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.

Kate Kendell

Photo by Trish Tunney

When President Trump ordered a ban on transgender people serving in the military last year, Kate Kendell was there. When marriage equality went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, Kendell was there. When California voters were faced with a proposition to ban same-sex marriage in 2008, Kendell was there, too. As the head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kendell has fought courtroom battles on behalf of the LGBTQ community for more than two decades. Under her leadership, the organization’s budget grew tenfold, increased staffing to 25, and expanded to two offices on both coasts. And her work is far from complete. “I know this is a moment of real peril for so much of what we value as a nation and what we have accomplished as an LGBTQ community,” Kendell says. “But embedded in this moment are the seeds for real change. From young people fighting for sane gun laws, to leaders in communities of color rising up and pushing back against racism and white supremacy, to women stepping into their power and telling the truth about sexism, abuse, and misogyny, it is clear that revolution is coming. Because LGBTQ people are everywhere, all of these fights are our fights, this revolution is our revolution. We can’t do everything about everything, but we can do something about something. Do that every day, every week, and we will have that revolution and take our country back.” Even though she stepped down from her position at the NCLR in March after 22 incredible years, whatever challenges face us ahead, Kendell will be there. —SEJ

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