Forty Under 40

These budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science, are facilitating our future. Meet the architects of the next decade.



Desiree Buford • 33
San Francisco
Director of Programming, Frameline

When Desiree Buford became the new director of exhibition and programming at Frameline, the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the funding, exhibition, distribution, and promotion of LGBT film and media arts, it was hardly a surprise. She had been working behind the scenes there since 2003. But now Buford shares curatorial oversight of the Frameline-sponsored San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest-running and largest LGBT film exhibition event in the world. With an annual attendance of over 55,000, the festival is the most prominent and well-attended LGBT arts program in the Bay Area.

“There is something uniquely transformative about seeing images of one’s experience and identity reflected on the screen,” Buford says. Still, she finds time to play—as drag king Delicio Del Toro. “I love messing with gender and gay male masculinities using camp, male archetypes, uniforms, tear-away pants, and choreography.”