100 Women We Love 2012

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.

Jean Wimberley and Kaz Mitchell
“I urge everyone to speak up and do something, because I remember when two same-gender-loving women could not apply to get a loan to buy a home or consider getting married,” says Jean Wimberly, the founder and executive director of Circle of Voices Inc. (COVI), a New York-based women of color arts organization. Wimberly and Kaz Mitchell, COVI’s director, were recently selected as the LGBT community liaisons for State Sen. Eric Adams, an honor that follows their combined decades of activism. Wimberly is best known for launching the Women of Color Tent at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in the late 1970s to address the invisibility of black and Latina women there; she founded COVI in 1991 to carry on that message. Mitchell, a Community Outreach organizer for the NYC LGBT Center’s Lesbian Cancer Initiative, has served on the boards of Black Pride NYC, Brooklyn Pride and Brooklyn Community Pride Center. For COVI, the two coordinate social events, lead discussions about health, dating and legal concerns, and offer Sistah Sessions—talks with a guest speaker to encourage self-improvement. Wimberly’s motivation comes straight from personal observation. “[As lesbians,] many of us had to choose between family, friends, and loved ones. My advice is to build the family you want and nurture them!”