The AfterEllen Hot 100: Winners from Years Past

This year’s Hot 100 will be our eighth time asking readers to vote on the hottest women alive. It’s no easy task, narrowing it down when there are so many bad asses ruling their respective areas, but typically, the number ones tend to be behind our favorite on-screen characters, from Alice Pieszecki to Liz Lemon to Santana Lopez to Katniss Everdeen.

So why this trend? First, these actresses are all smart, funny, strong, sexy and either LGBT-identified or allies. Secondly, their characters are the same. What AfterEllen readers seem to love most is an authenticity that shines through an individual, and is celebrated on TV and film, as well, because visibility matters. Our choices are women helping to make progress for LGBT women by presenting them as whole individuals worthy of admiration, and that’s something we are proud to celebrate.

Before we wrap up voting for the 2015 Hot 100, let’s look back at the #1s from years past, and see what they’re up to now.

2007: Leisha HaileyOutFest Fusion LGBT People Of Color Film Festival Gala

Our first-ever Hot 100 winner was a huge favorite among L Word fans. Her response to the honor? “Wow, I don’t even know what to say. I hope Angelina’s not mad at me. I have to say this really makes up for the time I was on the Homecoming Court in High school with my boyfriend (yes I had one) and he won and I didn’t. So thanks to everyone. I’ll try and keep up my hottness. All my love, Leisha.”

Now, she’s spending more of her time doing music with her musical duo Uh Huh Her while also making TV appearances on Constantine, Supernatural, Chasing Life and Bosch. Coming up, she’s set to appear in horror film Quarries and the gay-themed Love is All You Need.

2008: Tina Fey

We were diehard 30 Rock fans, even if Liz Lemon wasn’t as gay as her shoes suggested. But what really gave Tina a boost was lamenting she wasn’t the winner the year before. Seriously—she talked about being #7 on the Hot 100 while on Late Night with Conan O’Brian. And in 2008, she couldn’t have happier to come in on top: “[Making] the AfterEllen [list] is flattering. I think those girls take more of a 3-D picture before they decide they like somebody.”

Even though 30 Rock is off-air (there are always reruns!), Tina has continued to kill the TV game as an executive producer of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She’s also tried to bring two network shows starring lesbians (both played by Fortune Feimster) to life, so we know she loves us. 

2009: Portia de RossiTeen Choice Awards 2015 - Arrivals

2009 was the year Portia played gay as Olivia (Julia’s girlfriend) on Ryan Murphy‘s Nip/Tuck, and also starred on the ABC comedy Better Off Ted. But perhaps the most exciting thing that happened for her was her first year as a married woman to Ellen DeGeneres, as the couple was hitched in August 2008.

Since then, Portia has penned a fantastic memoir (Unbearable Lightness), reprised her role as Lindsay Bluth on the return of Arrested Development and is now a series regular on Scandal. As for the marriage, the most famous lesbian couple in the world just celebrated their seventh anniversary.

2010: Olivia WildeTribeca Film Festival 2015 Portrait Studio - Day 7

If the actress thought it was “awesome” to be number 30 on the list in the past, she must have been psyched to be voted number one in 2010. We first fell for Olivia as Alex on The O.C., but it was her role as bisexual doc Thirteen on House that solidified our collective crush. (Megan Fox included.)

Olivia has since become a bonafide movie star, having been in 11 films in the last five years, most notably a role as a stripper who gets sexy with co-star Ashley Greene in Butter. She’s also returning to TV within the next year on two HBO series: Doll & Em and Vinyl.

2011 & 2012: Naya RiveraABC's "The View" - Season 18

The only woman to win two years in a row, the Glee star tweeted her thanks to fans for making her #1. But even before she took home the honor for the first time, she was excited about the prospect of winning the poll, telling us, “First of all, that would be insane. Are you joking me? You have to film my reaction because I will freak out!” If only we’d had a camera pointed at her both times we released the results.

We said goodbye to Santana earlier this year, but Naya has joined the cast of Devious Maids. She’s also become a social media maven, sharing photos of her glamorous life and love of fashion, and may have possibly said she identified as not-so-straight while appearing on The View not too long ago. p.s. she’s pregnant, and due in the very near future!

2013: Jennifer Lawrence

Whether you fell for her on-screen as Raven/Mystique in X-Men or Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, it was JLaw’s sexy and hilarious honest personality that made her so well-loved by lesbianfolk as well as the rest of the world in 2013.

It’s only been two years since she was #1, and, thankfully, Jennifer is still playing those same roles we relish her in. An avid supporter of LGBT rights, we got to see her plant a kiss on Amy Adams in American Hustle, but we’re still hoping to see her in a queer role in the future. Until then, there’s always this photo booth moment with Lana Del Rey

So who will be #1 in this year’s Hot 100? You have until Monday to vote, and the list will be revealed on Tuesday, September 1st.

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