20th Anniversary Issue, October 2010
For Curve‘s First Annual Lesbian Awards we are honoring the women who have most impacted lesbian culture in the last 20 years. In over 50 categories, we asked expert judges from the specific fields, along with everyday women, to vote for a winner, as well as a pioneer (usually a woman who has excelled in that category for over 20 years) and a newcomer (someone who is just starting to really make her mark).
Because encapsulating 20 years of lesbian culture into one awards list is daunting, we had a few rules: winners must be living (though we have a master list of women who’ve impacted us but already passed away on pg. 50), must be female-identified (no matter how much we wanted to include Leslie Feinberg or Boys Don’t Cry, including them in a list about queer women would be an insult) and must be out–at least marginally (that means yes to Jodie Foster, no to Queen Latifah). We also tried to limit the award winners to those who live and create work in the U.S. for fairness, except in the one case where such an overwhelming number of votes went to someone who is clearly a Brit (see if you can tell who it is) that we couldn’t rightly give another finalist the award. And the last requirement was that the women must self-identify as higher on the Kinsey scale than one, though we allowed for all permeations of female queerness, as it’s not our job to police the borders of sexuality. Basically, if you think you belong, we do, too. The question we asked ourselves throughout the process is: Which of these individuals impacted our culture the most?
-Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor in chief
Dancer/Choreographer: Anne Bluethenthal
Finalists: Sarah East Johnson, Stormy Brandenberg, Mia Michaels
Dancer/Choreographer Pioneer: Elizabeth Streb
Dancer/Choreographer Newcomer: Anne Gadwa, Sarah Bush (tie)