Velvetpark's Official Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2013

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Velvetpark's Official Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2013

Having tackled such topics as Auschwitz, illness, and political turmoil in her first three staged works — 2.5 Minute Ride, Well, and In the Wake, respectively — Lisa Kron used 2013 to adapt Allison Bechdel's Fun Home from a graphic novel into a musical which debuted to rave reviews at the Public Theater. A sort of thread that ties all of her projects together is the juxtaposition of emotions, whether it’s humor pushing back against horror or poignancy tugging on provocation. Kron said of her work on the beloved Fun Home, “The thing about adaptation is you have to re-originate a thing. You can’t just say, ‘This is a musicalized version of this graphic novel.’ It has to have its own originating impulse, so that you feel like the experience you are having is the primary experience. And at the same time, you don’t feel like you’re watching a different thing, that whatever the effect of the book was, you’ll feel like it’s represented.”

14) “The Troublemaker” – Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, writer / editor / filmmaker / activist


Not many people can claim that Howard Zinn tagged them with the high praise of being "startlingly bold and provocative." But so it is with Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. Having previously published So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and Pulling Taffy, Sycamore was back in 2013 with a new book, The End of San Francisco. The memoir has been hailed by Psychology Today as one of the most important reads of the decade — no small feat for an anti-assimilationist steeped in counterculture and radical gender-bending.

15) “Coloring Outside the Lines” – Molly Larkey, artist


This has been a big year for Molly Larkey with exhibitions at LACMA and Commonwealth & Council and a mural at the ONE Institute Gallery for WEHO (an interactive exhibition of installations and performances by LGBTQ-minded artists in Los Angeles). Larkey got her start in New York over 10 years ago, first studying literature, then finding her voice in sculpture and painting. Larkey has since redefined herself in Los Angeles where her studio space is also used to promote the work of other emerging artists. Larkey says, “There is a balance I have to strike between focusing on my own work and focusing on the artistic community and the queer community and the overlap of them. Community is important to me, and it will always be something that I will be related to.” Larkey is the daughter of music legend Carole King... apples don’t fall far from their trees.

16) "Gender Theorist" – Susan Stryker, author / professor / filmmaker / historian


As an openly trans lesbian, Susan Stryker speaks to — and for — a broad spectrum of queer issues through her various works. To her long list of credits, this year she added the founding of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly with Paisley Currah. Duke University Press is set to start publication in 2014 on the journal with a goal of having it be the leading voice for transgender studies by incorporating a wide swath of perspectives and disciplines. Additionally on her docket is an associate professorship of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, where she also serves as the director of the university's Institute for LGBT Studies. Due to Stryker’s efforts, the school has also announced plans to hire four tenure-track transgender scholars over the next two years, establish the Center for Critical Studies of the Body, and set up a graduate degree program in transgender studies.

17) "Underdog Victorious" – Sunu P. Chandy, Attorney

A graduate of Northeastern University, Sunu P. Chandy has been licensed to practice law in New York State for almost 15 years. As Senior Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Sunu spends her professional hours reviewing cases of discrimination in the workplace. Interested in social justice, she engages in litigation against policies that discourage or inhibit workers' rights or reproduce unequal measures based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, along with other instances of discrimination. Recently, some these cases have included complaints of age discrimination, retaliation, and sexual and racial harassment, and her work has been discussed in the New York Times, NPR, and other media platforms. While upholding federal laws against discrimination, Chandy pushes the boundaries of the glass ceiling by excelling in her field and navigating life as a woman of color. 

18) "More Than an Academic" – Jen Manion, professor / writer / organizer