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In honor of National New Jersey Day, here are 9 LGBTI people from the Garden State

Written by gaytourism

The Newark, New Jersey skyline

27 July marked National New Jersey Day. The holiday celebrates New Jersey becoming the third state to enter the Union in the late 1700s.

Many on Twitter were taking the opportunity to post their favorite things about the Garden State, from the Jersey Shore to the numerous diners to the beautiful view of the NYC skyline.

Here, GSN honors these 9 notable LGBTI people from the state.

Jonathan Adler

The potter, designer, and author was born in New Jersey in 1966. Adler first discovered his love of pottery while at summer camp at age 12. In 1998, Adler opened his first design shop in SoHo, New York City. Today, his designs are sold in 30 stores and by 1,000 retailers.

Adler married his long-time partner Simon Doonan in 2008. The couple have both made videos for the It Gets Better project.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera is a model, burlesque dancer, and actress best known for appearing on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She has since come out as transgender and strongly advocates for LGBTI rights, especially for trans women.

Carrera was born in Elmwood Park, New Jersey in 1985.

Ezra Miller

Ezra Miller is an out actor and star of Fantastic Beasts

Actor and singer Ezra Miller was born in 1992 and raised in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Miller has described himself as queer.

At San Diego Comic Con 2018, Miller went viral for attending the event as a sexy Toadette.

Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore | Photo: Josef Jasso courtesy of Amanda Lepore

Amanda Lepore, the iconic transsexual model and actress, was born in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1967. Lepore first made herself known as a Club Kid in the 1990s. She has served as a muse for many photographers, including David LaChapelle, Terry Richardson, and Ruben van Schalm.

Earlier this year, Lepore responded to RuPaul’s controversial comments about allowing transgender contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Lepore believes there should be a drag competition show that allows women—both trans and cis—to compete.

Marsha P. Johnson

Marsha P Johnson

The legendary LGBTI activist, credited with starting the Stonewall Riot, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1945.

A documentary about Johnson’s life was released on Netflix last year. However, the film’s director was accused of plagiarizing the work of a black trans activist in the making of the movie.




Singer-songwriter Halsey was born in Edison, New Jersey in 1994. Halsey has been involved in many areas of social activism, including suicide prevention and sexual assault advocacy.

Halsey identifies as bisexual. Last year, she performed in Russia and was worried she’d be arrested for singing a song with themes of gay sex.

MJ Rodriguez

Transgender actress MJ Rodriguez was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1991. She is best known for her role as Blanca Evangelista on the hit TV show, Pose. The groundbreaking series about the ballroom scene of the late 1980s was recently renewed for a second season.

Rodriguez still lives in New Jersey. Unfortunately, she still experiences harassment for being transgender and has even livestreamed her reactions after being verbally abused.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

Actor Kevin Spacey, best known for his lead role in House of Cards, was born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1959.

Spacey was accused by actor Anthony Rapp of sexually abusing him when he was only 14 years old. After these allegations surfaced last year, Spacey officially came out as gay. Since these allegations, multiple other men have accused Spacey of sexual misconduct over the years.

Venus Xtravaganza

The late transgender performer, best known for appearing in the documentary Paris is Burning, was born in Jersey City in 1965. Venus left Jersey around age 14 and came to New York City. She began participating in the ballroom scene in the early 1980s, after being adopted into the House of Xtravaganza.

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