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.

Toshi Reagon

Toshi ReagonPhoto by Kevin Yatarola

Standout singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and self-described “cultural instigator” Toshi Reagon serves up soulful rock, R&B, country, folk, funk, and blues for queer and mainstream audiences around the country. She has been in the music game for almost 30 years now and has enjoyed a number of career highlights — from starting her own well-known band, BIGLovely, in 1996, to opening for Lenny Kravitz to creating Word*Rock* & Sword, a musical festival that’s all about honoring women. She is especially excited about an opera she and her mother (Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, of Sweet Honey in the Rock fame) have created, Parable of the Sower, based on the Octavia E. Butler novel. “This story reminds me of truths my own people have passed down to me through their love, stories, songs, and frontline vision,” she says. For those feeling down about the state of the world, Reagon offers these words to inspire you to do something: “To persist in these times, it will take each of us being active from our strength and widening our circles to include people and issues we maybe didn’t know belonged to us. … All over the world, LGBTQI rights are challenged. The world is in a state of war. Being a musician who is blessed to travel and be in collaboration with so many great people teaches me that simple truth over and over again. We are more the same than different and our differences expand us all.” —GH