My LGBTQ+ icon is the Cuban-American singer Lauren Jauregui who was a member of the American girl group Fifth Harmony.
In 2016, Lauren came out as Bisexual. In an open letter to Donald Trump supporters she explained how the hate that Donald Trump is spreading should not be accepted, encouraged people to be proud of who they are, and not to be fearful of the step back the country was about to take.
It was this message that inspired me to come out to my parents. I knew I was attracted to girls since the age of 12 and was so nervous to even voice this because of the fact it wasn’t normalised - and to some extent it still isn’t. Lauren Jauregui made me realise that just because something isn’t seen as normal to the general public, it doesn’t mean it isn’t normal.
In the letter she states: “I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it. I am proud to be part of a community that only projects love and education and the support of one another.”
It was this message of support that made me realise that even if my family didn’t support me, I had an entire community who knew what I was going through and it made me feel less alone. She showed me that the love of your family is important, but it is not the only form of love that can make you feel happy in life.
I spent four years hiding who I was and what I felt, I even tried to date men to make myself seem normal to the people around me. I told a couple of my friends that I was Bisexual and they accepted me and didn’t treat me any differently. It was this acceptance that made me realise that I didn’t have to like men to be accepted and that my friends supported me no matter what my sexuality.
Lauren Jauregui was the first female celebrity I identified with because she was unashamedly herself. She didn’t change her views or looks when people claimed she was too vocal about things and that she had a bad attitude just because she wasn’t scared to voice her opinions, she also refused to lose weight to fit the mould of what a pop star should look like.
On top of this, she constantly spreads words of love and happiness to her fans because she believes that everyone is beautiful and everyone deserves to be happy and loved. For this reason, Lauren Jauregui makes me feel as though I am beautiful and can accomplish anything, because I am unique and powerful in my own right.
Leah is currently in her Foundation year of a Criminology and Sociology degree at Liverpool John Moores University and is an active member of the LJMU LGBTQ+ society.