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The 2021 Girls United Summit was filled with transformative conversations around content creation, emotional wellness, financial literacy and more — all from the Black, Gen Z perspective. It was an opportunity for us to talk about the ideas and people who are blazing trails, for themselves and others. During our True Colors: A Tribute To Black & Brown LGBTQIA+ Icons Of Today video montage, we celebrated some of the contemporary LGBTQ+ icons who are changing the landscapes in their respective industries today.

Click HERE to watch the 2021 ESSENCE Girls United Summit now!

Beginning with actress and musician Amandla Stenberg and culminating with movement journalist Clarissa Brooks, we gave some of our faves their flowers. Additionally, we honored Lil Nas X, Amiyah Scott, Kehlani and more.

Stenberg is an award-winning actress best known for her starring role in 2018’s “The Hate U Give.” That same year, Stenberg came out as gay in an interview with Wonderland Magazine.

“I’m grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way,” she said. “The continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalised homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles.”

Brooks is a writer who graduated from Spelman University in 2020. She has written for NPR, Dazed Magazine, ESSENCE Girls United, Rolling Stone, Bustle, Teen Vogue and more. She is known for her thoughtful critiques of internet culture, activism and the American educational systems and has a sizable platform. She is lauded for her work and her openness to discuss her experiences as a Black, queer southern woman.

Read Clarissa Brook’s writing here.

Watch our full montage of LGBTQIA+ greats from Girls United Summit 2021 above.

The 2021 Girls United Summit is presented by CBS Original The Equalizer and sponsored by American Airlines and McDonald’s.


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