Lena Waithe, Janet Mock, Emma Gonzalez and More of Your Faves Headline Time’s 2018 Most Influential People List

The Time 100 list is out, highlighting some of the year’s most culturally influential folks. Sadly, that list includes fucking Tr*mp in the leaders section, but let’s ignore that (and all other straight cis white dudes on the list) and celebrate those that really matter! Here are some selective highlights from the Time 100 so that you don’t have to read all 100.

Barack Obama on Emma Gonzalez (and other Parkland survivors)

“Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law,” writes President Barack Obama. “This generation—of Parkland, of Dreamers, of Black Lives Matter—embraces that duty.” The shooting survivors highlighted in the segment include bisexual badass Emma Gonzalez, who has been at the forefront of the recent gun control movement spearheaded by America’s youth.

Wonder Woman on Wonder Woman

The original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, pens an ode to 2017’s Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot: “She and I are lucky to be members of this small sisterhood, living and breathing this uniquely strong, smart and charming superhero.”

Niall Ferguson on Ruth Davidson

If you don’t know, Ruth Davidson is the openly lesbian kickboxer who became leader of the Scottish Conservative Party in 2011 and is currently planning a wedding with her partner Jen Wilson.

Kamala Harris on Lena Waithe

Okay, first of all, the photo that is used in this profile is a lot. Kamala calls Lena a “master of everything,” which is extremely correct, and also highlights the fact that she was the first openly queer black woman ever featured in a Vanity Fair cover story.

Aaron Paul on Millie Bobby Brown

God, I really love when actors geek out over other actors, and Aaron Paul certainly does so over Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, who he says is not only an extraordinary actor but also a “future mentor” who “understands the human experience as if she has lived it for a thousand years.”

Kerry Washington on Jennifer Lopez

Excuse me! This is a pairing I never knew I needed and yet have always wanted? These two incredible women from the Bronx are unbelievably talented, and I’m a megafan of both, AS WE ALL SHOULD BE. “To me, no matter how successful she becomes, she will always be Jenny from our block,” Kerry Washington writes. “And I will always be a grateful witness to her journey.”

Selena Gomez on Cristina Jimenez

Selena Gomez celebrates the achievements and perseverance of Cristina Jimenez, immigration rights activist and executive director of United We Dream, focusing particularly on Jimenez’s role in getting President Obama to sign DACA.

Mindy Kaling on Issa Rae

Television creator/writer/actor (and star of the upcoming Ocean’s 8 film) Mindy Kaling says she “fell in love” with television creator/writer/actor Issa Rae “in one weekend.” ;)

Yara Shahidi on Maxine Waters

They’re reclaiming their time! P.S. Watch Grown-ish.

Tiffany Haddish on Oprah / Kevin Hart on Tiffany Haddish

Haddish is one of the lucky few on the list who is written about and also gets to write about someone else, and I’m not surprised, because Haddish is a goddamn gem who deserves to show up on this list twice!

Cher on Adam Rippon / David Chang on Chloe Kim

I love anyone fighting to make figure skating more queer, so Adam Rippon is an icon. And Chloe Kim was a force to be reckoned with at this year’s Olympics, too.

Taraji P. Henson on Cardi B

Icons on icons!!!!! Henson says that she identifies with Henson because of the assumptions that people make about them. When I first came up, people said, ‘She’s too edgy.’ But I can do Shakespeare in the Park!” Henson writes. “You can’t judge me based on where I come from or the colloquialisms that I speak with, because that’s who I am. And when you are cool with who you are, no one can use it against you.” Words to live by!

Sarah Paulson on Sterling K. Brown

I love when co-stars are obsessed with each other. Sarah Paulson overflows with praise for Sterling K. Brown.

Adele on Rihanna

TBH the entire cast of Ocean’s 8 should be recognized on this list, but at least they got Rihanna on there.

Christian Siriano on Janet Mock

Janet Mock is one of the most visible and important voices in activism—not just for the trans community, but for women, people of color, LGBTQ people and marginalized communities everywhere,” writes fashion designer Siriano. I have read both of Mock’s books multiple times, and I highly suggest you do the same. Also, get ready for Pose!

Michelle Bachelet on Daniela Vega

The former president of Chile honors the incredible Daniela Vega, who was the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards this year.

Gabrielle Union on Tarana Burke

“When I first met Tarana Burke, I found a kindred spirit, somebody else who’s been screaming into the hurricane. Somebody else who’s been advocating for survivors of rape and sexual assault, and specifically young black women, whose voices have been silenced at best and completely erased from the national dialogue at worst,” writes Gabrielle Union, in one of the most powerful pieces on the entire list.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 843 articles for us.


  1. The fact that Jennifer Lopez was once the substitute teacher at Kerry Washington’s Bronx dance class is one of the best pieces of trivia that I’ve ever committed to memory.

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