Women at the Helm

photo by Jim Cox
Founder & Executive Director, Queer Lounge

Ellen Huang, founder and executive director of Queer Lounge, says that she never imagined having a career in the nonprofit world. But when as a feature film executive she noticed a lack of LBGT-specific spaces at mainstream film festivals, Huang created Queer Lounge, a physical, environmental and psychic hospitality space for LGBT participants at festivals such as the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. “I really consider myself more of an entrepreneur, and this particular organization is structured as a nonprofit,” Huang says. “It’s the idea of juxtaposing the queer and the mainstream that makes Queer Lounge so different.” Queer Lounge will enter its seventh season at Sundance in 2010 and it continues to serve filmmakers and filmgoers alike, in Huang’s words, “creating dialogue and building a bridge between the gay and straight communities, using the idea that everyone can come together and have a conversation when it comes to their love of film.”