The Advocate

WOMEN OF THE YEAR

ANNIE SEGARRA

Annie Segarra, who uses the online moniker of Annie Elainey (@annieelainey), is an artist, YouTuber, and activist for LGBTQ+ and disability rights. Segarra, who describes herself as “a chronically ill, disabled, queer, Latinx, woman of color,” advocates for accessibility, body positivity, racial equality, and media representation for marginalized communities.

Segarra, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, says, “I’m genderfluid, also identifying as a nonbinary woman, and feel a strong connection to womanhood for a variety of reasons, such as how I was socialized and how I am generally perceived and treated as a woman in our patriarchal society. As someone with a fluid gender identity who feels connected to womanhood and is attracted to women as well, I feel emotionally overwhelmed and in awe of women — the complexities and power, diversity, and authenticity navigating how we move through this world. It is incredibly powerful to me.”

Though Segarra is excited that some progress is being made for disabled folks, they add, “Disabled narratives are horrendously erased in the conversations regarding diversity, with abled people constantly at the front attempting to speak for us instead of handing over the microphone and sitting down to listen.”

—Desirée Guerrero

STEPHANIE BEATRIZ

Argentinian-born bisexual actress, producer, and activist Stephanie Beatriz (In the Heights) continues to support queer, feminist, and Latinx causes, the Black Lives Matter movement, and voting rights. The actress is currently using her platform to support Black Women Lead, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit (@black-womenlead). “From gifting Christmas dinners and organizing rallies and fundraisers…to partnering with brands like Alice + Olivia to raise funds from the sales of a very chic and sexy pair of sweats called the Miami — I love mine — the work they do gives so much to so many in fantastically diverse ways.”

Beatriz was the recipient of a Gracie Award in the fall of 2020, an honor that recognizes exemplary programming created by women, for women, and about women in media and entertainment. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be honored for portraying Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” she posted on Instagram at the time.

“I hope that our storytellers, artists, [and] musicians continue to expand the idea and sense of what it means to be a woman, to be female,” Beatriz says. “I hope that the word someday feels more like the thing I feel sometimes — ever-shifting, always evolving, magical, wonderful.” She adds, “The change in who is allowed to be the center of the story has shifted greatly in the last 10 years. Stories in film and television with women at the center are easier to find, filled with women protagonists and antagonists that are lovable, foul, sinister, confused, searching, funny, and very, very fallible. What a surprise — women are dope as fuck.”

—DG

CARMEN MARIA MACHADO

“Every year of my adult life has brought some new nuance to my relationship with my gender, often from reading the work of queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming thinkers, writers, and journalists,” says award-winning author Carmen Maria Machado on what being a woman means to her. “As a result, it’s often easier to talk about what I have and what I want rather than what I am…. I suppose what I can say…is that I’m a woman, and the relationship between me and that word is constantly evolving and changing.”

Reflecting on the social justice movement, the bisexual novelist who wrote the brilliantly frightening supernatural graphic novel says, “It’s been thrilling to see trans rights and racial justice being elevated in people’s consciousness, but any person with a history of activism will tell you that we’ve been talking about things like racism and transphobia in feminist and queer spaces for as long as they’ve existed — and we will have to continue to do so until white and/or cis people relinquish the need to be centered in every conversation. I also

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