Belinda Carroll is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actress, and activist who has made a name for herself through her hilarious, bold, and groundbreaking work. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Carroll’s love of comedy began at a young age, and she was inspired by comedians who used their platforms to speak truth to power. “Using laughter to unite people is the most powerful thing,” she says. Her identity as a queer woman has “informed everything I do,” says Carroll, who uses her comedic flair, talent, and drive for activism and equity to create platforms for queer comedians and entertainers. She co-founded the Portland Queer Comedy Festival and is now planning the Rose City Queer Fest—a weekend full of stand-up, improv, burlesque, and more which Carroll is looking to launch in 2024. Her work and activism have received many accolades. In 2011, she received the Pride-in-Action award from Pride Northwest for founding the Q Patrol, a community foot patrol to reduce LGBTQ+ hate crimes in downtown Portland. She also received the 2018 Queer Hero award from the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest and the 2020 Woman of Achievement award from Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Commission for Women. For handling setbacks and adversity, Carroll emphasizes the importance of having a clear vision and counting every win, no matter how small. “The key to remaining focused [through hard times] is having a very clear vision about why this is important to you,” she says. Fun fact: she’s fluent in American Sign Language and has many friends in the deaf community.