Raquel Willis

Raquel Willis Raquel Willis is an activist, writer and media maven focusing on gender, race, LGBTQ issues, social justice and intersectionality.

02/29/2020
Tamron Hall Show

So much love for Tamron Hall for inviting me to be a part of her #TamFam to share how folks can be better about respecting the trans experience and why cis folks need to get over their own gender insecurities so we can build the world that we all deserve.

Society as a whole can support transgender people with the right information… Activist Raquel Willis joined us to share those important details!

02/29/2020
Tamron Hall Show - Respecting Trans Folks

So much love for Tamron Hall for inviting me to be a part of her #TamFam to share how folks can be better about respecting the trans experience and why cis folks need to get over their own gender insecurities so we can build the world that we all deserve.

After a year and some change, I bid adieu to Out Magazine and close a powerful chapter at publication. It’s been a bumpy...
02/20/2020

After a year and some change, I bid adieu to Out Magazine and close a powerful chapter at publication. It’s been a bumpy, exhilarating ride, and I will never forget all of the lessons I’ve learned about leadership, team building, and being scrappy in the face of all odds.

It’s certainly the end of a beautiful and powerful era! Every day we worked on print, we clarified that Queerness isn’t just white, or cis, or wealthy, or gay, or men and masculine, or thin and muscled, able bodies.

We worked to clarify that Queerness is Black, brown, trans, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, fat, disabled, and spiritual or not. It’s married, single, celibate, and sensual. And that we must all fight until none of us are bullied, stigmatized, incarcerated, or detained.

The powerful team that @pfpicard assembled, and I was blessed to help guide — we really thought of ourselves as some sort of Queer Avengers. We came in with big eyes ready to give the girrrls what we’ve been missing. And we delivered time and time again.

I will forever value the voices and insights of our team: @TrevellAnderson, @YashuaSimmons, ‪@rosedommu, @HarronWawker‬, ‪@fransquishco‬, Nic Bloise, Coco Romack, ‪@sean__santiago,‬ ‪@mathewrodriguez, @mzMichGarcia, @JavyRodriguez, @IanMartella, and @mikellestreet. ‬

And the contributors (like @SerenaSomona, @DerrickClifton, @MattBaume) who made it beautiful and possible. You deserve so much, and you were always at the top of our minds throughout this entire era.

I especially thank the people who gave us the privilege to share their stories. I stayed through this last issue largely because I wanted to see Laverne Cox and Chella Man (trans folks of color) get the respect they deserve, and I knew it wouldn’t happen without a steady hand.

‪I wish the best of luck to whoever walks through the door to steer the ship. As a Black trans woman (and the first to be in leadership at Out), I couldn’t accept the editor-in-chief title under circumstances where funding, resources, and support have dwindled so deeply. ‬

It’s such a reminder that systemic issues are always at work, particularly for Black and brown trans people, no matter how much “success” we seemingly accrue. So, it’s especially important for us to always know our worth and live in it.

‪As I said in the editor’s letter for our Culture issue: “‬Queer and trans people are the ultimate tastemakers. This is why our lingo lives on everyone’s lips, our memes are etched in everyone’s mind, and our presence cannot be denied.“

And with that, I’m open to all the new possibilities the world has to offer me. If you are the world, email ya girl: [email protected] or reach me via raquelwillis.com. Much love, always.

For Out Magazine's #Culture issue, the extended story of trans representation in Hollywood and a forecast for the next e...
02/18/2020
It’s Time for a New Tipping Point for Transgender Folks in Hollywood

For Out Magazine's #Culture issue, the extended story of trans representation in Hollywood and a forecast for the next era through the careers of Laverne Cox and Chella Man • • • This is Tre'vell Rhajon Anderson's glorious swan song. bit.ly/LaverneChellaxOut

Laverne Cox is still breaking barriers for visibility in Hollywood. Now, new players, like Chella Man, are helping her carry the torch.

For #ValentinesDay, Out Magazine is giving a preview of the #CultureIssue: a special garden fantasy by master stylist Ya...
02/14/2020
15 Intimate Photos That Show the Romance of Fendi's Latest Collection

For #ValentinesDay, Out Magazine is giving a preview of the #CultureIssue: a special garden fantasy by master stylist Yashua Simmons for Fendi!

📸: Emmanuel S. Gonsalve

In a time when we’re all debating solutions to rising sea levels and shifting air quality, Fendi’s Men’s Spring/Summer 2020 Collection makes its bid for why Mother Nature is the original luxury. Rich with earthy tones and functional, stylish pieces, the Italian fashion house provides a new uni...

Gender nonconforming children deserve to be heard, loved, and supported in their authenticity. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle...
02/11/2020
Dwyane Wade Reveals 12-Year-Old Child Will Now Go By Zaya

Gender nonconforming children deserve to be heard, loved, and supported in their authenticity. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union continue to demonstrate phenomenal parenting with their love for Zaya! Hoping more and more parents have the courage and the power to show up for their young ones like this.

The basketball star gave a master class in being a supportive parent to a queer or trans child in his recent 'Ellen' interview

Glad to be in agreement with Neal Broverman of The Advocate in support of Elizabeth Warren! #LFG 🌟"This country will lon...
01/31/2020
Out, Advocate's Executive Editors Endorse Elizabeth Warren

Glad to be in agreement with Neal Broverman of The Advocate in support of Elizabeth Warren! #LFG 🌟

"This country will long be sullied — maybe permanently — by Trump, but we believe it's Warren who can set us on a path toward healing and, then, progress."

Out's Raquel Willis and The Advocate's Neal Broverman stand united in support of Warren, highlighting the presidential candidate's stances on LGBTQ+ issues.

Earlier this week, I had the honor of sharing the MLK, Jr. Keynote at Oregon State University! I had an amazing time and...
01/24/2020

Earlier this week, I had the honor of sharing the MLK, Jr. Keynote at Oregon State University! I had an amazing time and it was wonderful to learn how committed their university is to elevating the voices of students with marginalized experiences. You could see that commitment in their numerous cultural centers and the partnerships between them.

In my speech, I discussed how MLK, Jr’s deeper, more radical vision in his last years have been sanitized, diluted, or erased altogether. He was especially interested in calling out what he considered the three evils of America — poverty with in this capitalist system, militarism, and racism. We must remember those pieces of his legacy as we trod along in this election season.

“In this current Era of Reckoning, we are called to examine how we missed the mark before. How we supplanted the screams for a deeper politick focused on the marginalized with a delusion of progress. Let us remember that accountability is key with any leader in the election year of 2020 and that a person with a sliver of marginalization (be they a person of color, some one who is gay or a woman), is still capable of harm, especially if they take up the banner of the empire. I hope we have learned that Obamaism was not the ultimate of progression, and I hope will will anticipate that Trumpism is not the ultimate of regression.” - excerpt

Photos by Julian McFadden (juliankdesigns.com)

Our team overcame so many odds in 2019 to bring the best stories to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an honor to see the mag a...
01/08/2020
The 2020 GLAAD Media Award Nominations Are Here

Our team overcame so many odds in 2019 to bring the best stories to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an honor to see the mag and the #TransObituariesProject nominated! Thanks,
GLAAD!

And Out is on the list!

My dear friend and a beloved Black trans movement organizer needs some support as she moves into a new stage of her life...
12/08/2019
Pay Toni-Michelle Williams using PayPal.Me

My dear friend and a beloved Black trans movement organizer needs some support as she moves into a new stage of her life. Please support if you can.

Go to paypal.me/tonimichellewilliams and type in the amount. Since it’s PayPal, it's easy and secure. Don’t have a PayPal account? No worries.

Our #Out100 entertainers list is out today and I’m so excited to see so many people I’ve loved and adored for years get ...
11/21/2019
Here Are Your Out100 Entertainers of the Year

Our #Out100 entertainers list is out today and I’m so excited to see so many people I’ve loved and adored for years get their shine! 💫

When Gil Scott-Heron first said, “The revolution will not be televised” on his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, he wasn’t talking about the representation LGBTQ+ people on the small screen. But almost 50 years later, it’d be foolish to assert that television hasn’t played its part...

Black trans women have all of the solutions to end the epidemic of violence, but unless our leadership is trusted, respe...
11/20/2019
Black Trans Women Are Solving The Epidemic Of Violence, Support Us

Black trans women have all of the solutions to end the epidemic of violence, but unless our leadership is trusted, respected, and elevated things will never change. Glad to share about the powerful work my sisters and I are moving with #BlackTransCircles. #TDOR

On this TDOR, as we honor the 20+ trans women of color, mostly Black trans women, who have been taken far too soon, let’s elevate and support the work of the women who are still here.

Grateful for Layleen Cubilette-Polanco’s family for allowing us to honor her.
11/20/2019

Grateful for Layleen Cubilette-Polanco’s family for allowing us to honor her.

This year’s final  #Out100 cover story honors Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, who died in Rikers custody during Pride Month, ...
11/20/2019
Introducing the Out100 Trans Obituaries Project

This year’s final #Out100 cover story honors Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, who died in Rikers custody during Pride Month, I spoke with family and those closest to the case about her life and legacy. This is part one of the #TransObituariesProject. #TransgenderDayOfRembrance. https://www.out.com/print/2019/11/20/trans-obituaries-project

A special portion of this year's Out100 details the remarkable story of Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, 20+ lives lost in 2019, and how we can end the epidemic of violence.

Ahead of #TransgenderDayofRemembrance, I'm excited to share a glimpse of #BlackTransCircles, a project I founded at Tran...
11/19/2019
TLC’s Black Trans Circles Calls for Centering Black Trans Women’s Leadership | Transgender Law Center

Ahead of #TransgenderDayofRemembrance, I'm excited to share a glimpse of #BlackTransCircles, a project I founded at Transgender Law Center focused on healing justice and leadership development of Black trans women in areas of high rates of violence.

More to come tomorrow, but as we gear up for year three, I'm so thankful to our expanded leadership team — Micky UltraOmni, Mariah Moore, and Kayla Gore. And to our two cohorts of Black trans women in New Orleans for trusting our pilot convenings!

TLC’s Black Trans Circles Calls for Centering Black Trans Women’s Leadership by Anna Castro | Nov 19, 2019 | Featured, Press Releases | 0 comments Facebook Twitter Gmail Ahead of Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20th, leaders of Transgender Law Center’s Black Trans Circles program urge all...

As the first actual LGBTQ+ rapper to be featured on Out Magazine’s cover, Young M.A is making HERstory. “Ain’t that ‘bou...
11/19/2019
Out100 Rapper of the Year: Young M.A Is ‘Herstory in the Making’

As the first actual LGBTQ+ rapper to be featured on Out Magazine’s cover, Young M.A is making HERstory. “Ain’t that ‘bout a bitch?” In this cover story, we learn about her ascent, her motivation, and her thoughts on her place in hip-hop. Tre’vell Anderson explores her journey like no one else could! #Out100 📸: Quil Lemons http://out.com/print/2019/11/19/out100-young-ma-herstory-acting-porn

The musician discusses her debut album, directing porn, acting, and her community foundation.

We’re back again! The 2019 #Out100 Journalist of the Year is Ronan Farrow. Not only did he recently release a powerful v...
11/19/2019
How Ronan Farrow Became the Most Feared Journalist in the World

We’re back again! The 2019 #Out100 Journalist of the Year is Ronan Farrow. Not only did he recently release a powerful volume, Catch and Kill, but his work has helped bring justice to many survivors of sexual assault.

Think Weinstein, Moonves, Lauer, and more. His investigative reporting has brought to light just how extensive predatory behavior is in the world of entertainment. In this cover story, he chats with his friend and #MeToo movement founder, Tarana Burke, about his process and experience. https://www.out.com/print/2019/11/19/ronan-farrow-me-too-tarana-burke

The Out100 Journalist of the Year talks to the founder of #MeToo, Tarana Burke, about his new book, engagement, and the very real dangers of telling the

For the #Out100, it’s only fitting that our Showman of the Year is the incomparable Jeremy O. Harris. There’s no debate ...
11/18/2019
How Out100 Cover Star Jeremy O. Harris Made Broadway's Blackest Night

For the #Out100, it’s only fitting that our Showman of the Year is the incomparable Jeremy O. Harris. There’s no debate that with Slave Play, he changed Broadway forever. — Out Magazine

The playwright and his audience completely re-imagined the "Great White Way."

This week, our Out Magazine crew is dropping our annual #Out100 extravaganza. The first two covers come today, starting ...
11/18/2019
The Out100 Evolution of the Year: Mx. Sam Smith

This week, our Out Magazine crew is dropping our annual #Out100 extravaganza. The first two covers come today, starting with our Evolution of the Year: Mx. SAM SMITH.

Our cover star opens up about anti-queer violence, mental health, and their new music in a revealing interview with ALOK.

And it begins!
11/18/2019
Welcome to the 2019 Out100

And it begins!

This year's list honors the queer and trans people who are changing the game—and those we've lost.

BREAKING: On the first day of #LGBTQHistoryMonth, 85+ transgender and nonbinary community and nonprofit leaders have dra...
10/01/2019
An Open Letter to HRC From Trans Community Leaders

BREAKING: On the first day of #LGBTQHistoryMonth, 85+ transgender and nonbinary community and nonprofit leaders have drafted an open letter to HRC.

"We need to be trusted to lead with our own solutions to the oppression that threatens our lives. We do not need a cisgender-led $40 million organization to copy our work and brand it as new."

'If HRC is truly committed to trans liberation, it must start with repairing, healing, and listening.'

Ahead of the #March4TransEquality, I spoke with new @HRC president @AlphonsoDavid on the organization’s history with the...
09/27/2019
HRC President to Unveil New Framework Centering Transgender Community

Ahead of the #March4TransEquality, I spoke with new @HRC president @AlphonsoDavid on the organization’s history with the trans community and its new work to center trans justice.

In an 'Out' exclusive, the organization's new president also sounds off on Trump's impeachment.

Bermuda is a small, but mighty nation. It was powerful to witness the first-ever Pride there several weeks ago and speak...
09/25/2019
Meet the Faces of Bermuda's First-Ever Pride

Bermuda is a small, but mighty nation. It was powerful to witness the first-ever Pride there several weeks ago and speak with some of the people who made the beauty of that weekend possible!

Thanks to Bermuda Pride Organizers and Bermuda Tourism!

After years of wavering progress, the tropical nation’s LGBTQ+ community is finding its power.

What binds many Sanders supporters and Trump supporters? A hatred of Black women. Add being trans to the mix and the hat...
09/22/2019
Angelica Ross Leaves Twitter After Abuse by Trump, Sanders Supporters

What binds many Sanders supporters and Trump supporters? A hatred of Black women. Add being trans to the mix and the hate quadruples. It’s been this way on Twitter for years.

Sending gratitude to the good sis Angelica Ross. You deserve your space. Gratitude to our Serena Sonoma for this report too.

The 'Pose' star has been harassed by MAGA trolls and Bernie Sanders supporters following the LGBTQ Forum.

Since Janet Mock first shared her story with the world, her glow-up has been unstoppable. I’m proud to chronicle the lat...
09/16/2019
Our Fashion Cover Star: The Unstoppable Glow Up of Janet Mock

Since Janet Mock first shared her story with the world, her glow-up has been unstoppable. I’m proud to chronicle the latest chapter in her life, love, and career for the first of Out Magazine’s fall Fashion cover stories. bit.ly/MockxOut

👗: @yashuasimmons
📸: Lia Clay

The 'Pose' writer and director dishes on her new love, life, and Netflix deal.

All honor to Marsha P. Johnson! ✊🏽 No better way to spend the Queen’s birthday weekend than with Black trans sisters and...
08/24/2019

All honor to Marsha P. Johnson! ✊🏽 No better way to spend the Queen’s birthday weekend than with Black trans sisters and siblings committed to healing, power building, and fighting for what we deserve.

#MarshasDaughters #MarshasChildren #BlackTransCircles
#BTCNOLA

Wow. #RestInPower Mama. Ms. Miriam had quite the life.
08/12/2019
Miriam Rivera, the World's First Trans Reality Star, Has Died

Wow. #RestInPower Mama. Ms. Miriam had quite the life.

The Mexican model and reality television personality is perhaps best known for appearing on 2003's "There's Something About Miriam" and the fourth season of "Big Brother Australia."

‪We’re working on this year’s #Out100 list. Who do you want see elevated in Out Magazine?‬‪Comment below! ‬
08/10/2019

‪We’re working on this year’s #Out100 list. Who do you want see elevated in Out Magazine?‬

‪Comment below! ‬

What a joy it was to interview Janelle Monáe at her “A Beautiful Future” Belvedere Vodka bottle launch. Check out her wo...
07/10/2019
Janelle Monáe Speaks on the Stonewall Riots and Chosen Family

What a joy it was to interview Janelle Monáe at her “A Beautiful Future” Belvedere Vodka bottle launch. Check out her words on #Stonewall50 and her Wondaland chosen family!

“I feel like our community is becoming stronger and stronger.”

Candy’s story is one of the most powerful in the history of TV. I’m grateful to have interviewed Angelica Ross about her...
07/10/2019
Angelica Ross Opens Up About That Explosive Episode of 'Pose'

Candy’s story is one of the most powerful in the history of TV. I’m grateful to have interviewed Angelica Ross about her process in bringing these important narratives about Black trans women to the small screen for Pose FX.

The actress shares why Candy’s story is far too common for Black transgender women.

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I truly adore you. You were amazing yesterday. I follow you and it was great to hear you speak.
Hello! How are you? I'm Bernard Washington, editor of Elements Magazine (based on facebook0. What kind of advice and recommendations can you give to a new and growing outlet like mine. The mag features poetry, short stories and new reports. I would love for you to submit too. Also I write for a publication called New Arthors Journal They are looking for writers etc and works of artist Contact [email protected]. Thanks in advance for your time help. Please have a wonderful day. With love🥰🥰
Last evening, while browsing Facebook, your mother's lovely picture popped up as a friend suggestion. I haven't seen her, or any of your family, in several years. I had heard some about your journey and decided to browse deeper to see what's going on with you, these days. Wow ... how life has unfolded for this child I used to see across from the organ console at St. Joseph Catholic Church. You, just like your mother and sister, are a beautiful young woman. Congratulations on all you have achieved. You are setting an example and are doing great work that will continue to improve life for all of us and our future generations. One funny thought came to mind as I looked at your photos ... I hope you have a side job in the modeling industry because your wardrobe must cost a fortune :-) But moreover, I want to congratulate you on that fabulous piece you wrote December 1, 2018 about your mother. Marilyn is a phenomenal woman with a brilliant mind and a most loving heart. I know she was the source of security that got you through difficult times. I always enjoyed the friendship I had with her and your father when I was at St. Joseph. Again, congratulations on how you have explored your life's journey. Keep moving forward!
You’re trash and a disgrace
You are correct. Kanye West is a grown ass man who is entitled to his own grown ass opinions. Who are you to call him out. You are nobody!
I loved your speech at sfs trans pride! I was too nervous to say hello, but thank you for all that you do.