POWER UP! celebrates 2009’s amazing gay women

I can — and do — get pretty exasperated by lesbian invisibility in the entertainment industry. (I suspect I’m not the only one who feels this way.) But every now and then I like to put my frustration aside and appreciate how much visibility we’ve achieved in a relatively short time. When I was first coming out, there were very few out lesbian celebrities.

In fact, I was out on television before Ellen Degeneres, Melissa Etheridge or even k.d. lang. (Of course, the only people who cared that I was out on television were my parents — who were not amused, by the way.)

However, now there are a whole bunch of visible lesbians in the entertainment industry, as well as lesbians making things happen behind the scenes. POWER UP! has celebrated 80 of these women over the last eight years and now they’re recognizing 10 more amazing gay women in showbiz. And, really, what could be more satisfying that celebrating amazing women.

Susan Miller and Liz Feldman

Let’s take a look at this year’s honorees.

Megan Cavanagh

We first loved her as Marla Hooch and we still love her as Chris on Exes & Ohs. (And I loved her as Luisa, the animal control officer on Friends.)

Angela Courtin

A Senior Vice-President for MySpace, Courtin has been a mover and shaker at several entertainment companies — including MTV — as well as a fundraiser for HRC and GLAAD.

Liz Feldman

In addition to hosting This Just Out on AfterEllen.com and writing and producing for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Feldman wrote – and was seen dodging “the gay rain army” in — A Gaythering Storm. Now that was amazing.

Sharon Isbin

Isbin is a Grammy Award winner guitarist who has been featured on The L Word and currently directs the guitar department at Julliard. I feel kind of uncultured for not being more aware of her work.

Carol Leifer

Leifer has a long television writing and producing resume, has been a successful stand up comedian for decades and may or may not (depending on who you ask) be at least partially the inspiration for Elaine on Seinfeld. She seems pretty amazing to me.

Harriet Newman Leve

Broadway is in the house! (Leve is the one in the middle above.) I love when influential Broadway folks are recognized, and this Tony Award-winning producer has a crazy-long list of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions under her belt.

Rachel Maddow

If I have to explain to you why Rachel Maddow is amazing, I don’t know how you found this site.

Kelly McGillis

Newly out McGillis came to prominence as the hottest Amish woman you ever saw in Witness, and won many a lesbian heart via her turns in The Accused and The Monkey’s Mask.

Susan Miller

Miller co-created the web series Anyone But Me, and has been a member of the creative team on a number of women-driven television shows, including The L Word, Family and Trials of Rosie O’Neill. Plus, she is the “one breasted, menopausal, bisexual lesbian mom”-Obie-Award winning playwright and star of My Left Breast.

Patricia Resnick

A prolific writer who has, among other things, danced with Nancy Reagan, Resnick has worked with Dolly Parton on three projects: 9 to 5, Strait Talk and 9 to 5 the Musical. Working repeatedly with Dolly Parton is certainly my definition of amazing.

Aren’t these some amazing women? Who else would you include?