If you’ve read a news item about a gay person going out on a limb for civil rights, an article on black HIV/AIDS awareness, or the inspiring story of an LGBT family, Kimberley McLeod likely had a hand in it. Harnessing the limitless power of the media to increase visibility for LGBT people of color is McLeod’s professional M.O. The Washington, D.C.-based media strategist and journalist is the Director of Communications/Press Secretary at the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), an LGBT civil rights organization, where her job entails placing stories and communicating with journalists to create an accurate portrayal of the black LGBT experience in the media. She joined NBJC after overseeing GLAAD’s Communities of African Descent Media Program. McLeod further influences the cultural conversation through Elixher.com, her online resource for multidimensional representations of black LGBT women. “Visibility is so important, and the media acts as a powerful conduit to change people’s hearts and minds,” McLeod asserts. “If I can make one homophobe irate, one ally come out of the closet or bring one person closer to living openly and unapologetically about who they are and who they love, I’ve done my job. And I’m going to continue doing it with everything in me.”
Drum roll, please! We’re excited to present this year’s 100 Women We Love—our most diverse group of out entertainers, artists, athletes, activists, business principals and elected officials yet. Each of these women is a superstar in her own right. Their achievements and contributions shape our lives —and elevate us in the eyes of the world . They’re working to raise LGBT awareness, increase our visibility and quicken our progress toward a just society.
We are extremely proud to present the class of 2012. There are no rankings or numbers. They are all leaders.