Vogue UK is celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community with its special August issue of the magazine, which marks 50 years of London Pride.
British Vogue’s Editor in Chief Edward Enninful assembled and styled a cast of gay women and men, trans, nonbinary and queer people from Vogue’s world for the issue.
Among them are model Cara Delevingne, and actors Ariana DeBose, and Cynthia Erivo. According to Edwards Enninful, the 12 cover stars are ‘united in a mission to shape the future together’.
As the issue launches, Edward Enninful lamented reports of rising homophobic attacks and transphobic sentiments.
He said: ‘There is a dispiriting irony that in this year of celebration there is an apparent uptick in transphobia in this country; that reports of homophobic attacks are on the rise; that many gender-nonconforming and queer people, who are just trying to get on with their lives, remain the object of ridicule, minimalism and rancour.
Model Cara Delavigne is one of 12 LGBTQIA+ stars appearing on the August cover of British Vogue
Actor Cynthia Erivo is also among the issue’s stars, with British Vogue’s Editor in Chief Edward Enninful saying the group is ‘united in a mission to shape the future together’.
‘So let me be clear: at Vogue we want to celebrate this community, to thank them and listen to them.’
The issue’s stars have also spoken out, with Cara Delevingne saying: ‘Trans rights, women’s rights, they’re all human rights. This isn’t about, “oh, it’s not my job because I’m not part of the community”. It’s all of our jobs to stand up for each other.’
Ariana DeBose added: ‘I’m very aware of the importance of allyship right now. I don’t believe this is a fight we can win on our own.
‘Historically, any time we’ve made gains as a community is because we’ve had the support of others. And this is the time, because if they’re going to come after my rights, one way or another they’re coming for yours too.’
Also appearing are Jordan Barrett, Munroe Bergdorf, Sheerah Ravindren, Cameron Lee Phan, Aweng Chuol, Nathan Westling, Valentina Sampaio, Gottmik, and Kai-Isaiah Jamal.
Munroe Bergdorf, a model and activist, said: ‘I feel very hopeless about the structure of government and how easily people can get into power.
‘I’ve got hope things can change. I do think that as awful as things are now politically, the consciousness of the country is heading in the right way.’
The cover features (from left to right): Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Ariana DeBose, Jordan Barrett, Munroe Bergdorf, Sheerah Ravindren, Cameron Lee Phan, Aweng Chuol, Nathan Westling, Valentina Sampaio, Gottmik, Kai-Isaiah Jamal
Meanwhile Paris Lees admitted she doesn’t even know if she wants to stay in the UK, given the current backlash against trans people.
Spoken-word poet, model and trans visibility activist Kai-Isaiah agreed, saying: ‘This is kind of where I’m at, especially as a transgender-fluid person and being in a place of not wanting to adhere or conform, but also wanting to survive.’
For the multi-award-winning actor, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo, it took a long time to share that she is bisexual.
She added that many LGBTQ+ people ‘still feel the need to be constantly justifying why we deserve to be treated as equal beings, when really the only difference is that we love differently and we express ourselves differently’.
‘Rather than being chastised for that, we should be commended for being brave. That’s the most important thing: giving people the space to show up fully as who they are.’
See the full feature in the August issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 19th July.