50 Brilliant LGBTQ Women Behind The Television Camera

26. Lauren Morelli


Lauren Morelli hit the ground running with her first gig in television — Orange is The New Blackwhere she also met her girlfriend Samira Wiley.

27. Laverne Cox


Best known as an actress, Cox was the producer of Transform Me and Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word as well as an episode of Style Exposed.

28. Lena Waithe


You probably recently fell in love with Lena Waithe for her portrayal of Denise in Aziz Ansari’s new show Master of None, but she’s also a TV writer who has worked on Bones, Hello Cupid and How to Rock AND created the kick-ass pilot Twenties.

29. Linda Wallem

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/FilmMagic)

(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/FilmMagic)

Linda Wallem has been at the head of Nurse Jackie and has previously worked on That 70’s Show, That ’80’s Show, Whitney and Cybil. She’s also married to Melissa Etheridge!

30. Lisa Cholodenko


We saw a lot of Lisa at the Emmy’s this year for directing the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge. She’s also been the director for episodes of shows like Six Feet Under, The L Word, Homicide: Life on the Street and Hung. You’ve probably seen her movies, too — High Art, Laurel Canyon and The Kids Are All Right.

31. Liz Feldman


Lots of queer women met Liz Feldman via her AfterEllen video blog, This Just Out With Liz Feldman. Liz got her start writing for All That and Blue Collar TV, later working on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show from 2005-2007. After three years at 2 Broke Girls, she collaborated with Ellen again, this time for the short-lived sitcom, One Big Happy.

32. Liz Friedman


Friedman is at the helm of the new TV series Jessica Jones, which everybody is pretty pumped about right now, and previously was best known for another thing the queer ladies got pretty pumped about: Xena: Warrior PrincessPreviously: Elementary, Orange is the New Black, House M.D., Young Hercules.

33. Liz Sarnoff


This writer and producer has worked on shows including Deadwood, Lost, Alcatraz, Salem, Crossbones, Crossing Jordan, NYPD Blue and The Leftovers.

34. Lynn Shelton

photoby Stuart Isett via the new york times

photoby Stuart Isett via the new york times

Shelton has been writing for Fresh Off The Boat since the pilot. Previously, she’s written for The Mindy Project, New Girl and Mad Men.

35. Margaret Cho

photo by robin roemer

photo by robin roemer

The comedian prefers to stay in front of the camera, but that means doing a lot of writing and producing too, like on The Cho Sho, Two Sisters and UnCabaret.

36. Michelle Paradise

BP 0199

BP 0199

Her lesbian sitcom Exes and Ohs didn’t last long on Logo, but Paradise has recently been enjoying a new gig as executive story editor for The Originals.

37. Nahnatchka Khan


The showrunner for Fresh Off The Boat is allegedly best known for her work on American Dad!, but she also created Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and has also written for shows including Unfabulous, Malcom in the Middle and Undergrads. In fact, Kahn was responsible for last year’s Very Special Lesbian Episode.

38. Nancylee Myatt


Myatt had been working in television for fifteen years before she had the chance to write one of television’s first shows with lesbian and bisexual lead characters, South of Nowhere. She also co-produced a few lesbian webseries, including 3Way, Cowgirl Up and Nikki & Nora. Prior to SON, she worked for shows including Living Single and Night Court.

39. Nisha Ginatra


This Canadian-born director / producer / writer’s credits include Transparent, Red Oaks, Married, Mr. Robot and The Mindy Project.

40. Noelle Carbone


Carbone has worked in writing, production and story editing roles for Rookie Blue and Saving Hope.

41. Patricia Rozema


This Canadian filmmaker is renowned for movies like Mansfield Park and When Night is Falling, but she’s done television work as well, including writing the teleplay for the HBO narrative edition of Grey Gardens. Television shows she’s worked on include The Hunger, Tell Me You Love Me, In Treatment and Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays.

42. Rose Troche


She is best known for her fim work, but she’s also directed episodes of Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Touching Evil, South of Nowhere, Ugly Betty and Finding Carter, and worked as a writer for The L Word, Rochelle and Hunting Season.

43. Sarah Gertrude Shapiro


Shapiro works with Buffy scribe Marti Noxon to write, create and produce the Lifetime series UnREAL, which was recently renewed for a second season. Previously, she’d worked as a field producer on The Bachelor, been in a band with JD Samson, and interned for legendary lesbian filmmaker Christine Vachon’s production company, Killer Films.

44. Sara Hess


Hess spent several years working as a writer and producer of House before joining the Orange is the New Black team.

45. Savannah Dooley

Winnie Holzman and Savannah Dooley (ABC FAMILY/ADAM ROSE)

Winnie Holzman and Savannah Dooley (ABC FAMILY/ADAM ROSE)

Dooley, the daughter of My So-Called Life creator Winnie Holzman, created the TV series Huge.

46. Shadi Petosky


Petosky, a trans woman, is the creator of the new animated Amazon series Danger & Eggs, and has worked as an animator and producer for shows like Mad, Yo Gabba Gabba! and The Aquabats! Super Show!

47. Susan Miller

Susan Miller with Tina Ward

Susan Miller with director Tina Ward

In addition to being a renowned playwright, Miller is the writer and co-creator of the webseries Anyone But Me and a writer/producer for Bestsellers. Previously, she has written for The L Word, Thirtysomething, The Paper Chase and Dynasty.

48. Tamika Miller


Miller has had her hand in basically every type of visual media possible, including commercials, music videos, film and television. Her films Gift for the Living and Sarong Song both have been picked up by showtime Cable Network, and her half-hour comedy Gris-Gris-Gris was acquired and developed by the here! Network in 2008. In 2012 and 2013, she shadowed on the HBO series The Newsroom.

49. Tanya Saracho


Saracho was an established playwright in Chicago when she got her first TV job writing for Devious Maids, and then was quickly picked up to write for the gay HBO series Looking, and then for Girls, and then Hot To Get Away With MurderIn 2014, Saracho, who was born in Mexico and raised in Texas, told an interviewer that she was working on a project with HBO about “queer border-girl stuff.”

50. Tig Notaro


The renowned actress and comedian’s new pilot, One Mississippi, just debuted on Amazon. Previously, Notaro has been a writer for Inside Amy Schumer.

51. Toni Graphia


Graphia has an extensive resume including producing and writing for Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Grey’s Anatomy, Roswell, Carnivàle, Quantum Leap and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

52. Wanda Sykes


Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes has been writing for TV since The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show in 1997. Her resume includes The Chris Rock Show, Comedy Central Presents, the Academy Awards, and The Downer Channel. She was also producer, writer and star of the sitcoms Wanda At Large and Wanda Does It.

53. Zachary Drucker


Zachary Drucker has worked as a producer for the trans-themed docuseries This Is Me and as an associate producer and an actress on Transparent.

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Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2794 articles for us.


  1. Also: also: also: I have so many feelings about Now and Then. HOW DID I NOT KNOW AND/OR FORGET THAT I. MARLENE KING WAS INVOLVED WITH THAT? In 5th grade my three best friends and I all picked, or rather were assigned, the girl we ‘were.’ They told me I was Chrissy but I knew deep down I was Roberta. It wasn’t until later that I figured out why.

  2. I wonder how many times Ilene’s wife got in trouble for saying that episode of the L Word is great.

    Seriously, Wanda is a bit under appreciated. She, made episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm even better(as did Suzie Essman).

  3. “Have you noticed the increased numbers of lesbians in this season of Empire? You can thank Ilene Chaiken for that, apparently.”

    On last episode the lesbian character, Mimi, was making out with homophobic man, Lucious, as she was going to have a threesome with him and other woman. I guess we have to thank Ilene Chaiken for that.

  4. I wished I could get my movie script written out and copyrighted. It’s a fantastic movie and setting and nobody’s ever thought of it before. I’m so excited about it but I can’t spit it out there yet because I know someone is gonna jump on this. I surprised myself. HELP, WHERE AND WHO DO I BEGIN WITH?????SINCERELY, PEPPER NIMMO

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