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. 

MICHAELA MENDELSOHN

Michaela Mendelsohn knows how tough the closet can be, but “it wasn’t until suppressing my identity was making me so sick and I couldn’t function that I came out,” Mendelsohn says. Today, the transgender lesbian—who has worked for more than 40 years in the business world—is helping smooth the way for others as a Trevor Project board member and as a founder of the California Transgender Workplace Program. “There are opportunities I have to help transgender people find jobs with me or somewhere else,” she says. “They may have been looking for over a year and been turned down for no other reason than for their gender identity. Some have been in other jobs and forced to use the wrong restroom and were sexually molested. A recent girl I hired was viciously attacked twice by a customer for no apparent reason, and each time received little support from her employer. Having a decent job helps broaden their visions from ‘day-to-day survival’ to one of stability and possibly raising their own families. I believe that the children of LGBTQ families will be in an amazing position to change our world.” –GH