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.

Jessica Ransom

Photo by Unreasonable Studios

At 3 years old, Jessica Ransom would walk around with a box over her head, saying she wanted to be “in TV.” She wasted no time making her dream come true, interning at 14 at the local cable access station in her hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., ditching her liberal arts college to go to film school, and moving to New York City in her 20s, then promptly getting a job at MTV. Now a writer, producer, and director of reality TV, commercials, music videos, documentaries, and more, Ransom continues to tap into that primal desire for her voice as a queer person of color to be heard. “I find it rewarding to see people like me on screen,” Ransom says. Her first short film, #Roommates, featured a Black lesbian lead character. Since then, she’s produced a multitude of diverse content for Budweiser, New York Life, Panera, MLB, Telemundo, etc.; written a pilot about a Black lesbian and a bisexual Latina falling in love; worked with various LGBTQ publications; and produced YouTube’s “#ProudToBe” Pride campaign video last year. “My goal in life has always been to create diverse content that features all aspects of the queer community,” Ransom says. And that goal has become especially important since Ransom came out, first as a lesbian, and later as queer after encountering issues with racism among lesbians. “I did not feel a true sense of belonging within the lesbian community,” she says. “I want to be able to freely love a woman AND love my Blackness at the same time.” She sees her relationship to her community and to her career as parallels. “As a producer, I love the fact that people can escape in my films, shows, or commercials, while getting a glimpse of my life as a single, Black, feminine, queer woman.” —SEJ