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55 famous LGBTQ quotes for Pride Month and beyond

Inspire everyone with these short messages about hope, love and equal rights.

June is Pride Month, a month-long celebration to acknowledge the past, present and future of the LGBTQ community.

And while the parades and parties may draw the most attention, it's important to not lose sight about what Pride is really about: recognizing how far we've come — and how far we have left to go.

Actions often speak louder than words, but these famous LGBTQ quotes prove that the right words can make an impact. These wise words from politicians, activists, authors (including the ones who wrote these LGBTQ books) and celebrities — some who identify as LGBTQ, others who are proud allies — capture the complexity of the moment, ranging from inspirational messages of self-love to a longing for equality.

Work your way down this list to find quotes from those who paved the way in past decades, along with other trailblazers who continue to uplift and inspire through their art, smarts and other talents. Find a message that speaks to you, then text it to loved ones or post it on social media to keep the trail blazing!

Marsha P. Johnson, a celebrated advocate for gay rights, took part in the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn.
Marsha P. Johnson, a celebrated advocate for gay rights, took part in the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn.Barbara Alper / Getty Images
Harvey Milk made history as the first openly gay man to be elected for public office in California.
Harvey Milk made history as the first openly gay man to be elected for public office in California.Bettmann Archive / Getty Images
  •  "What I liked about the rainbow is that it fits all of us. It’s all the colors. It represents all the genders. It represents all the races. It’s the rainbow of humanity." — Gilbert Baker
  • "The richness, beauty and depths of love can only be fully experienced in a climate of complete openness, honesty and vulnerability." — Anthony Venn Brown
  •  "It takes no compromise to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression." — Harvey Milk
  • "History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable. It happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities." — Marsha P. Johnson
  • "It’s about finding your values, and committing to them. It’s about finding your North Star. It’s about making choices. Some are easy. Some are hard. And some will make you question everything." — Tim Cook
  • "Married is a magic word. And it is magic throughout the world. It has to do with our dignity as human beings, to be who we are openly." — Edith Windsor
  • "It’s just really important that we start celebrating our differences. Let’s start tolerating first, but then we need to celebrate our differences." — Billie Jean King
  • "Folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, and stayed strong, and came to believe in themselves and who they were, and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love." — Barack Obama
  •  "The love expressed between women is particular and powerful because we have had to love in order to live; love has been our survival." — Audre Lorde, "Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches"
  •  "We’re all different in many ways and alike in many ways and special in some sort of way." — Larry Kramer, "The Normal Heart & The Destiny of Me"
  • “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” — Angela Davis
  •  "Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts." — Barbara Gittings
  • "We struggle and fight for our joy — an unreserved and unapologetic joy that springs from our ability to live as we are. It’s a joy worth fighting for and it’s this joy that links all of our struggles together." — Lady Phyll
  • "We will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets." — Harvey Milk
  • “We are all one — and if we don’t know it, we will learn it the hard way.” — Bayard Rustin
  • "I’m not missing a moment of this — it’s the revolution!" — Sylvia Rivera
  • "When are doing something that is right, you just do it and take care … someone has to do this." — Alice Nkom
  • "Who you are authentically is alright. The shame is what kills you. Believing you are unworthy of love and belonging — that who you are authentically is a sin or is wrong — is deadly. Who you are is beautiful and amazing." — Laverne Cox
  • "Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?" — James Baldwin, "Giovanni's Room"
  • "If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself." — Zanele Muholi
  • "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start." — Jason Collins
  • "A lot of my work is to stay grounded, is to stay spiritual. It is to disconnect from what other people say about me, but also to try and be connected to the joy and the love." — Laverne Cox
  • "I am a firm believer that you don’t achieve greatness on your own. There is always someone there to lend a hand." — Greg Louganis
  • "There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are." — Tammy Baldwin
  • "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why Gay Pride Month is June tell them, 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'" — Brenda Howard
  • "It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world." — Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
  • "It is as if on the morning of June 28, 1969, America symbolically got back the anger she had created by her neglect of her most despised children: the fairies, queens, and nelly boys she had so utterly abandoned, saying she did not want them." — David Carter, "Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution"
  • "Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition." — Barack Obama
  • "We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers." — Bayard Rustin
  • "Fears are not facts." — Chaz Bono, “Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man”
  • "It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple." — Tim Cook
  • "While as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible." — Anderson Cooper
  • "Nature made a mistake which I have corrected, and I am now your daughter." — Christine Jorgensen
  •  "Courage is one thing that no one can ever take away from you." ― Chris Colfer, "The Wishing Spell"
  • "That nothing here is promised, not one day. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. Now fill the world with music, love and pride." — Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “Accept no one’s definition of your life, define yourself.” ― Harvey Fierstein
  • “Family belongs to community, and community takes its cues from family. We need to go back to real community engagement that sees us as people. We need to take back our lives by engaging our families and educating our communities.” — Beverley Ditsie
  • "Remember what things make you special and embrace those because there are so many things that aren’t on the outside that are so important and people find so beautiful." — Miley Cyrus
As a transgender visibility advocate, Laverne Cox is working to make sure the arts reflect reality.
As a transgender visibility advocate, Laverne Cox is working to make sure the arts reflect reality.Randy Shropshire / Getty Images
  • "When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision — then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." — Audre Lorde
  • “I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers — every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.” — Lena Waithe
  • "Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard." — Harvey Milk, "The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words"
  • "No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us." — Marsha P. Johnson
  • "The next generation is so far advanced over us ... I love that a lot of younger people now come out that would never have come out in the old days. Of course, they are born into a community already. They just have to discover it, whereas we were still building it." — Edith Windsor
  • "No one changes the world who isn't obsessed." — Billie Jean King
  • "When you put love out in the world it travels, and it can touch people and reach people in ways that we never even expected." — Laverne Cox
  • "There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a lot wrong with the world you live in." — Chris Colfer
  • "All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about." — Harvey Milk, "The Harvey Milk Interviews: In His Own Words"
  • "Progress is unimaginably difficult, dangerous, always at risk, always made by people with only partial vision." — Larry Kramer, "The Normal Heart and The Destiny of Me: Two Plays"
  • "How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race?" — Marsha P. Johnson
  • "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." — Audre Lorde, "Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches"
  • "For me, the transgender thing is the reality of my life. It’s the reality of my existence and it’s something that I’ve come to believe is beautiful about me." — Laverne Cox
  • "When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important." — Ellen DeGeneres, “Seriously... I’m Kidding”
  • "You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights." — Marsha P. Johnson
  • "I see your true colors shining through / I see your true colors and that’s why I love you / So, don’t be afraid to let them show / Your true colors / True colors are beautiful / Like a rainbow." — Cyndi Lauper, "True Colors"