As we emerge from a pandemic that has thrown the world into tumult, with pronounced hardships for the LGBTQ+ community in particular, we’re looking ahead to a Pride month that can help ease our minds and energize our spirits after a distressing year. Yet even as some cities take steps toward celebrating Pride in person again, this year’s events will be bittersweet. COVID-19 is still wrecking havoc in many parts of the world. Here in the U.S., 2021 has been marked by a continuation of historic levels of anti-trans violence and an onslaught of legislation that seeks to disenfranchise trans student athletes, criminalize trans healthcare, and more.

These challenges mean that while we can and should spend this June celebrating our community and its history, we must also use it as a time to reflect on the work we have yet to do. It’s a month in which we must bring our community together in the face of hatred, work to uplift the most marginalized among us, and use as an opportunity to protest while still recognizing that we deserve to have a good time, too.

In this year’s edition of The Now List, our annual awards for LGBTQ+ visionaries, we’ll be honoring 15 activists, artists, and community figures who have fought for our community over the past year and beyond. These are the people who remind us what Pride is all about, this year as much as any: a time to honor our history by both celebrating the gains in rights and representation we’ve seen while marking the ways we’ve yet to go. This year’s list includes creatives breaking new ground for LGBTQ+ storytelling on TV, public officials rising to historic ranks within our government, and activists finding new ways to empower the parts of our community that need it most. Together, they’re a remarkable group who represent the best of the LGBTQ+ community and who we are more than proud to bring together here.

We’ll be rolling out out our full slate of honorees on this page throughout the month. Check back throughout June for more.

The Now List 2021 Honorees

June 1: Dr. Rachel Levine

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