Jenelle Hutcherson recently made history in the beauty pageant world as the first out lesbian to compete for the title of Miss Long Beach (California)—while wearing a tuxedo. With her “Vote for Jenelle” campaign, Hutcherson earned a spot in the pageant finals. Her presence sent a powerful message of equality that went international last June, when Donald Trump’s Miss Universe organization recruited her to compete for Miss California USA. Donning a tux, Hutcherson took to the stage for the 2012 title representing downtown Long Beach. By day, Hutcherson is a master hair stylist specializing in three-dimensional color and cuts, and the lead artist at the Den Salon in Long Beach. In her spare time, Hutcherson mentors for the MYTE (Mentoring Youth Through Empowerment) program at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach and helped develop a course on bullying and GSAs for Cal State Fullerton. Soon, she plans to support the community by auctioning her pageant wardrobe to fund youth scholarships. “We have the choice to use our power for good and to help, or not,” she says. “Plain and simple: I choose to use my power for good.”
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.