Who are the top lesbians in the entertainment industry? Who actually brokers the deals, tops the charts and brings lesbians onto the silver screen, into our living rooms and our iPods every day? Though there are countless queer women out there working hard to make your life a bit more entertaining, we’ve narrowed them down to the top 13. These power lesbians — and we believe they probably own a power suit or two — are the ones who make our jobs here at AfterEllen.com possible.
13. Amy Ray – Musician; President, Daemon Records
For countless lesbians of a certain age, the soundtrack to their coming-out was likely the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” — it even made it into an episode of The L Word. But the Indigo Girls’ trademark acoustic folk and vocal harmony are quite different from Amy Ray’s solo endeavors, which ride on the punk edge of the rock spectrum. She released her first solo album, Stag, in 2001, and followed that up with Prom in 2005, an album that did not shy away from controversial topics such as the Christian right, homophobia and violence against gays.
In addition to speaking out in her own music, Ray, now 42, founded her own record label, Daemon Records, in 1992. Daemon aims to provide a nurturing environment for independent musicians — often with a queer bent — including alt-folk trio Girlyman and transgender spoken word artists Athens Boys Choir.
“There’s a lot of great queer music that does not get recognized and put out, and so just by default, a lot of artists ended up with us … because they had no other place to go, and I’m very proud of the artists,” Ray told AfterEllen.com in January 2007. “We have straight artists too, but they’re sort of queer too, because they have to have this perspective to be on our label. Because if you didn’t have a very subversive perspective, you wouldn’t really want to be on the label.”