beacon of hope

Diamond Stylz inspires hope simply by being her fabulous authentic self


Diamond Stylz is possibly the coolest person in the world.

In addition to being Executive Director of the national non-profit Black Trans Women Inc., she hosts a weekly podcast called “Marsha’s Plate” alongside co-hosts Mia Mix and Zee. Released every Thursday, the podcast explores everything from pop culture to current events but through a Black trans feminist lens.

Fighting against injustice and going against the grain essentially what courses through Stylz’s veins. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, her fuel for activism ignited from the moment she was told by her high school principal that she wasn’t allowed to wear “girls’ clothing” to the prom.


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Stylz was aware she was being discriminated against. So, to authenticate her identity and attain justice, she took her school to court. In the end, she ultimately won the First amendment court case.

“This was a victory I’m very proud of because presenting who you are on the inside and out is so important to anyone hoping to become an authentic presence in the world,” she writes on her website.

After high school, Stylz attended Jackson State University, where she became the first openly transgender woman to attend. There she underwent forces of discrimination where her presence was deemed unwanted. Those were difficult years, but she prevailed, and after her time in Mississippi, she moved to Houston, Texas with only $50 in her pocket, where she still resides today.


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Stylz spoke to Queerty about her journey and asked how she has found the strength to keep going in the face of adversity.

“So there were these little beacons of lights that were happening in my life that said if you’re hopeful and you’re on the right side of history, it’s gonna work,” she said. “Most of the time when I bucked up and everybody said you’re not gonna win you’re not gonna win… I won. It was enough light to say… you can get through this. Just keep going.”

When asked about her role models in life, without hesitation, she mentioned her mother.

“My mother set the foundation for who you see today. My mother let me know I was beautiful… my mother let me know that I was intelligent… my mother let me know doing what’s right even when people are against it, even when you’re not sure… that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

And when asked about the importance to “Say Gay” when both Black and LGBTQ rights face constant threats and scrutiny, the beacon of light herself doesn’t hold back.

“There’s power in saying it. There’s power in seeing it. Not hiding in it, being proud of it.”

“I am proud. I exist. I am here.”

Pride50Welcome to Queerty’s Pride50. We’re celebrating the members from our community who are responsible for some of the most inspiring and extraordinary moments for LGBTQ people over the last year. See all the honorees