There are over one billion active users on Facebook and 271 million monthly active users on Twitter. Which ones should you be listening to?
Most probably know Takei for his role as Mr. Sulu throughout the Star Trek series. His acting career has spanned six decades, but his recent role as one of the most respected and most followed social media activists only began after he joined Facebook in 2011.
In the three short years this married 77-year-old Buddhist been online, he has advocated for LGBT rights by creating viral PSAs, amplifying voices otherwise unheard from and brining attention to issues that mainstream media won’t. In May 2014, GLAAD awarded him for making a “significant difference in promoting equality.”
Oakley has amassed a following of millions across all social media platforms since his humble beginnings as a YouTuber operating out of his dorm room during freshman year at college. Now 25, he interacts with hundreds of thousands of followers each on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram daily.
He supports LGBT youth through The Trevor Project and has raised over a half million dollars for the organization by crowdsourcing fans on Twitter. Most recently, he was responsible for exposing homophobic Vines recorded by Nash Grier, a teenaged Vine user with over 8 million followers.
Laverne Cox made history this year by becoming the first African-American transgender person to produce and star in her own television show, the first transgender woman to be nominated for an Emmy award, and the first transgender person to grace the cover of TIME magazine — an issue that credited her as being the trailblazer ahead of “the transgender tipping point.”
Her role in pop culture and non-confrontational demeanor have made her a favorite among television and radio show hosts. Earlier this year, she opened dialogue about transphobia in the media after receiving what was described as an “invasive” line of questioning from Katie Couric.
Savage originally used his following on Twitter and YouTube to spread the message of his wildly successful “It Gets Better” project. Since then, he has used his platform to advocate on behalf of marriage equality organizations like Freedom to Marry and bring attention to anti-LGBT legislation and hypocrisy.
He most popularly created the definition of “santorum” and earlier this year, backed multiple campaigns to boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
The 68-year-old diva is perhaps not best known for her eloquence or fluency on social media — she’s actually applauded for being the exact opposite. But if there’s one thing you must know about Cher on social media, it’s that when she speaks, people listen.
In 2011, she took to Twitter to defend “vicious attacks” against her son Chaz during his tenure on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”. Her tweets supporting marriage equality, trans advocacy and gay fans in general have been retweeted more than 100,000 times.