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.

DJ Tikka Masala

Photo by Courtesy of Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala’s DJ career has taken her everywhere from Henrietta Hudson, where she has a regular Thursday night party (Homotown), to a Lambda Literary Awards after-party where Chelsea Manning was present, to the White House (under Obama, not Trump) for a Diwali celebration. She’s also been composing music for LAVA, the Obie- and Bessie-winning feminist acrobatic dance company, since 2011. Masala, a Gemini who was born in Kolkata, India, has also been named “one of the 41 hottest singles of 2017” by Elle. She is all about intersectionality, preserving the lesbian bar scene, and queering up spaces that need to be queered. “I want to remind our communities that we’re part of a continuity of people that has been pushing for self-determination for decades, and that as we move forward against new challenges that arise, it’s critical to keep the movement’s ancestors in mind, especially trans folks, femme folks, people of color, immigrants, economically oppressed folks, elders, folks who are differently abled, and folks who deal with challenges we’re not used to honoring or being aware of. As we celebrate our freedom, it’s imperative that we intentionally protect the ones who have and continue to work tirelessly, putting their time and talents on the front lines for us, often at great personal risk.” —GH