Earlier this year, we featured some truly amazing artists, activists, and achievers. Now that we're at the midpoint of 2015, here's an updated list of brand-new names and faces. Meet them below, and remember their names, because they're doing some amazing work.
The next time you're looking for a reason to laugh in New York, consider attending John Early and Jacqueline Novak's show Cakeshop. Alternately, check out Early's one-man comedy-variety show Literally Me. You might recognize the actor as Jenna's son from 30 Rock or from the delightful Web series Your Main Thing. Early's comedy is sharp and revealing, and he's unafraid to be silly; we are huge fans. Also, our search for information about the phrase "John Early" turned up this article about a Canadian fracas, so there's that.
Did you catch her on the Tonys? Beth Malone originated the role of Alison Bechdel in Fun Home (well, technically, Bechdel originated it by being born, but Malone originated it on Broadway). It's hard to imagine an actress more suited to the role or the show — she has such a magnetic stage presence that you just can't stop looking at her, even when she's just sitting there calmly watching someone else act.
Brian's the creator of Stripling Warrior, the world's first gay Mormon superhero. If those words don't fill you with excitement and intrigue, well, we just don't know what's wrong with you. Andersen draws on his background in the Mormon Church to infuse the book with insider knowledge, accompanied by his perspective as a happily married gay man raising a daughter.
Fragments of Him is an arresting interactive experience — it's not quite right to call it a "game" — in which you engage with people whose lives are affected by the death of a man in a same-sex relationship.
"In the game, the character talks about his dead boyfriend," Haggis explains. "I felt that the story would work perfectly with either a male or female partner character, but I also feel that nonheterosexual relationships are underrepresented in gaming, and so I had a preference for making both characters male."
Executive director of the Transgender Foundation of America, editor of the TransAdvocate, jurisdictional representative to the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services ... there simply isn't enough room on this Internet to list all of Cristan Williams's accomplishments and qualifications. If none of those other roles rang a bell, you might know her from her efforts to end policies that exclude trans women from feminist events and women's festivals.