Seattle-based Tara Hardy, a self-described “working class queer femme poet”, is the founder of Bent, a writing institute for LGBTIQ people. She’s also the current Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House, an urbanwriters’ retreat. Last year, Write Bloody Press published Hardy’s Bring Down the Chandeliers, a powerful collection of poems that explore trauma, faith and forgiveness from her perspective as a sexual abuse survivor. That same year, she was honored with the Washington Poets Association Burning Word Award. Her work has appeared in journals, anthologies and spoken word recordings. She’s been a seven-time finalist in National Poetry Slam competitions and is a three-time Seattle Grand Slam Champion. Hardy tours nationwide as a poet, performer and teaching artist, and views art as a tool for social change. “Initially, I entered the field of writing through a desire to heal, but what’s been surprising is that while sowing my own transformation, my work seems to aid others’ healing,” she says. “And what a privilege to be part of people healing themselves. Call me a zealot, but I believe this is a central opportunity offered by the act of creating something.”
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.