100 Women We Love 2016

Here’s to this year's class of the women who inspire us, give us hope, make us laugh and make us want to get up and dance. 

MELANIE HOPE

Nothing says “lesbian” quite like “women’s softball league,” so the documentary “Grounders” will appeal to many in our community. But Melanie Hope’s film is not just for us, but rather “for anyone who has ever thrown a ball, high-fived a teammate or cheered from the bleachers,” as it says on her film’s website (grounders documentary.com). “The most rewarding aspect of my work, in directing and producing ‘Grounders,’” Hope tells GO, “has been interviewing people and gaining a deeper understanding of who these women are and what motivates them to play softball. I decided to take on the challenge of making a feature-length documentary because it is a compelling story that needs to be captured and shared.” Hope is pursuing other creative interests as well: as a poet, writer and playwright (not to mention her work as an attor-ney and social worker). “I have always been drawn to different forms of creative expression. I believe all of my life experiences, in conjunction with my education and work life, have taken me on a journey marked by twists and turns, leading me to exactly where I need to be today.” –GH