100 Women We Love: Class Of 2018

Each one of these women, in her own unique way, is a role model who exemplifies the best of the LGBTQ community.

Cameron Esposito

Photo by Robyn Von Swank

From stage to streaming, stand-up comic Cameron Esposito has been delighting national audiences who are ravenous for her blatantly queer flavor of comedy. It’s not just lesbian issues she focuses on — though her relationship with fellow comic Rhea Butcher is often a part of the act, whether on tour together or on their sitcom, Take My Wife. The stand-up headliner, actor, showrunner, and book author has always mined her personal life to get at larger topics in society. Now, Esposito is adding her voice to the #MeToo movement with her latest set, Rape Jokes, in which she talks about something else that’s deeply personal: her own sexual assault in college. That’s territory on which few other comics have been willing to tread. The Daily Beast calls it “the first great stand-up set of the #MeToo era.” That it’s as rip-roaringly funny as it is important is Esposito’s great achievement as an artist. She views comedy as a pulpit from which she can contribute to social change. “I am lucky enough to have found a field I love that also intersects with social activism,” Esposito says. “That’s really the most rewarding aspect — that the avenue to share my experiences as a queer person and push for change [is] by making people laugh.” —SEJ