To celebrate Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras, Mamamia is proud to launch our 50 most kick-arse LGBTQI women list.
We’re here to celebrate the women who inspire us. The women we admire and want to be friends with. The women we want to date. The women who are changing the game.
Mamamia will be counting down until Mardi Gras. If you missed the first group of women, click here. You can read all about our next group of amazing women below:
Being an openly gay player in the AFL Women’s league is no big deal for GWS captain, Emma Swanson, who is one of the many diverse role models the league has produced. Working as her club’s game development officer by day, Swanson also spends her time off the field as an ambassador for LIVIN, an organisation fighting the stigma surrounding mental health and depression.
Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon
Growing up in a radical Methodist family in Tasmania, it took courage for Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon to claim her sexuality; she was one of the first Uniting Church ministers in Australia to do so. Her successful campaign to have homosexual ministers accepted within the Uniting Church changed the way many view the correlation between faith and sexuality. Now retired from the ministry, McRae-McMahon champions the acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQI individuals in faith-based organisations, and is a proud feminist writer and theologian.
An award winning pornstar, sex worker and sex and relationship therapist, Madison Missina is an advocate for safe-sex and HIV awareness. Coming out publicly to Mia Freedman on Mamamia’s No Filter podcast in 2016, Madison is passionate about protecting the rights of sex workers and ensuring the industry is held to a high standard of safety and non-violence. Tackling the hard conversations with sensitivity and compassion, no topic is off limits with Missina.
Listen: On Prude and the Pornstar, Madison Missina discusses whether the number of people you’ve had sex with matters. Post continues...
At the age of 10 years and nine months, Georgie Stone became the youngest person in Australia to be granted permission by the courts to take hormone blockers, which is the first step of transition for transgender children. She told the nation of her struggle with bullying and prejudice growing up as a transgender teen on Australian Story. Stone has since been awarded the GLBTI Person of the Year for her important work lobbying politicians for law reform.
With multiple ARIA awards to her name, Missy Higgins has firmly cemented her place as one of Australia’s favourite singer-songwriters. "I've been in relationships with both men and women so I guess I fall most easily under the category 'bisexual'," Higgins said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. Known for voicing her opinions through song, Higgins' music speaks volumes when it comes to equality and acceptance. Most recently, her heartfelt song “Oh Canada’ highlights the Syrian refugee crisis, with all proceeds going towards the Asylum Seeker Support Centre in Melbourne.
Gaining notoriety presenting Video Hits, TV host, actor, TV producer, music journalist and DJ, Faustina Agolley chose to come out on her 31st birthday with an Instagram post. The post, which featured Agolley with an incredible rainbow birthday cake announced: “As black as my skin, as Chinese as my blood, and Australian and British are my nationalities, I’m also a proud Gay Woman.”
Since taking on the newly conceived role of Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Rowena Allen has worked tirelessly to represent and defend the rights of LGBTQI Victorians within the Government. Reviewing existing legislation as well as partnering with researchers and non-government organisations to address the discrimination against LGBTQI people in the health and education systems, Allen has spearheaded a number of LGBTQI initiatives in an advisory capacity. She was also inducted into the Victorian Government Honour Roll for Women in 2009.
Helen Razer is an Australian journalist whose work appears in The Saturday Paper, Daily Review, SBS Online, Crikey and Frankie. Known for her outspoken nature, Helen has previously written for The Age and The Australian, and worked as radio presenter for the ABC and Triple J. Touching on the overturning of a number of discriminatory laws against the LGBTQI community in a post published by Mamamia, Helen is a supporter of the Gay and Lesbians Rights Lobby and recognises the significant impact their work continues to have on both her own, and the lives of other LGBTQI individuals.
Possibly Australia’s most high profile openly bisexual public figure, Australian singer-songwriter Sia uses her platform to advocate for LGBTQI rights. In 2016, Sia used her ARIA win as an opportunity to stand up for same-sex marriage becoming legalised in Australia, with Stand Up Events CEO, Angie Green accepting the award on her behalf. Sia also recently dedicated her music video for The Greatest to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Karrina Nolan is an Indigenous activist from the Yorta Yorta mob who has dedicated the past 20 years to achieving justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Nolan marries her passion for social change with a wide portfolio of community work. Nolan has championed change in worker’s rights, LGBTQI rights, deforestation campaigns and global justice mobilisation. Her current works sees her as Seed’s strategist and community facilitator.
Executive director at Transgender Victoria, Sally Goldner is one of Australia’s leading activists for rights within the LGBTQI community. Transgender Victoria is a hugely valuable resource for the transgender community as it provides advice pertaining to the medical and emotional process of the gender transition process. Goldner was awarded the GLBTI Person of the Year award in 2015 for dedicating over 18 years of her life to the LGBTI community.
To see Mamamia's complete list, scroll through the gallery below. Stay tuned to learn more about each of these incredible women in our next installments.