The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Power Lesbians

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Ellen DeGeneres is the only lesbian on the 2015 list of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women. So this week we’re talking power lesbians. Who do you consider a “power lesbian” and  what do you think are power lesbian” qualities?

Ali Davis: I was really hoping this was the announcement of a new superhero. Superpowers: Analysis, the Instant Mind-Meld, and the Deadly Scissor.

Daniela Costa: A “power lesbian” is a powerful woman. She’s the best at what it is she does. On that note, how is Megan Ellison not on that list? Look at that body of work over the past five years!

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Chelsea Steiner: Jodie Foster: I made eye contact with her once (or as I call it, one-sided eye sex) and it was akin to being hypnotized. Also, she is mad successful/intelligent/brilliant but THOSE EYES.

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Kim Hoffman: Jodie Foster is my mom’s favorite actress. As a kid, I became quite used to hearing my mom monologue about Jodie being so fierce and independent—how she’d avoid the media at red carpet events and slip in through the backdoor. Of course, so much was taking place behind the scenes. But the mysteriousness of her ways was striking, she refused to conform to the Hollywood standard. All I saw was a powerful woman. I hardly knew I had a power lesbian role model to look up to, but up I so looked.

Dana Piccoli: I’m going to give it up to a power lesbian in the making, Ellen Page. She’s added producer now to her resume more than once, and when Freeheld comes out, I think she’s going to become an even more powerful force in Hollywood. Also, my friend and Marcie Bianco‘s lovely wife, Merryn Johns. Editor of Curve Magazine, mover and shaker, activist and all around awesome lady, Merryn is a true power lesbian.

Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - November 26, 2014

Lucy Hallowell: As the election is just around the corner it’s about time for everyone to fall in love with Rachel Maddow. She’s funny, self-deprecating, makes a mean cocktail, and is straight up always the smartest person in the room by a mile. Wit, intelligence, and the knowledge base to add context and nuance to the shit show that passes for politics in this country. It’s a powerful combination.

Bridget McManus: In my opinion a power lesbian is a woman who truly knows herself, is out and proud, excels professionally and lifts up the queer community with her existence. Wanda Sykes is not only out professionally but she has created a platform for other queer artists on her OWN series Herlarious and on the last two seasons of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. And let’s not forget Rachel Maddow, obviously, Suze OrmanEdie Windsor, Linda Wallem, Lily Tomlin, Faith Soloway, Curve Magazine‘s Merryn Johns, Tellofilm’s Christin Baker and AE’s very own fearless leader Trish Bendix.

Erin Wilson: This may not be the answer you are looking for but I think power lesbians don’t have to necessarily be women in the media or someone everyone has heard of. There are thousands of lesbians who have volunteered their time to help others in need, lesbians who have been foster parents to homeless children, lesbians who have saved animals, lesbians who are doing great things for the environment, etc. In my opinion, all lesbians are powerful!

Grace Chu: 2016 is quickly approaching, so Kate McKinnon and her future impressions of Hillary Clinton on SNL.
Dorothy Snarker: Power lesbians wear suits with broad shoulder pads. No, kidding. Only sometimes. Power lesbians are successful, respected and active in their field. They’re accomplished and can make things happen. Women like: Christine Vachon, Jenna Lyons, Linda Perry, Tammy Baldwin, Robin Roberts.

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Elaine Atwell: I have very little to add to your excellent list except that power is only good insofar as one gives it to the powerless.

Valerie Anne: I dunno, Zoie Palmer could probably take out an entire nation just by pointing her fans in its general direction. I know that’s not your typical definition of a “power lesbian” but hell if it ain’t powerful.

2014 Canadian Screen Awards - Press Room

Dara Nai: My bar for what constitutes a “Power Lesbian” is pretty high because a true Power Lesbian has, well, real power. She has far-reaching influence, is a major player among her hetero peers, and has a tangible impact on the mainstream.

Media: Rachel Maddow.  As the first openly gay anchor to host a major prime-time news program in the US, she has the power (and brains) to influence the national conversation and speak truth to douchery.
Entertainment: Sorry, but no one comes close to Ellen DeGeneres. Her wild popularity continues to change hearts and minds about what a lesbian is like. And, she has the Hollywood juice few have, gay or straight. Runners-up: Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz, co-founders and executive producers of Push It Productions. You have no idea how important it is to them that female comics get work and get seen.
Politics: Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, (yes, that’s a real thing.) Runners-up: All the top lesbian and bi elected officials, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI),  bisexual Oregon governor, Kate Brown, Rep. Krysten Sinema (AZ), and Houston’s first lesbian mayor, Annise Parker.
Business: Jenna Lyons. As the former CEO of J.Crew, she also poked at gender norms when she painted her little son’s toenails red, (as per his request.) Lyons then gave no fucks over the ensuing anti-gay internet hate. Lyons left J. Crew after being blamed for poor sales, but she made it to the top of a giant corporation; something no other out lesbians have done, that I know of. That’s the kind of lady I want picking my T-shirt trends.
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Trish Bendix: One of my favorite power lesbians is Gigi Chao. Not only did she say “Sorry, Dad!” when he tried to find her a husband by offering millions to any guy that could woo her, but her story has inspired a TV show in the Philippines AND a movie (in the works from Sasha Baron Cohen). Gigi is a businesswoman who is poised to take over her family’s property company in China, where she is currently the vice-chairwoman. Gigi is BAD ASS.
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Lianna Carrera: Lianna Carrera is for sure a power wheels lesbian.
Who do you consider a power lesbian?

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