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.

Alexandra Tydings

Photo by Katherine Kendall

Xena: Warrior Princess was the backdrop for many a young queer girl’s sexual awakening, and actress Alexandra Tydings, who starred as Aphrodite, hasn’t forgotten the powerful role the show played for fans. “With Xena, I have met people who were really touched by the show, and I feel honored to have been part of that.” If only something like that had existed when Tydings was coming out. Instead, she and her friends would go to the video store and rent anything that sounded even remotely queer. “I know Liquid Sky, Another Country, and The Hunger by heart,” says Tydings, who most recently had a role in the horror film What Death Leaves Behind. “I can imagine we would have really loved to be able to watch Xena every week.” Her own coming-out in the late ‘80s was both glorious and tumultuous. Growing up in D.C., she and her friends would go to a gay club every weekend. But when someone spotted her there with her girlfriend, she was outed to her whole school and to her mother. “Mom, however, was very cool,” Tydings remembers. Her message to the LGBTQ community, including those many Xena fans is: “Thank you for being there for me when I needed you. You are fabulous. You inspire me. And if any of you aren’t yet safe or ready to be out loud and proud, know that I love you and I will always have your back.” Perfect words from the woman who portrayed the goddess of Love — and we love you and have your back, too! —SEJ