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.

Lauren Ashlee Comp

Photo by Marin Yoshino

In the game of love, Lauren Ashlee Comp is making sure queer people feel welcome to play. A video game developer, Comp is a junior producer for Lovestruck, an interactive romance novel where the player is at the center of the love story. Comp has led the charge in creating diverse content at Voltage Entertainment USA, the producer of Lovestruck. She has overseen the release of 15 exclusively queer “routes,” or character paths, in settings that range from Greek mythology in modern Astoria; a pleasure cruise gone dangerous; missions in outer space; to the intrigue of the White House. Her hope is that LGBTQ and non-binary players have a chance to see themselves represented — maybe for the first time — and picture themselves as the star of both a game and a love story, showing players that “you can and you will find love, success, and happiness.” It’s something she wished for from a young age. “I’ve loved video games since childhood,” she says, “but always wanted to see me and my diverse group of friends on the screen. As I got older and learned that I would have to be the change I wanted to see, I pursued it intensely.” Comp’s achievements wouldn’t have been possible without opening up at work about her own experience as a queer woman. “Had I not come out at work, none of the 15 exclusively queer routes would have ever been produced or seen the light of day,” Comp says. “I’m proud of that every day.” —SEJ