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.

Laura Wise

Photo by Samantha Snitzer

A few years ago, Laura Wise was sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table with her “very liberal” family, discussing feminism. “And nearly everyone agreed there was ‘no need for it,’— it was ‘outdated’ and women could work now,” Wise recalls. “I was like, wait, so that’s it? It ends there? I don’t ever want to sound like that to the next generation.” Wise is doing her part to keep equality moving forward. She is the founding producer of Mothership, a four-year-running women’s festival that launched in Los Angeles, grew into a camping weekend in the desert, and returns to LA this September as part of the first-ever Los Angeles Women’s Week. Yoga, DJs, workshops, tarot readings, all-girl musical acts, and even an appearance by Tegan and Sara were some of the highlights of past events, which each benefited a non-profit. Wise has chosen to only feature women and non-binary people on her stage. She cut her teeth in activism and community organizing — rallying against Proposition 8 for a marriage equality organization, serving on the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the city of West Hollywood, and planning events for AIDS/LifeCycle. By creating Mothership, she has been able to focus on bringing together the “cutting edge, artsy, radical world online” with “what was happening IRL.” She will keep moving things forward. “I think we as lesbians and LGBT individuals need to remember to not become stagnant,” Wise says. “Even if it feels like we’ve come a really, really long way. Support the next generation in doing their thing. New ideas invigorate the cause.” —SEJ

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