Now a college professor, writer and author Linda Villarosa has enjoyed a successful career on the staffs of the nation’s leading periodicals. At The New York Times, Villarosa edited the health pages and expanded health coverage for Science Times. As the executive editor of Essence Magazine, she wrote and edited numerous award-winning articles. She contributes to Health, Latina, the New York Times Book Review, O Magazine, Vibe and Woman’s Day, while lending her insider’s eye as a volunteer consultant for the Kaiser Family Foundation and other foundations. Her novel, Passing for Black, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. But earlier in her burgeoning career, Villarosa was holding herself back. “Before I came out I was much more reserved and closed. I was hiding behind my byline and this serious persona I’d created,” she reveals. “After I came out, everything changed. I became bolder–in life, at work and in print. I found my voice and became a stronger, more open writer and person. Though some people worried that I’d lose my job [at Essence] because I was ‘too out,’ I actually got promoted!” That new attitude eventually led to her current dream job: director of journalism at The City College of New York. Recently, she also contributed to the Scholastic Books anthology The Letter Q–along with Michael Cunningham, Armistead Maupin and others. Villarosa lives in Brooklyn with her partner of 12 years and they have two children.
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.