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.

Lori Lightfoot

Photo by Lori Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot, left, pictured here with spouse Amy Eshleman, wants to be the next mayor of Chicago, and she’s certainly qualified for the role. Her resume is rock-solid, boasting time spent as: Senior Partner at the law office of Mayer Brown; Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force; President of the Chicago Police Board; and Assistant U.S. Attorney. The out and proud candidate, who calls the northwest side of Chicago home with wife Amy and their 10-year-old daughter, comes to the race having lived in Chicago for over 30 years. “When I came to Chicago, there was a thriving gay community within law school. At the same time, I was tired of pretending to be someone I wasn’t. But still it took me time to fully embrace who I was,” she says. “I was terrified that my parents would reject me and that I would live my life alone. But I reached a tipping point and it became more important for me to live a true and authentic life, and so I took the leap. To my surprise and great joy, my conservative, church-going parents accepted and loved me for who I was, and I have never looked back since.” Lightfoot wants to nurture that same sense of happiness, security, and freedom in others — and she’s passionate about seeing her city do better to support its various marginalized communities. She wants to make Chicago safer, improve its education, tackle the tragic issue of queer youth homelessness, and make the golden years sweeter for LGBTQ seniors. “I get totally energized by hearing people’s stories. The lived experience of others is so very important and, I believe, must be at the heart of the creation of public policy.” —GH

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