100 Women We Love 2015

We are thrilled to present this year’s 100 Women We Love—an incredibly diverse group of out entertainers, athletes, artists, activists, business leaders and elected officials.

NICOLE DENNIS-BENN

“I wanted to be heard,” says writer Nicole Dennis-Benn. “As a dark-skinned girl from a working-class family, growing up in Vineyard Town, Kingston, I was muted. … I was often flogged into submission by teachers and elders who were too afraid of rebellious spirits and had to constantly remind me of my place. Perhaps it was then that I learned to write fiction, as a means to escape.” Today, Dennis-Benn is a writing professor for the City University of New York and Founder of the Stuyvesant Writing Workshop. She has been awarded prestigious fellowships and recognition from the Lambda Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers´ Conference, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women Writers, Hedgebrook Residency, and the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Two of her stories, published in Kweli Journal and Red Rock Review, have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Fiction. Dennis-Benn´s debut novel, Here Comes the Sun, was recently sold to Norton/Liveright. She believes writing fiction has allowed her to “give people a voice, especially women and girls of the working-class Jamaican society and LGBT individuals, who are most affected by silences. I never knew my words could have such an impact on the lives of others.” -GH