"I dreamed about being happy, and I dreamed about being successful," says Badian (left), MasterCard V.P. of digital marketing and social media. "But most of all I dreamed about being accepted by my friends, by my family, and in the workplace." Badian has been at the forefront of making Mastercard LGBT-inclusive: "The greater the acceptance the greater the diversity, the greater the innovation, the greater the growth."
Harper Jean Tobin Policy Maker
In her four years as the director of policy at the National Center for Transgender Equality, Tobin (center) has fought to improve the quality of life of transgender people, from expanding health care and revising passport policies to protecting transgender prisoners. Youth, she says, continue to be a primary concern. "These are not only some of our most vulnerable youth, but they are, in many ways, the future."
Diego Sanchez Policy Maker
Sanchez (top right) made history when he was appointed senior policy advisor to former Rep. Barney Frank -- the first openly trans legislative member on Capitol Hill. The Augusta, Ga., native has since become the national policy director of PFLAG. "Today we have gay, lesbian, bisexual, and even transgender children who can dream beyond their fifth or 10th birthdays," he says. "Our stories are reaching more people than ever."
Photographed at Fast Ashley's Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., on October 2, 2013