Great Moments in Black LGBT History

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  • Frank Ocean, Raven-Symoné
  • Jason Collins
  • Sylvester James, Jr./RuPaul
  • Meshell Ndegeochello
  • James Baldwin
  • Don Lemon
  • Bayard Rustin
  • Audre Lorde/Angela Davis
  • Frank Ocean
  • Rave Symoné
  • Claude McKay/Langston Hughes/Bessie Smith/Wallace Thurman
  • Dorian Corey/Pepper Labieja

From Sylvester to RuPaul

The ever-so-quotable RuPaul is revered for his iconicity, and entrepreneurial spirit but it was disco legend Sylvester James, Jr. who paved the way for the mogul. Proving that he was the originator of mutlifaceted androgyny, Sylvester released the single "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" in 1978, which spawned into a smash both in the U.S., and the U.K; This ushered him into the world of pop, which RuPaul is now known for.

(Photos from left: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images, Teresa Lee/Getty Images)

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