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. 

ALMA ROSA SILVA-BANUELOS

After rumors swirled that Albuquerque’s only club for lesbians was closing, Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos knew she had to do something. By founding the women’s event Fire, she helped preserve the local lesbian community. Accomplishment enough, but Fire is only one example of the type of community strengthening she performs. Silva-Bañuelos is also the director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico, a member of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico’s board of directors and a lead trainer for the “Caring for the LGBTQ Community” training at the University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center. “We can’t leave anyone behind,” she says. “It’s critical to honor the intersection of identity so our community can become whole again and thrive as our authentic selves. The legacy of the lesbian community is historic, trailblazing, and without fierce lesbians at the forefront, many movements would not be where they are today. I honor my lesbian, queer, two-spirit and transgender elders for the work they did so I can continue to build upon the legacy and be part of an evolving movement that is inclusive of us all.” (Check out YouTube for her inspiring TEDx talk, “Fire: A Queer Womyn’s Journey.”) –GH