And the honorees are...

Meet the world-class performers who are diversifying LGBTQ representation

Actors have the ability to move us in more than one way: With their performances and by using their platforms for the good. In a time of police murders of African-Americans, pandemic, and prejudice, we are particularly grateful to them for showing the other side of humanity.

Each of the honorees in Queerty's Pride50 category "performers" has scored career milestones in the past year in representing the diversity of our community while at the same time advocating for equality offstage, helping elevate the social justice cause while doing so.

They make us happy, make us weep, and, of course, they make us proud.

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5. Jeremy Pope

Jeremy Pope is perhaps best known for playing the gay African-American writer Archie in the hit Netflix series Hollywood. As an openly gay African-American himself, he knew first hand a bit about his character’s struggles.

In 2018 the Orlando-born actor landed juicy roles in two hit shows, Choir Boy (as Pharus) and the musical Ain’t Too Proud (as Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks). He won Tony Award nominations for both shows in the same year, a feat achieved by only five other performers in history. Pope is now participating in some of the protests against police brutality.

Jeremy Pope has yet another thing going from him: He’s never hidden his sexuality. In fact, he’s made a point of saying how easily he related to his characters in Choir Boy and Hollywood as a queer person of color.

As Pope told Variety:

But what I found very interesting, especially with Archie, was how confident he was and how fearless he was. It almost felt like a person in 2020 — this younger generation that is speaking out and protesting and really fighting for their voices to be heard. I don’t know that you saw many people in that vein in the ’40s, but here we have this person who is very confident and who believes in what he does and what he wants to be and, given the opportunity, he can be a trailblazer. I know the struggles of what people before me had to go through, being black and being queer and trying to occupy a space in the industry that wasn’t built for them or for us. That’s a struggle within itself. But the overall message of fighting to be heard whether you’re one or two or three is something. And there are some who are in positions of power…[who] can make a difference by just granting an opportunity to one person. That expands and gives a voice to so many people.

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