoga guru who helps people navigate their transition and identity. He’s a long-time member of the LGBTQ+ community who identifies as non-binary but spent his first 25 years as female.
24. Julie Tarney
Julie Tarney built a career in PR working for companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. She became a popular LGBTQ+ speaker after publishing “My Son Wears Heels,” a memoir sharing all she’s learned about gender expression, gender identity, and self-acceptance. The more she learned, the more she saw that major corporations were overlooking many qualified workers due to the things they didn’t know about the LGBTQ+ population. She’s made it her mission to train and consult with business leaders to help develop trans-inclusive and supportive workplaces.
25. Elita Laya
Elita Laya is a scholar and activist who’s spent eight years counseling, leading, and educating others. They’ve been the Principal Consultant at The Center for Critical Mentoring and Youth Work since 2017. They advocate for trans-inclusive classrooms and spaces where gender makes no difference. Healing, mental health support, and acceptance are important aspects of their talks.
26. Amber Gray
She’s the founder of WHERE2NEXT and the Amber Gray WHERE2NEXT Foundation, a group dedicated to helping young adults figure out their next steps in life. She’s a former college basketball player who had a hemorrhagic stroke and aneurysm but continued to play professionally until 2021. Her talks are inspiring and aim to help people focus on where they’re going over the past they’re leaving behind.
27. David Bromstad
He’s the host of HGTV’s “My Lottery Dream Home” and former host of “Flipping the Block,” “Color Splash,” and “The White Room Challenge.” He’s openly gay and was the first HGTV personality to be named on Out Magazine’s “Out100 List of Prominent LGBTQ People.” He’s a personable LGBTQ+ speaker on acceptance and inclusion.
They are the first openly non-binary, transgender WNBA player. Layshia Clarendon attended the University of California, Berkeley, spending four years playing for the Golden Bears, culminating in a Final Four appearance in the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. In 2017, they moved to the Atlanta Dream and earned a spot on the All Star team. Building on that, Layshia talks to audiences about LGBTQ+ inclusion and acceptance, especially in the world of sports.
29. Matty Maggiacomo
He’s a passionate teacher in the world of Peloton. Before taking on that role, he was one of Barry’s Bootcamp’s founding instructors. His energy and passion for his husband, fitness regimen, and desire to help others make him a very popular speaker.
30. Sarah Schauer
Sarah Schauer is a YouTuber, former Viner, and comedian with videos like “How to Sell Pictures of Your Feet.” She has more than 300,000 YouTube subscribers and loves giving talks on LGBTQ+ topics that use comedy to share her message of inclusion and acceptance.
Promote inclusivity, acceptance, and strong leadership by having an LGBTQIA+ speaker at your next event or workshop. All of these speakers are passionate, engaging, and connect with their audience.