Commemorating Pride Month, the Marquis Who’s Who Maker’s List Honors LGBTQIA Champions of Progress

The Maker’s List also highlights 50 individuals under the age of 50 within the STEM disciplines

UNIONDALE, NY, June 20, 2022, Marquis Who’s Who (MWW), the world’s leading biographical publisher, is proud to announce the individuals selected for the second quarter 2022 Maker’s List, celebrating LGBTQIA Champions of Progress. The Maker’s Lists are curated by a selection committee and compiled by MWW Maker’s List administrator Lisa Diamond with an aim to recognize both established and emerging leaders in their respective fields.

“Since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, which was a catalyst of change for gay rights, the movement toward LGBTQIA equality has become more prominent than ever before,” said Lisa Diamond, administrator of the Maker’s List. “As a queer person, the increasing recognition of LGBTQIA identities has provided hope for not only myself, but for generations of young adolescents whose health and safety may be at risk due solely to their gender or orientation.” Diamond continued, “Acceptance is integral to the well-being of LGBTQIA individuals worldwide, and the progression toward inclusivity should be at the forefront of social rights.”

The LGBTQIA Champions of Progress list includes:

  • Andrea Jenkins: Jenkins is regarded as the first Black openly transgender woman who was elected to public office in the U.S., having served on the Minneapolis City Council since 2018 and as the council’s president since 2022. First presenting as male from a young age, she began openly presenting as a woman at age 30 and, subsequently, worked with the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, where she has curated the Transgender Oral History Project. Jenkins is also openly bisexual and queer, has participated in the Trans Lives Matter movement, and was honored by Queerty among the 50 heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance and dignity” in June 2020.
  • Bowen Yang: Yang is a comedian, podcaster and writer who served on the writing staff of “Saturday Night Live” in 2018. Promoted to an on-air cast member for the show’s 45th season, he became the first Chinese American and third openly gay male cast member, having then been promoted to SNL’s main case before its 47th Yang recently starred in the LGBTQIA romantic comedy “Fire Island” in 2022. Since coming out as gay, Yang has incorporated his orientation into his comedy routines. Committed to raising awareness of Asian LGBTQIA representation in the media, he was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Hollywood & Entertainment and Out 100’s Entertainer of the Year in 2019, as well as TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2021.
  • Lenny Emson: Emson is a Ukrainian LGBTQIA human rights activist with over two decades of experience in activism and advocacy for LGBTQIA freedom. A bi-gender individual, Emson has served as the executive director of KyivPride, the largest pride nonprofit in Ukraine that fundraises to support the LGBTQIA community during the Russian invasion, since 2021. Emson has also been co-chair of LIGA, one of the oldest Ukrainian LGBTQIA organizations, since 2015 and has since represented the international ILGA World Steering Committee on transgender issues. To date, Emson has maintained a reputation as a staunch activist, employee and founding member of several LGBTQIA festivals and events across Ukraine and abroad.
  • Tony Briffa: Briffa is regarded as the first known intersex mayor and public officeholder in the world. Diagnosed with partial androgen insensitivity syndrome at a young age, Briffa was raised as a girl and underwent a gonadectomy at age 7 to impose that assigned sex. Briffa went on to live as a man beginning at the age of 30, all while accepting and advocating for awareness of intersex individuals. Likewise, Briffa is among the very first individuals to publicize the chosen blank, indeterminate birth certificate. Currently, Briffa is co-executive director of Intersex Human Rights Australia and vice president of Intersex Peer Support Australia. Briffa has said, “I am not male or female, but both. […] I am still ‘Antoinette’ and have now also incorporated and accepted my male ‘Anthony’ or ‘Tony’ side. I feel whole.”

The full LGBTQIA Champions of Progress list is below:

  • Alexya Salvador
  • Andrea Jenkins
  • Ariana DeBose
  • Barbara Gittings
  • Billie Jean King
  • Bowen Yang
  • Brianna Titone
  • Cecelia Chung
  • Chad Hunter Griffin
  • David Jay
  • Dustin Lance Black
  • Edith Windsor
  • Elliot Page
  • Elton John
  • Ernestine Eckstein
  • George Takei
  • Gert Kasteel & Dolf Pasker
  • Harvey Milk
  • James Arthur Baldwin
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Jayne County
  • Joe English
  • Joel Kim Booster
  • John E. Fryer, MD
  • Karine Jean-Pierre
  • Larry Kramer
  • Laverne Cox
  • Lee Phillips
  • Lenny Emson
  • Marsha P. Johnson
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Michele Rayner-Goolsby
  • Nadine Smith
  • Philip Wilson
  • Couri Hay
  • Rachel Levine
  • Robert and David Baker-Hargrove
  • Robin Roberts
  • Sam Brinton
  • Sameer Jha
  • Sara Sperling
  • Sarah Kate Ellis
  • Sarah McBride
  • Shannon Minter
  • Sharice Davids
  • Tammy Baldwin
  • Tim Cook
  • Tony Briffa
  • Tuisina Ymania Brown
  • Urooj Arshad

Marquis Who’s Who has also announced the release of its supplemental Maker’s List: STEM 50 Under 50. The list recognizes innovative pioneers under the age of 50 in science, technology, engineering and medicine.

The STEM 50 Under 50 list includes:

  • Amir H. Gandomi: Gandomi, age 40, serves as a professor of data science at the University of Technology Sydney, ranking among the world’s most-cited researchers for his work in relation to global optimization and big data analytics, machine learning and evolutionary computations. Since the inception of his career, he has published over 300 journal papers and nine books, which collectively have more than 28,000 citations. Gandomi was recognized as among the world’s most influential scientific minds and highly cited researchers for five consecutive years, having served as an associate editor, editor and guest editor for such journals affiliated with the IEEE. He delivers keynote addresses at conferences regularly.


  • Avi Schiffman and Marco Burstein: Schiffman, age 19, and Burstein, age 18, are the developers of Ukraine Take Shelter, a website launched in March 2022 that Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion could utilize to find hosts with spare bedrooms, unused resort condominiums, apartments and school dormitories. Within its first week of launch, Ukraine Take Shelter received over 4,000 potential host offerings and has since become a reliable, secure platform for Ukrainian refugees to find safe lodgings. Two years earlier, Schiffman was bestowed with the 2020 Webby Person of the Year Award for his development of a global COVID-19 tracking website.
  • Gitanjali Rao: Rao, age 16, is an inventor, author, scientist, engineer and promoter of STEM disciplines. Named TIME’s 2020 Kid of the Year, a recognition that honors emerging leaders in young generations, Rao was selected from over 5,000 Americans between the ages of 8 and 16 and was the first to earn TIME’s title. As a young scientist, she has invented mechanisms that address such issues as contaminated drinking water, cyberbullying and opioid addiction. She developed Tethys, a mobile device that individuals can use to detect lead in drinking water, having been inspired to activism by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Tethys is presently being developed into an active prototype that has potential for placement on the market.


  • Pooja Chandrashekar: Chandrashekar, age 23, is the founder of ProjectCSGIRLS, an international nonprofit that encourages middle school girls to pursue STEM and close the gender gap in technology and computer sciences. To date, ProjectCSGIRLS has reached over 15,000 girls across 12 countries. Chandrashekar is presently an MD/MBA student at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, where her research focuses on improving health care delivery for underprivileged communities. She established a health literacy project to translate COVID-19 information into over 40 languages for non-English speaking patients. Chandrashekar was listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Healthcare in 2021.

The full STEM 50 Under 50 list is below:

  • Afton Vechery
  • Aisha Bowe
  • Alex Abramson
  • Alex Rigaud
  • Alison B. Miller 
  • Amanda Chen
  • Amin Aalipour
  • Amir H. Gandomi
  • Andrea Loubier
  • Anorah John
  • Austin Russell
  • Avi Schiffman & Marco Burstein
  • Christiana Lewis Halpern
  • Dawn Barry
  • Demi Sargent, PhD
  • Ebony O. McGee
  • Elena Kvochko
  • Gary Wang
  • Gillermo Diaz Jr.
  • Gitanjali Rao
  • Gladys Ngetich
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Hamilton Bennett
  • Jaye Watts
  • Jean-Baptiste Kempf
  • Jedidah Isler
  • Joe Wisk
  • Johanna Varner, PhD
  • Joy Buolamwini
  • Kavita Ramanan
  • Keller Rinaudo
  • Kizzmekia Corbett
  • Lakiesha N. Williams
  • Maddie Hall
  • Marissa A. Mayer
  • Maryna Viazovska
  • Mayim Chaya Bialik
  • Mike Varshavski
  • Moogega Cooper, PhD
  • Morgan DeBaun
  • Nora Shawki
  • Pooja Chandrashekar
  • Raven Baxter
  • Samantha John
  • Sarah Park
  • Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA
  • Sophie Morel
  • Stacy Brown-Philpot
  • Stephanie Isaac Blain
  • Yomaris Pena, MD


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