Making a difference: Representations of the LGBTQ community in fashion and advertising

Andreja Pejic is a model and transgender woman. She walked in her first fashion show as a transitioned woman in Giles Deacon’s fall 2015 show. (Creative Commons)

In honor of Pride Week, it is only fitting to honor those who are making a difference and advocating for the LGBTQ community.

Clean & Clear made transgender teen Jazz Jennings  the face of its #SeeTheRealMe campaign. The campaign asks people to share their personal stories through social media. Jennings shared her story and path to finding her identity.

“I’ve always known who I am,” Jazz said in the Clean & Clear video. “I was a girl trapped in a boy’s body. Growing up has been quite a struggle being transgender- especially in middle school… sometimes, I’ve been called an ‘it.'”

Jazz was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age five. She recently was named one of Time’s 2014 Most Influential Teens and will soon have her very own reality series on TLC, according to US Magazine.

Andreja Pejic turned heads in 2011 as a male model for designers Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier. The renowned model underwent surgery in 2014 for a sex change.

She has walked dozens of runways in her career and did her first show as a transitioned woman in Giles Deacon’s fall 2015  show.

Pejic is an advocate and activist within the trans community, telling People Magazine, “What’s in between anyone’s legs is not who they are.”

Other large brands are making an effort to support the LGBTQ community, as well.

Apple CEO Tim Cook came out last year. “Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Cook said.

Furthermore, Apple and Steve Jobs lent support to same-sex marriage, more specifically, by opposing Proposition 8 in California. To further show its support of LGBT rights and the community, Apple released a video of participants at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.

Nike designed a collection called Be True that included footwear and apparel inspired by the LGBT community.

“We are a company committed to diversity, inclusion and unleashing human potential,” said Tim Hershey, Nike’s vice president of global merchandising and executive chair of Nike’s LGBT & Friends Employee Network.

The collection was launched on June 5, 2014 with the signature #BeTrue logo. It was said to “celebrate the full spectrum of an athlete’s pursuit of sport.” The footwear was covered in rainbow designs.

Google has been known for their support of the LGBT community for years. They even have a Pride Plus LGBT community embedded on their site. It is a community for LGBT and allies to work together and make a difference. Check it out.

Follow Hailey Geller on Twitter @hgeller30

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