At 16, Katherine Brooks ran away from her Louisiana hometown with her eye on Hollywood. With only $150 to her name, she slept in her car in a motel parking lot. Today, with 15 years of experience in film and TV, Brooks has directed an extensive list of reality series, including The Osbournes, The Real World and The Simple Life; and in 2006, she released her award-winning feature debut, the lesbian fave Loving Annabelle. That same year, Brooks launched her own production company, Big Easy Pictures. Her achievements behind the camera led to membership in the Directors Guild of America in which only 4 percent of its members are female–a fact she aims to fix. “[The LGBT] community represents the change the world needs,” she affirms. Last November, Brooks was honored with the prestigious POWER UP Award for being a strong activist for the LGBT community. Her next project is suitably ambitious: her doc Face 2 Face, in which she traveled the country to meet 50 of her 5,000 Facebook friends, premieres this summer. Despite her exhausting schedule, Brooks wouldn’t change a thing: “Every day I get to wake up and live my dreams, and meet amazing people who are living theirs.”
Drum roll, please! We’re excited to present this year’s 100 Women We Love—our most diverse group of out entertainers, artists, athletes, activists, business principals and elected officials yet. Each of these women is a superstar in her own right. Their achievements and contributions shape our lives —and elevate us in the eyes of the world . They’re working to raise LGBT awareness, increase our visibility and quicken our progress toward a just society.
We are extremely proud to present the class of 2012. There are no rankings or numbers. They are all leaders.